Today is Launch Day for Gym Rats Toe Jam! Grab your FREE all-new Kindle copy from Amazon!👈🏼👈🏼👈🏼
Especially after everything that has happened, and is still happening within USAG, with coaches coming under scrutiny for child abuse – emotional and physical – and with the seemingly unending Covid-19 crisis, I find myself more than ever examining why it is that I coach, and what I want my gymnasts to get out of being under my tutelage.
I want to help them develop a strong sense of self-worth. I want them to be confident in their minds and in their abilities.
I want to help them develop a high self-esteem. I want them to know that their goals are possible.
I want to help them develop their individual character. I want them to be comfortable with who they are and to know that each of them matters, regardless of what anyone else says about them.
I want to help them develop a sense of control over their lives. I want them to be confident to know that they can make goals, set a path, and reach their goals.
I want to help them develop the belief that life is full of possibilities. I want them to believe that anything is possible with productive action.
I want to help them develop a belief that they are more than just gymnasts. I want them to know that I am a trusted advisor for life, not just for life in the gym.
I want to help them develop a love for gymnastics. I want them to look back on their days in the gym and believe that it was worth the time, the hard work, and dedication that they put in.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good start. In order to do all of these important above things, I must be present with my coaching, and do everything I can to be consistent in trying to develop these goals in my gymnasts. I must draw on my experiences, remember what it was to be a gymnast, and apply what I have learned through that and my years as a coach. But more than that, I must continue to study and apply what I learn to help develop my gymnasts even further. I enjoy reading and applying what I read to daily practices and Success Saturday. I will continue to do so, and will also develop training tools for gymnasts, coaches, and parents to use to help them apply what I have learned to gymnastics training.
I will be building off the Gym Rats book series by creating a series of workbooks and workshops for gymnasts to learn and reinforce more of the valuable life lessons that gymnastics has to offer.
– Hanging By My Toes –
I was in the dining room reading Madison’s notebook entry between bites of cottage cheese.
Dear Rat (AKA Morgan),
Tomorrow starts the last week of school! WOOT WOOT – No more school! And I can’t WAIT to start going the optional days. I’m so glad Coach Deb invited us to come in extra. Do you know who else gets to come in on the optional days? I hope we get to work out with the girls in the next level up – and what if we worked out with the girls in even higher levels? That would be awesome!
I can’t believe that DAKOTA is coming to The Gym Club in 1 WEEK to try out! If she’s anything like us GYM RATS, she’s really going to like it here! I hope everyone is nice to her. Did you hear Amber tell Leslie the other day at practice that Tina’s back handspring is ugly? I think Tina heard her, too. Geez. Give her a break. Tina just got it! And she’s still in Devos! That wasn’t cool. I wish there was something we could do to get back at Amber for saying that. Okay, I have to cut it short cuz I need to study for my last social studies test tomorrow!
CU2morrow! –Gym (AKA Madison)
“Morgan, get back to your homework! It’s 8:30!” my mom hollered from the kitchen. I don’t know how Mom knew that I was reading the notebook, but she did. I was supposed to be studying for my last math test before the end of the school year.
“Okay! I was just taking a quick break!” I didn’t have time to write back to Gym since I also had to start studying for my spelling test. I brought my empty dish to the kitchen. “I’m so tired of school! I can’t wait till it’s over,” I complained.
“Four days left. You can hang by your toes for that long,” Mom answered. “Let me know when you’re ready for me to go over your spelling words with you.”
“All right,” I sighed and sauntered back to my math book. We had practice until 7 o’clock on Mondays, so I had just a little time to do all of my homework and finish studying for tomorrow’s school day. It was already 8:30, and my eyelids were getting heavy…
“Morgan, wake up,” my mom lightly touched my shoulder. “Get ready for bed. I’ll quiz you on your spelling words tomorrow while you’re eating breakfast.”
I rubbed my eyes. “Okay,” I said as I climbed the stairs to my bedroom. I could see the light to my older sister Allison’s room under her door. She just got home from gym – she just finished competing in her first season as an upper-level optional and was getting ready for the next level. No doubt she was doing her homework. How can she stay up so late? I wondered. I got ready for bed and before I knew it, the sun was shining through my window.
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The all-new Kindle edition of Gym Rats Toe Jam is coming out on November 1st!
Competitive gymnasts thrive on being busy, making and obtaining goals, and working hard to reach those goals. As workouts are beginning to shift back to the gym from online meetings, we need to help keep our gymnasts stay focused on the future and her goals.
How do we do this? Here are a few suggestions to keep gymnasts motivated.
Watch old gymnastics championships. Not only are gymnasts unable to have a normal competition season, but the 2020 Olympics have been postponed, meaning that all elite gymnastics competitions have been put on hold. This can mean that gymnasts don’t have many things to look forward to. However, with YouTube, there are many opportunities for gymnasts to watch previous Olympics, World Championships, and NCAA meets. This can be a source of great motivation. As a young gymnast, I don’t know how many times I watched the 1988 Olympic Games when it was a race to the finish for Yelena Shushunova of the Soviet Union and Daniela Silivas of Romania. It was a ridiculous fight between the two of them, each receiving two perfect 10’s during the all-around competition alone! The little gymnast in me was nervous and excited every time I watched ii, and it made me pine to get into the gym to keep working hard.
Find a baseline. Do some preliminary conditioning testing. How many push-ups can she do without stopping and without losing form? How many sit-ups can she do in a minute? How long can she hold a handstand? How’s her press handstand? How many jump ropes can she do in 5 minutes? There are a number of baseline conditioning elements that we can use to test a gymnast so she can see where her strengths and weaknesses lie. In addition, this will help give her a measurable goal to see if she can improve.
Sit down and review goals. Taking some time to think about and write down goals for each event and the upcoming year is important. There are a number of factors that are different about this upcoming year that come into play as gymnasts contemplate what comes next. Sitting down and making concrete and realistic goals will help gymnasts to put some thought into what comes next, and it will help them look realistically at the future.
Stay positive. Read motivational quotes and books. Gymnasts can help fuel their positive attitudes by reinforcing it through inspirational books and stories. Find Gym Rats books here!
Get your FREE new Kindle edition of Gym Rats Basic Training starting on Sunday!
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LIVE Facebook Reading!
First published 10 years ago, Gym Rats Basic Training is the first book in the Gym Rats children’s book series! Join me in re-launching the book with a LIVE Facebook reading!
How many times have you heard anyone in gymnastics, or sports in general, say that kids can “learn so many life lessons” by participating? As a coach, I hear it all the time, and I read about it all the time.
If you have kids, or if you coach kids, and you’re interested in providing the all-important life lessons to the children around you, then you must take this to heart.
Kids are constantly learning, absorbing, observing, and listening (even when it doesn’t seem like it). They watch us, they hear what we say, they take in what we do. They observe how we react to things, and how we handle ourselves in sticky situations.
Kids are learning from us even when we aren’t expecting them to. As coaches, parents, and leaders in their lives, we need to remember that they are constantly soaking in our behavior and words. We are their role models, and we all need to remember that there is a kiddo lurking in the background learning from us when we least expect it.
I write a children’s gymnastics book series called Gym Rats. There are five books so far in the series, and I am re-launching all of them, beginning with book one, Basic Training! If you are interested in the life lessons that gymnastics has to offer your kids, then this is the book series for you. Subscribe to my blog or friend me on Facebook (or both!) for updates and great new deals coming your way!
Breaking news – I am re-launching my Gym Rats book series, beginning with Basic Training! This re-launch includes the exciting addition of an audio version of each of the books.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be putting the call out for volunteers to be a part of my Launch Team. This select group will get free access to exclusive material, help me get the word out about my books, and be a part of an exciting book promotion experience!
Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks!
The fifth Gym Rats book, Glide Kip, is coming out on November 22nd!
Morgan and Madison are still best friends and still Gym Rats. This time, read as they go through the trials and tribulations of getting their kips! Their arch rivals, Amber and Leslie, are at it again, trying to sabotage the Gym Rats’ every move. After the story, keep reading for coach tips, drills, and more!
You will be able to order on Amazon.com and Apple Books.