Coaches working together to help each gymnast, whether they be a WAG, MAG or T&T athlete, in the Ortona Gymnastics Club’s (OGC’s) development and competitive programs. Ortona coaches strive to have each athlete to become the best gymnast they can be, while staying true to the Club’s vision, mission and goals. Team coaching encourages and supports all athletes, in all disciplines and celebrates with them in all achievements - inside and outside of the gym.
Every coach has technical strengths which they incorporate into their coaching. Team Coaching allows athletes to learn from each coach’s individual strength which translates into confidence and success in an event, regardless of the athlete’s skill level or discipline. The Team Coaching philosophy does not guarantee that athletes will work exclusively with a specific coach even at the request of a parent/guardian.
The coaches are assigned to groups by the Technical Gymnastics Programs Director (TGPD) using criteria defined by our program requirements for that year. Coach assignments are based on education; coaching experiences, certification level, the TGPD’s assessment of the coaches’ skills, professional growth and guidelines of various governing bodies for gymnastics in Alberta and Canada.
The TGPD role is to manage all OGC team coaches and facilitate the communication between all disciplines of coaches. The TGPD also assigns Lead Coaches to training groups.
The role of the Lead coach, within the framework of team coaching is:
- To act as the point of contact and open up the lines of communication between the parents/guardians, athlete and assigned team coaches.
- To act as the representative for the gymnast’s coaching team.
- To ensure that the yearly training plan set for each gymnast is being followed or modified when necessary.
- To address any issues that arise within the group (ie. bullying, attitudes, injuries, etc.) with the parents/guardians and communicate the solution to the rest of the coaching team.
- Lead coaches will attend Alberta Gymnastics Federation Sanctioned events with their assigned athletes.
The assigned Team Coaches’ roles are:
- To follow the Lead Coach’s training plan. The Lead Coach has a long-term vision for the athlete, and team coaches will respect the vision for each particular athlete.
- To recognize that the Team Coach is part of a team that has a singular vision. That team is comprised of several coaches who collaborate to produce athletes that contribute to the whole. The team works toward the vision to ensure it becomes a reality.
- Team Coaches work on complimenting one another’s attributes and strengths. This is done by coaching to that particular coach’s strengths, as well as mentoring other coaches to follow suit.
- Attend non-sanctioned events as assigned by the TGPD throughout the year.
Finally, Team Parents/Guardians have two points of communication throughout the year, their athlete’s assigned lead coach and a contract administrator.
Men’s Artistic Gymnastics - A History Lesson
From Bovine Beginnings
Gymnastics can trace its origins back to ancient civilizations in Asia and the Middle East. These men and women sought perfect symmetry between the mind and the body through gymnastics exercises. Around 2,700 B.C. ancient Greeks would vault over the backs of charging bulls. The athlete would run toward the bull, grab its horns, and when tossed in the air, would perform aerial movements before landing on the bull’s back and then dismounting onto his or her feet on the other side of the bull. A great deal of courage, grace and maybe even a bit of foolishness was required. Most gymnasts are probably glad that modern gymnastics is bull-free.
The Origins of "Artistic"
The term "artistic gymnastics" was first heard around the early 1800’s as a way to distinguish free-flowing gymnastics styles from military training techniques. Gymnastics began to grow in popularity at schools and athletics clubs across Europe. As the oldest form of modern gymnastics, men’s artistic was first introduced to competition when the Olympics were revived at the 1896 Athens Olympics. In 1954, enormous changes to the sport saw the introduction of events like the floor exercise, pommel horse, vault, rings, high bar and parallel bars. These 6 apparatus’ now form what has become one of the most popular sports on the planet.
6 Events; 6 Times the Challenge
Think hockey is tough? Try mastering 6 pieces of equipment. Each piece is different, but they all take a combination of coordination, endurance, flexibility, speed and strength. Two words to describe an elite male gymnast: hard work!
The 6 events are the floor exercise, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar.
Athletes perform a series of acrobatics and tumbling sequences across a 12x12 area. A routine can involve somersaults, twists and flips. Each movement demonstrates strength, flexibility and balance. Touches of personal elements lets each gymnast show off his individual strength. The floor may be flat, but the routines sure aren’t.
This event is one of hardest pieces of men’s apparatus to master. We’re not horsing around. An athlete performs circular and pendulous swings with straight legs, all while holding himself up right. The athlete will often travel along the horse, to utilize every part of the equipment. This event takes strength, flexibility and balance. Could you do it?
Held aloft at 2.80 metres, the rings require excellent control, strength, balance and body tension. At that height there is little room for error. The rings are free-moving, making it hard for the athlete to remain still during hold elements. The dismount is the gymnast’s chance to show off his aerial skills. Feeling dizzy?
In this event, a 25 metre run leads to an explosive jump off a springboard, where the athlete launches over the vaulting table. While in flight, the athlete performs multiple twists and rotations before sticking a solid landing. It takes control, stability, strength and aerial ability to master this high-flying sequence.
Loved the swings as a kid? How about swinging on, across and between two bars? These bars stand 2 metres from the floor and give under the athlete’s weight, allowing for a combination of swings, somersaults and twists. The dismount is always an eye-popper. This event takes strength, control and a strong stomach. That much flipping is dizzying stuff.
You know this event is intense if one of the moves is called giant. This single bar stands 2.75 metres from the floor which allows athletes to perform multiple swinging circles, releases and catches, and dismounts that defy the imagination. A gymnast must not touch the bar with his body. You need strength, body control and aerial mastery to swing your way to victory.