New Gymnastics Podcast

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Hey folks,
My name is JR Jaquay and I have started a new gymnastics podcast solely dedicated to recreational gymnastics. The goal of the show is to provide important information to parents, provide guidance and tips to rec coaches, and give ideas to owners who are interested in adding or expanding on their rec program. The name of the show is called, pod (CAST HANDSTAND). A little play on words. You can stream the show on all podcast platforms; Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc.
It appears that many of you are here for elite gymnastics. However, for you team coaches out there I’m sure there are things you see on the rec side of your gym you’d like to see improve. There are certainly parents here who have both competitive as well as rec athletes. I’d love to hear feedback from all of you. What topics would you like to hear discussed? What frustrates you about the rec side of gymnastics in your gym or in general?

Listen to the podcast HERE1
 

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Haha. Are you asking for a friend? There are coaches who were dancers and now do choreography for the female gymnasts, but tin would need to have a high level of knowledge for that job.
 
What is recreational gymnastics? I had no idea people did this for fun
A great way to turn a profit for gyms. Bonus if they have the allure of a competitive team that many aspire too, but won't make.
I'm curious to know how kids get started in Russia? Do they all start on a competitive path and get weeded out or are they selected from school?
 
What is recreational gymnastics? I had no idea people did this for fun
In Illinois, there are park districts that have rec gym classes. That's how I got my start in fifth grade. It's nice because you can start at any age. I did eventually make the competitive team, but I think park district was better for me than the high stakes club environments. After middle school, I only trained at a club to maintain my skills and get new ones during the offseason. I'm really lucky that it was a positive environment. My mom and I visited another club with one of my teammates and her mom that wouldn't have been the right fit.
 
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The RG gym in my area has recreational programs. They focus on both fitness and performance gymnastics.
 
I'm curious to know how kids get started in Russia? Do they all start on a competitive path and get weeded out or are they selected from school?
School scouting doesn’t really happen that much anymore. Whilst the basic structure of sports still is mostly unchanged from Soviet times, sports culture has changed somewhat.

Generally speaking, things work the opposite way to how they do in the west. If your child is talented in a particular sport and training seriously, you will pay little to no training fees or expenses. Ie the cost decreases as the child progresses.

Most parents will choose to put their child into a sport based upon what sport they want their children to excel at. A lot of this can be very class based. Artistic gymnastics often struggles because it is seen as a very working class sport. Especially on the female side where you have similar sports like figure skating and rhythmic which are seen as much more aspirational.

When a child begins a sport, they start in the entry level class and if they are good enough, they will progress. After a time if they don’t progress, most children get bored and leave to try another sport. Especially once the children in their group become younger than they are.
 
School scouting doesn’t really happen that much anymore. Whilst the basic structure of sports still is mostly unchanged from Soviet times, sports culture has changed somewhat.

Generally speaking, things work the opposite way to how they do in the west. If your child is talented in a particular sport and training seriously, you will pay little to no training fees or expenses. Ie the cost decreases as the child progresses.

Most parents will choose to put their child into a sport based upon what sport they want their children to excel at. A lot of this can be very class based. Artistic gymnastics often struggles because it is seen as a very working class sport. Especially on the female side where you have similar sports like figure skating and rhythmic which are seen as much more aspirational.

When a child begins a sport, they start in the entry level class and if they are good enough, they will progress. After a time if they don’t progress, most children get bored and leave to try another sport. Especially once the children in their group become younger than they are.
Do Russia gymnasts still do dance along with gymnastics training?
 
Do Russia gymnasts still do dance along with gymnastics training?
Yes. Very much so. In fact this is my exact job. I’m not a gymnastics trainer, in our system that’s a separate job that requires different qualification. For gymnasts that will reach elite level, until they are about 12 they will spend more time with me than they will with their gymnastics trainer.
Even as the gymnasts progress, they will be sent to us for dance elements. There is not a more dreaded phrase to hear from a trainer than “I need you to teach Ksenia a switch ring”. Often the choreographer will only work with them one session, then we are responsible for teaching and correcting the floor routines.

The background of me and my colleagues vary, but it’s rare to have anyone of a ballet background. We are trained specifically for the dance and technical aspects of gymnastics. A lot of us, especially of my generation, come from a RG background. Since there is a high level of participation in RG so there is not enough jobs within RG, plus the highly politicised nature of RG makes it worse. For my older colleague, they used to be the people who coached all the gymnasts for compulsories as well as dance. In soviet times, promising gymnasts would arrive in Moscow from little towns, especially from Central Asia and usually their basics and compulsories were not up to scratch and it was my department who had to sort them out!
 
Yes. Very much so. In fact this is my exact job. I’m not a gymnastics trainer, in our system that’s a separate job that requires different qualification. For gymnasts that will reach elite level, until they are about 12 they will spend more time with me than they will with their gymnastics trainer.
Even as the gymnasts progress, they will be sent to us for dance elements. There is not a more dreaded phrase to hear from a trainer than “I need you to teach Ksenia a switch ring”. Often the choreographer will only work with them one session, then we are responsible for teaching and correcting the floor routines.

The background of me and my colleagues vary, but it’s rare to have anyone of a ballet background. We are trained specifically for the dance and technical aspects of gymnastics. A lot of us, especially of my generation, come from a RG background. Since there is a high level of participation in RG so there is not enough jobs within RG, plus the highly politicised nature of RG makes it worse. For my older colleague, they used to be the people who coached all the gymnasts for compulsories as well as dance. In soviet times, promising gymnasts would arrive in Moscow from little towns, especially from Central Asia and usually their basics and compulsories were not up to scratch and it was my department who had to sort them out!
I'm glad! I extremely adore Russian dance routines, because of the beautiful choreography.
My favorite routine was by Lilia Podkopavea, even though she was Ukrainian, it was amazing, how much artistry was in it.
There is so much lack of fun, artistic, and well choreographed pieces nowadays, even though they are getting better at it.
 

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