A Year Gone By
As we approach the one year anniversary of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, some may think that I tripped and fell in a hole somewhere. It has been a while since I have posted a blog and since I have 3 hours to kill at the Lancaster Pennsylvania airport, I thought it would be a good time to catch everyone up on the whirl wind year that followed the gold medal performance.
I just finished speaking at a well organized and attended Region 7 Congress where there was still a buzz about the accomplishments of the Olympic Team 12 months ago. I often get asked if things have slowed down any since, and the answer is a resounding NOPE. Being absent from your business and relationships for what amounted to 1/3 of the year extending from the World Championships and the London Games (3 months of missed gym time due to training camps, travel, international and national competitions) will certainly leave a mark. The last year has been used to catch up.
I am not complaining mind you. Only the most unappreciative would complain about the inconveniences that accompany an opportunity of a life time. I would not trade my Olympic journey experiences for anything.
The last year has been sprinkled with amazing honors. My wife Kathryn was inducted into the Region 5 Hall of Fame last September. Few have accomplish so much in such a quiet and unassuming manner. This was a fitting tribute to a woman who has been equally responsible for the success of our Twistars program, yet seldom gets the recognition she deserves. She has always been the glue that holds our program together and it was very gratifying to see her in the spotlight for a change.
I also added a couple of Hall of Fame inductions to the resume. My High School bestowed this honor as did my home town sports HOF. I can now claim to be in the same HOF as the great Bob DuVeney (of Nebraska football fame) who started his famous coaching career at my former High School in Alpena, Michigan.
The Tour of Champions was an unbelievable success for USA Gymnastics but more importantly provided the athletes with a well deserved rock star existence as they bounced from city to city. Payment for years of total commitment and contributions to our sport. The down time gave Jordyn plenty of time to think about her future goals and upon returning the gym it was obvious that she still had the itch to compete. Initially she thought she would like to take a shot at championships and perhaps a world team spot. After her calendar of commitments and obligations began to fill she made a Jordyn-esque decision ringing with maturity. She saw that she simply could not string enough consistent training together in the months leading up to Championships. Her graduation, her sisters graduation from medical school, her sisters wedding, her camp appearance obligations, promotional and endorsement commitments chewed up too much of the training calendar. Never being one to do anything with half hearted commitment she opted to take competing this year off the table of consideration. She will revisit her goals in early fall but for the time being she is in the gym training as often as she can (smiling and relaxed, enjoying gymnastics as it should be enjoyed). I have always respected her maturity.
Gymnastics business around the country is good. Record enrollments have been reported thanks to the Gold Medal performance of our USA team. Twistars enrollment spiked off the charts with every little girls hoping to be the next Olympian. Our location in Jordyn’s home town has an initial 120% increase. A great problem to have! Thanks Fierce 5!
As for direction of the Twistars program and my personal goals, I still feel the desire to produce quality athletes. The process is inspiring to me. Our Level 8s and 9s were incredible this past season (posting the highest team regional (8) and eastern national (9) scores. Our 10s had some untimely injuries that took a toll on our final ranking, but even with such we still managed a 6th place overall at JO Nationals (just a few tenths out of the top spot). The point being here is that the program is loaded with motivated up and coming talent. I am excited to be back in the coaching grind.
A 25 year stint as the Region 5 Junior Olympic Program chair has come to an end. This has been a passion of mine. Helping and assisting coaches and athletes to achieve was the main goal but I have to admit I learned as much as I taught in the process. I will now take that same passion and re-direct the energy into coaches education. I have a full slate of congresses set (Region 7 and 5, National Congress, Ontario Canada Congress, GAT, Australia National Coaches Congress and more) where I hope I can assist coaches in any way possible. With a bit more free time now I will also be putting extra effort into this coaches education web site and the related Success Videos. We have lots of new ideas that will be released soon, hopefully you will all like them.