Welcome to our Gymnastics Discussion Community
555,589 messages... 44,515 topics... and 6,778 members
Join for FREE!
Thank you for supporting our sponsors Energym Music & Norberts!

For Coaches chalk on beam... yes or no?

Status
Not open for further replies.

CoachCatt27

New Member
May 13, 2008
13
Ok, i'm a new team coach at a small gym... the owner totally opposes using chalk on the beams because he says it ruins them. He's had the same 4 beams for like over 20 years... and he's had high levels train on them before back in the 80's early 90's. BUT, the highest level at the gym now are level 7's and they're scared to do their skills without chalk on their hands and feet b/c of sweating... they feel so much more comfortable when they use chalk. When i was in gymnastics, the beams at the gyms i went to had chalk on them... i can't imagine not using chalk.
So i just wanted to get opinions from other coaches... I was thinking about talking to the owner and seeing if maybe we could have just one beam that they're allowed to use chalk on? I dont wanna like step on any toes or anything though since i am new. But is an injury from slipping off the beam worth it just to be able to keep the beams longer??

Opinions and comments would be great. Thanks!
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
Ok, i'm a new team coach at a small gym... the owner totally opposes using chalk on the beams because he says it ruins them. He's had the same 4 beams for like over 20 years... and he's had high levels train on them before back in the 80's early 90's. BUT, the highest level at the gym now are level 7's and they're scared to do their skills without chalk on their hands and feet b/c of sweating... they feel so much more comfortable when they use chalk. When i was in gymnastics, the beams at the gyms i went to had chalk on them... i can't imagine not using chalk.
So i just wanted to get opinions from other coaches... I was thinking about talking to the owner and seeing if maybe we could have just one beam that they're allowed to use chalk on? I dont wanna like step on any toes or anything though since i am new. But is an injury from slipping off the beam worth it just to be able to keep the beams longer??

Opinions and comments would be great. Thanks!

We have Level 10's who have won beam at JO Nationals, and they never use chalk. They just wipe off their feet on carpet or the mat and go, so it can be done.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I think it kind of does. But it's hard to control anyway because if you have meets people will use, it will get on there anyway. My coaches would try to make rules like you can only get it every three turns but then it was never enforced. I know a lot of people who have just gotten beams recovered lately. The newer covers are better, you don't NEED chalk as much, and but they also don't seem to get the chalk buildup the same. We have some older beams at my old gym and the older covers are just different. I don't really mind them, but I've known two people who got older beams recovered in the last year (as opposed to buying completely new ones) and they both thought it was worth the money. If the beam is 20 years then it doesn't seem like chalk is going to be the problem...?

Incidentally I abhor (yes, that is not an exaggeration) the feeling of chalk on my hands and feet when I'm not on bars. For some reason it doesn't bother on bars, but as soon as the wristbands come off, I MUST go wash my hands obsessively and wipe my feet and I practically twitch until I do. Then, I attempt to avoid any chalky areas such as right around the bars or where people spill out chalk to step in. I will go out of my way to do this. Needless to say I never used chalk on beam, but my hands and feet don't sweat much. Two of my teammates had sweaty feet issues that still bothered them with chalk, so my coach found some old beam shoes she had for them that people used to use more I guess on wooden beams or something (already broken in) and they really liked them and started using them.
 
K

KBT

Guest
Interesting. I've never heard of not allowing chalk on beam. Interesting fact - the FIG has proposed not allowing chalk on floor at elite meets, not sure if a decision has been made on that yet.

I don't see why chalk would harm the beam, but it's not like I have any scientific evidence to back that up. The gym I went to has several very old beams, some probably in the 20-year-old range that are still going strong, and they've had chalk on them the whole time. If the leather does wear, a cheaper alternative to replacing the beam is to just replace the leather.

I'd be more worried about the beams not keeping up with current technology. I'm guessing these beams don't have springs. You can certainly do beam without springs, but it makes competing on spring beams harder. I think most gyms replace beams because of worn springs or new technology, not because the leather has worn.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I don't see why chalk would harm the beam, but it's not like I have any scientific evidence to back that up.

It can build up and make them slick. Or so some people think, I mean I haven't done any sort of controlled experiment.
 

Gym-Nice-tics

Member
May 14, 2008
115
US
I, for one, would die without chalk. I have the sweatiest hands and feet ever. I go to meets, chalk before beam, and will be sweaty again before I even finish saluting. It's bad. So I feel bad for these girls that cannot use it. I can totally understand.

I once went to a gym where you HAD to wear socks because they thought sweaty feet would ruin the equipment. To each their own, I suppose.

It is a tough situation. Have you really discussed it with him? Is there one particularly sweaty gymnast that you could express concerns about? I suppose that wouldn't hurt your position, it shows you're worried about safety. But it's hard to judge what would and wouldn't upset your boss since I don't know him.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.