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The New issue of The Gym Press - March 2008 Vol2 Is1

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gracefulone

Guest
I found the part about the Ringlemann effect absolutely fascinating!
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Hi

I completely agree, i had never even heard of this "Ringlemann effect " until Warren sumbitted the article. Might have to explore it further.
It does however explain quite a few things..Very cool article.
 
G

gracefulone

Guest
Hi

I completely agree, i had never even heard of this "Ringlemann effect " until Warren sumbitted the article. Might have to explore it further.
It does however explain quite a few things..Very cool article.

Yeah, like how entire teams can completely fall apart!
 

kristilyn73

Active Member
Jan 17, 2008
1,326
Minnesota
I agree! After reading the part about the Ringleman effect. I think I am going to change some of my coaching stratgies. I may have each of my girls work independently in stations. Then I can pull girls aside to work with them individualy.

Also, I have seen meets where all the girls sit with their back to the Beam while each girl competes. I think there might be something to that!
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Hi

Interesting what you say about girls having their backs to the beam. I used to work at a club where when i first started the girls previous coach had kind of ingraned in them that scores don't matter. I found that a little hard to accept, having come from a club, where the girls would step over you to see their score. However there was a clear difference in attitude and way of competing between the two groups. I guess its not really accurate to make a comparison, but this year i am going to try to have them focus on performing what they know how, rather then looking at the scores and saying OK i need this, i better now do this this this and that, and i better stick etc...
Will be interesting.

Valentin
 

Tuduri

Member
Oct 1, 2007
118
Campbell, CA
ringleman effect

During competition, my dd's club also has the girls face away from the beam. I always assumed that this was meant to keep each gymnast focused on their own routine and not to dwell on the mistakes(if any) of another gymnast competing before them. I'm not sure we do this with bars or vault. However, I know it doesn't include the floor, as they always watch each others routines there. The beam is so nerve racking(at least for me, the parent)that I can understand the need to really remain focused and face away from the beam.

We only have four girls in my dd's level eight group, so perhaps the ringleman effect is not such a concern there. But there are aspects in group dynamics which can effect any group of athletes small or large, whether it is called the Ringleman effect or otherwise. In any sport you will find one or more individuals can detract from a team effort by affecting both individual performance and group performance. You may have a gymnast who has a bad attitude which affects the mood and performance of her teammates negatively. You may have another gymnast with little dedication to her sport who cheats at conditioning and doesn't give maximum effort in learning a new skill. Sometimes this attitude can be infectious and influence others to perform similarly. And you may have a grouchy coach who won't let his girls smile in the gym and find even a small pleasure in the 4 to 5 hours they practice each day. This can really affect their morale and kill any motivation to endure the long hours of training.
These and other variables can affect each athlete's performance and thereby affect the overall team effort. This is especially true in a sport where the athletes play together as a team. But it can also erode the spirit of each gymnast on the team who also competes as an individual athlete. From time to time, both the coach and athlete(s) should openly discuss these issues.

I also like coach Kristilyn 73's ideas on training;seems almost like a mini-private.

Scores matter, but the effort and hard work of the gymnast is more important, I think.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
I don't know that the Ringleman Effect is so much something to avoid, as something to be aware of...and even use. The kids have to constantly be competing against eachother to some extent.

The number one rule to deal with it is NOT to become the gymnast's friend...and don't make life in the gym about anything more than gymnastics.
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
he number one rule to deal with it is NOT to become the gymnast's friend...and don't make life in the gym about anything more than gymnastics.
I dont know if this is so true..Personally i feel that you have to be friends with the gymnast, but you have to be a professional friend when at the gym. You and the gymnast are there to both do a job. The first and foremost responsibility of the coach is to teach i believe, but to do this the gymnast must trust you, and respect you. If they don't respect you then really its all in vain... and i think as a result most coaches turn to intimidation. The scare tactics are much easier, anyone can yell and scream and scare kids into doing what you want them to do, then to earn their respect and attention.
Have you ever seen a realllllly mean coach with adult gymnasts? i know i haven't, but i know for a fact many of the best gymnasts and coaches create strong ties with each other. Kyle Schewfelt is very close to his first coach for example (check out his blog if you want..very cool), so are the Hamm Twins, and many of Russian Gymnasts with Arkaev.
 

blantonnick

Coach
Coach
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Apr 17, 2007
174
USA
Yes I agree with Valentin on this one...you can try and coach gymnasts at lower levels getting away without being their 'friend' however later on down the line you will lose their respect. At the higher/older levels of training you must establish a geniune friendship with your athletes or they will not work with you to attain their goals.
 

Tuduri

Member
Oct 1, 2007
118
Campbell, CA
Friendship with coaches

I don't think my daughter could tolerate being in the gym for 27 hours a week if she did not genuinely like her coaches. And she likes her coaches because,while still being firm and professional when they teach, they are also patient, caring and genial. They don't yell. They show sincere concern when dds hurt. They let her enjoy herself in the company of her fellow gymnasts. They make the gym a pleasant though professional place to train. They've earned my daughter's respect and I think dd has earned their respect with her hard work. They may not be "friends" but they enjoy being around one another.

Three years ago my dd was nine years old and in level five. She was training for Tops and I hired our optionals head coach(who was also our Tops director)to train dd. Although she was a tremendous coach, this person totally alienated my daughter with her harsh style. Fortunately there was a happy ending. I am not saying that the coach needed to pretend to be my daughter's friend. However, at least in this case, the harsh, yelling style of coaching proved counterproductive with this young gymnast.

By the way, I still respect this coach very much because she is a heck of a coach, though I think her style is better suited for older, thicker skinned girls.
 

blantonnick

Coach
Coach
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Apr 17, 2007
174
USA
You said on one hand that the coaches 'dont yell' yet on the other 'the harsh, yelling style of coaching proved counterproductive with this young gymnast'....are you referring to another coach in this situation???
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Hi
The truth is that there is a time and place for everything. My personal style is that i am a different person between when i coach, and when i am not coach (that is with the gymnasts). When i coach, i let me gymnasts know its time for buissnes. I don't yell, there is no point, but my tone of voice lets them know what i am thinking and want out of them. Sometimes a silence i speaks much louder then words (not my saying). I think it is important for the gymnasts to know that when they are training its time to put on their game faces., and its time to get to work. When its time to play its time to play. Its also important to coach at the age group, and maturity of the gymnast.
One thing though that is for sure is that stricter coach do get better results long term them the quite coach. Studies do show this.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
I dont know if this is so true..Personally i feel that you have to be friends with the gymnast, but you have to be a professional friend when at the gym. You and the gymnast are there to both do a job. The first and foremost responsibility of the coach is to teach i believe, but to do this the gymnast must trust you, and respect you. If they don't respect you then really its all in vain... and i think as a result most coaches turn to intimidation. The scare tactics are much easier, anyone can yell and scream and scare kids into doing what you want them to do, then to earn their respect and attention.
Have you ever seen a realllllly mean coach with adult gymnasts? i know i haven't, but i know for a fact many of the best gymnasts and coaches create strong ties with each other. Kyle Schewfelt is very close to his first coach for example (check out his blog if you want..very cool), so are the Hamm Twins, and many of Russian Gymnasts with Arkaev.

Those "friendships" are the result of years of working together...which happens to people who are stuck together for that amount of time.

I was referring to more to maintaining leadership of the group, and finding strategies to use the group's dynamics to enhance training, instead of becoming a member of the group, socially and emotionally. Many coaches fall into this trap. It's usually the ones who participate in lots of social activities with some kids outside of the gym, which is just weird. It brings resentment, jealousy and added emotion to the group...and actually makes the Ringleman Effect worse.

"Friendship" itself is not bad. Sorry I wasn't clear.
 

Tuduri

Member
Oct 1, 2007
118
Campbell, CA
Harsh coach

Blantonnick:

The "harsh" coach went back to Europe after the year she met my daughter. She had been with us for several years before this. She is now back in the USA at another gym and is doing quite well. Unfortunately it is for one of our main competitors!
It was the loss of this coach, our head coach at the time, which tossed our gym into turmoil for two years. She was a great coach and was sorely missed by the optional girls and their families. Many of these optional gymnasts left at this time. My daughter had only recently started gymnastics when she first encountered this coach during Tops training . She was nine and in level five. Had dd been a bit more mature at the time, she would have had a better appreciation of how good this coach was and still is. My only criticism is that I wish she would have been able to take into account my daughter's age and recent start in gymnastics by tempering her stern style a little bit, to coach with the child's age and maturity in mind.

Valentin puts it nicely when he says that when it comes time to practice, the gymnasts must put on their 'game faces'. The girls need to be serious and focused when they practice, even if they're having fun. They must have a certain degree of maturity to be able to do this. Fortunately, my daughter has matured a lot since those early days. She practices as though she were competing and competes as though practicing, always with focus and intensity, even when doing conditioning. That's why I mentioned that my daughter had earned her coaches respect, because she had demonstrated a serious and focused nature.

We've had a new co-head coach for only the last 3 months. My daughter has nevertheless established a good working relationship with him. I believe he is much like coach Valentin. He does not yell. But my daughter tells me that his tone of voice or even silence conveys a great deal of meaning. He is a very serious guy, but now that my daughter is much more mature, they work well together even after only a few months.
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Blantonnick:

The "harsh" coach went back to Europe after the year she met my daughter. She had been with us for several years before this. She is now back in the USA at another gym and is doing quite well. Unfortunately it is for one of our main competitors!
It was the loss of this coach, our head coach at the time, which tossed our gym into turmoil for two years. She was a great coach and was sorely missed by the optional girls and their families. Many of these optional gymnasts left at this time. My daughter had only recently started gymnastics when she first encountered this coach during Tops training . She was nine and in level five. Had dd been a bit more mature at the time, she would have had a better appreciation of how good this coach was and still is. My only criticism is that I wish she would have been able to take into account my daughter's age and recent start in gymnastics by tempering her stern style a little bit, to coach with the child's age and maturity in mind.

Valentin puts it nicely when he says that when it comes time to practice, the gymnasts must put on their 'game faces'. The girls need to be serious and focused when they practice, even if they're having fun. They must have a certain degree of maturity to be able to do this. Fortunately, my daughter has matured a lot since those early days. She practices as though she were competing and competes as though practicing, always with focus and intensity, even when doing conditioning. That's why I mentioned that my daughter had earned her coaches respect, because she had demonstrated a serious and focused nature.

We've had a new co-head coach for only the last 3 months. My daughter has nevertheless established a good working relationship with him. I believe he is much like coach Valentin. He does not yell. But my daughter tells me that his tone of voice or even silence conveys a great deal of meaning. He is a very serious guy, but now that my daughter is much more mature, they work well together even after only a few months.
was referring to more to maintaining leadership of the group, and finding strategies to use the group's dynamics to enhance training, instead of becoming a member of the group, socially and emotionally. Many coaches fall into this trap. It's usually the ones who participate in lots of social activities with some kids outside of the gym, which is just weird
I don't know of any coaches like that, and persoanly i don't want to know any. It is weird and that is definitely crossing the gymnast coach boundary. Unless both parties are adults.
 

munki

New Member
Apr 17, 2008
3
I don't know of any coaches like that, and persoanly i don't want to know any. It is weird and that is definitely crossing the gymnast coach boundary. Unless both parties are adults.
It's not always quite as simple as that. I coached some kids and then I stopped being their coach for a good while. During that time I became friends with their parents and we're still all good friends. When things weren't going so well during their kids training, the parents asked if I would lend a hand and so I did. I still coach the kids again and I'm still friends with the parents outside of the gym. We go to church and have meals together and these are social activities that we're all involved in. So here is an instance like the one being described that isn't weird at all.
 

munki

New Member
Apr 17, 2008
3
I am Warren Milburn, the author of the Gym Press article on the Ringelmann Effect. Thank you to everyone who has contributed feedback and thank you to Valentin for introducing me to the Chalk Bucket.
 
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