"We have great confidence in these two clubs and their commitment to building trampoline programs," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "Mills Gymnastics USA and the Wendy Hilliard Foundation participated in the initial phase, and we are discovering that developing our Olympic pipeline in trampoline is proving to be a win for the club and a win for the discipline."
Mills Gymnastics USA in Southgate, Mich., and the Wendy Hilliard Foundation in New York City were the first clubs to become Trampoline Development Centers. Both successfully hosted training sessions for coaches, athletes and officials, selected a club trampoline team, and staged a local trampoline competition to complete the training program and earn the Trampoline Development Center designation.
"California Sports Center is excited to continue our development of new programs and hope that over the next several years, with support from USA Gymnastics, we fully develop a high level competitive trampoline program," said Dave Peterson, director of California Sports Center. "We are very excited about this opportunity and are thrilled to have been selected. With this in mind we look forward to improved coaches training, adding new equipment, and reinvesting in our facilities to meet the needs of increased participation in trampoline."
"Suncoast Gymnastics is honored to be selected as a Trampoline Development Center for USA Gymnastics," said Cindy and Arnold Gwinn of Suncoast. "We are extremely excited to be involved in developing, expanding and educating clubs and coaches for the growth of trampoline programs and continuing the success nationwide. We love being a part of the effort to encourage other facilities to grow, develop and enhance their programs with trampoline. Thank you for giving us this opportunity."
Joy Umenhofer, a member of the national trampoline coaching staff, will visit both clubs three times this fall. On the visits, she will host clinics to educate club staff on scheduling, coaching and teaching trampoline, basic skills, conditioning and flexibility, and progressions; talent identification development programs; and interactive coach and athlete training sessions. Each club also receives marketing materials, operational guidelines and curriculum support. Also, other clubs in the area are encouraged to attend the coach education sessions and learn about expanding their programming to include trampoline.
From 2013-14, a total of 10 artistic gymnastics clubs will participate in the pilot program to become Trampoline Development Centers, four clubs in 2013 and six in 2014. The two deadline dates for applications in 2014 are March 1 and July 1. Member clubs of USA Gymnastics are eligible to apply, and additional information and the application are available online at usagym.org/tdc.
Umenhofer is a member of the USA Gymnastics national coaching staff for trampoline and tumbling and junior men. She has coached several trampoline and tumbling national and World Age Group champions, as well as placing athletes on all trampoline and tumbling developmental teams. Umenhofer, a former gym club owner, is currently the head trampoline and tumbling coach at Matrix.
Athletes of all ages and body types can enjoy and benefit from trampoline, which also enhances skill development across all gymnastics disciplines. Trampoline may also retain athletes who are looking for something different from gymnastics or need to adjust to accommodate outside scheduling challenges. Additionally, the artistic gymnastics and trampoline competitive seasons complement one another, which makes it is possible for an athlete to participate in both. Many gym clubs in the U.S. already have trampoline as part of their programming, which has proven to be very successful.