2013 World Age Group Competition gold medalist Alyssa Oh of Rocklin, Calif./Technique Gymnastics, visited California Sports Center in San Jose, Calif., which was selected as a Trampoline Development Center. The creation of Trampoline Development Centers across the country is designed to develop trampoline and tumbling in the United States. The initiative's goal is to incorporate competitive trampoline into the curriculum in gyms across the nation to expand its Olympic pipeline.
Joy Umenhofer, a member of the national trampoline coaching staff, has visited the club three times this fall. On the visits, she hosted 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 received marketing materials, operational guidelines and curriculum support. Also, other clubs in the area were 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 were selected in 2013 and six in 2014. The next deadline to apply is January 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.