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Coaching Elite Athletes

Coaching elite athletes is not for everyone. Before you make this commitment you must consider the goals, the full scope of the responsibilities, and the time requirement. The goals of all will be achieved only by those who are totally committed and dedicated to this task. Many personal sacrifices will be made by you, your families, and your athletes. The choice to coach at this level will also be a financial burden to your business.

At the end of this total commitment you will reap the rewards of your efforts and will have pride in seeing the results of the hard work when our team is standing on the medal podium once again. You will not regret having made the commitment!

The optimal plan for training elite athletes would be to conduct two workouts per day, six days per week.

The content of the morning workout: 2 – 3 hours duration

  • Endurance and conditioning
  • Vaulting
  • Beam Basics

The content of the afternoon workout 3 – 4 hours duration

  • General Warm-up
  • Basic Acro
  • Bars
  • Beam
  • Floor
  • Short conditioning program

Include full tumbling, flexibility and dance in the afternoon. In addition, a dance professional should conduct a dance session a minimum of two times a week. The sessions should be one hour long and spaced within the week. The professional needs to understand the dance needs for gymnastics.

Other important points

  1. Monitor all phases of warm-up, conditioning and flexibility programs.
  2. Constant attention with short verbal cues to form (knees, feet, body position, posture, squared hips, etc) is a must.
  3. Attitude – develop and demand respect and self-discipline for yourself and your athletes. Small things make a big difference. These are the fundamental attributes to any successful endeavor.
  4. Basic drills on each apparatus.
  5. Injury – particular attention to physical shortcomings. Proper conditioning and extra attention to weak areas can prevent injuries. Early and accurate diagnosis with proper rehabilitation is vital.
  6. Athlete selection should be based upon necessary proven criteria to avoid disgruntled athletes and parents.
  7. Provide education to the athletes and parents on nutrition.
  8. Set your own standards of behavior and responsibilities and then stand by them.

National Team Warmup

Jump Rope (optional)
Variation of jumping 5 minutes

Walking Around Mat
Head and wrist rolls 8-16 counts
Shoulder circles w/bent arms 8-16 counts
Arm swings Up, Down, Cross, Side 4 times each
Trunk twists arms in opposition 8-16 counts
Toe/Foot Stretches
Ball of foot lifts R begins then switch, quick 8 times
Top of toe lifts R begins then switch, quick 8 times
2 steps rebound, R begins 4 times

Forward runs 3-5 passes
Backward runs 1 pass
Knee Lifts 1 pass
Butt kicks 1 pass
Prance, toes point, legs straight in front 1 pass
Power skips using big arm swing 1-3 passes

High toe 8-16 counts
Heel 8-16 counts

Arm Swings
R back, L back 4 each
R forward, L forward 4 each
Alternating R back first 4 each
Alternating L back first 4 each
Diagonal swings R then L 4 each
Trunk (stand in straddle)
Trunk twist, R begins 4 each
Pilé twist R Straight twist L lifting L leg 2 times
Repeat beginning with L
Hip push RLRL
Hip circle begin to R 1 time
Repeat to L
R lean, R hand on hip, L arm overhead stretching 2 times
L lean, L hand on hip, R arm overhead stretching 2 times
Forward lean, hands on hips 2 times
Backward lean, hands on hips 2 times
Arms through legs then thrust up overhead 2 times
Alternating arm lifts, body bent over, hand on floor RLRL

Floor Stretching
Join legs in pike stand
Pike, squat, pike, squat, 4 quick toe rises twice
Tuck roll to brief pike lay, roll down to pike sit
Pike sit stretch with toes pointed 8 counts
Pike sit stretch with toes flexed 8 counts
Straddle legs, R reach 2 counts
Middle reach 2 counts
L reach 2 counts
Open and hold 2 counts
Repeat beginning with L
Reach back R to side, swing L leg up and around and allow body to follow to L.
As roll finishes, allow R leg to continue swinging back bent, as R arm swings forward then switches as R leg swings forward and R arm swings back.
Begin counting with R leg back then F,B,F,B,F,B,F and move leg up and over head as exercise began.
Repeat on L
Finishing on L side, Side stretches 8 counts
Roll to tummy, Seal stretches 8 counts
Roll to R side, Side stretches 8 counts
Roll to tummy, Quad stretches, R then L 8 counts

Push back, sit on knees and lift body over top of toes 8 counts
Hop over toes, straighten legs, walk hands out
Achilles stretch R begins alternating 8 counts
R leg straight, L ankle at R ankle, stretch 8 counts
R leg bent, L ankle at R ankle, stretch 8 counts
Repeat above on L side
Ankle pops, pike stand, flat, then pop to top of toe 8 counts
Toe rises in pike stand 8 counts

Turn to R, R leg in front, stride stand, chest to knees 8 counts
Deep lunge, toes pointing forward, back leg straight 8 counts
Wider stride stand, R foot flexed 8 counts
Deep lunge, toes pointing forward, back leg straight 8 counts
L knee on floor, pull L foot to hip (Hamstring stretch) 8 counts
Slide into R split, square off 8 counts
Lift L leg, hold it with R hand 8 counts
Release, L leg joins R in pike sit, turn over to knees
Repeat lifting L leg to stride position
From knee sit, step on L foot in lunge
Move to R side lunge, L,R,L slide into side split 8 counts
Wrist warm-up, top of hands, palms of hands – while in split
Pull legs together and bridge, push thru shoulders 2-4 counts
Tuck and roll 2 times

On last roll, roll all the way up to:
Straight jump, Tuck jumps (alternating) 5 each
Roll back to back, crunches 25
Alternating V-ups 10 each
Roll to R side for Arch ups 10
Repeat to L 10
Roll to tummy, Push-ups 15
Slide legs in to pike press, rebounds 5 each

In lines, step R, kick L front, step L, kick R side, step R, kick L back, turn
Repeat down the mat alternating legs
Bend over kicks, touch floor with hands, kick R back straight then bend
Repeat to L
Report to personal coaches for additional warm-up and conditioning as time allows

Warm-up (without jump rope) takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.


The following is a recommended conditioning program to be done at the end of the general/endurance warm-up.

  • Press Handstands (10)
  • Handstand Push-ups (10) Pike ups (10)
  • Cast Handstands 10 spotted, 6 no spot
  • Pull-up, pull-overs (10)
  • Levers (10)
  • Rope Climb (2 times)
  • Leg lifts (20)
  • Around the world (10)
  • Still handstands against the wall – both sides (15 seconds)
  • Body lifts over a horse

Beam Complex

Minimum number of passes:

  • 2 passes Walks forward in high relevé
  • 1 pass Side walks to middle 3 pivots to right, ½ turn side walks 3 points to left.
  • 2 passes High kicks on toe, close on toe.
  • 1 pass Brush leg to 45 degrees (turn out), relevé 3 times, other side.
  • 1 pass step left leg to 90 degrees – lift higher 2 times – step, repeat on other side.
  • 2 passes Passé – develope leg forward turned out. do flat pass ½ way – do relevé the rest.
  • 1 pass Step, step forward pivot – step, step backwards pivot.
  • 2 passes Long run – arms soft.
  • 1 pass Middle of beam.
  • Right foot front relevé – pile through whole foot to place heels down – do 3 times. Then do 2 jumps coming al the way through the feet. Repeat on other side.
  • 2 passes High toe jumps, traveling jumps.
  • 1 pass A turn to balance – 2 choices. Step straight leg or step pile turn. Must be continuous.
  • 1 pass Sissone hold arabesque 1 second. Repeat.