2019 Coach Conference Wrap

Masterclass with Mihai Brestyan

It was a massive weekend of seminars and workshops at the 2019 Gymnastics Victoria Coach Conference! Over 30 sessions were held during the two day conference, with workshops for coaches interested in any of the Gymsports. The sessions were held at the State Gymnastics Centre as well as Movement for Life in Windsor. 

The conference kicked off with one of the most popular sessions of the weekend - a masterclass run by Australian WAG National Coach Mihai Brestyan.  Mihai is the former USA Gymnastics national team coach and is the former coach of Olympic Silver Medallist Alicia Sacramone and 3-time Olympic Gold Medallist Aly Raisman. His session began with a seminar on coaching techniques, including ways to prevent injury as well as athlete conditioning. The workshop then moved to the WAG gym where Mihai gave a masterclass on Yurchenko vaults and beam conditioning.  

Day 1 sessions also included sessions on coaching and leadership, inclusion workshops about Special Olympics and children on the Autism Spectrum, as well as practical gymnastics workshops on injury prevention and teaching adults to backflip. 
The second day of the conference was full of back-to-back sessions. Men’s Artistic Gymnastics workshops included strength and conditioning for Junior MAG athletes, a workshop on using Parallettes and information on how to start a MAG program from scratch. 

Acrobatic workshop with Xilin Shen

 Workshops at Movement for Life included two Acrobatic workshops run by Xilin Shen, focusing on balancing and dynamic skills such as heli-throws and other high flying skills.  Lucy Fyfield spoke about identifying talented gymnasts and conditioning them for development. Gymnastics for All (GfA) Coordinator Dwight Hulme gave a presentation about the implementation of the Gymstar program for clubs in 2019. 

Simon Storey ran Rhythmic Gymnastics sessions on drills for successful completions of pivots and leaps for rhythmic gymnasts while Naazmi Johnston talked about appropriate warmup and body preparation for rhythmic gymnasts. 

The sessions taking place in the Women’s Artistic Gym were practical workshops useful for both WAG coaches and coaches from other Gymsports. Wei Jun Lee ran an engaging workshop on twisting double progressions that can be taught at any time to build into advanced skills. Tracey Penaluna ran a basic beam acrobatics workshop, while Kirsten Norden talked about building confidence while spotting and how to assist in athlete’s skill progression. The last session of the day, ‘Sensational Swings’, was run by Crystal Yeo where she demonstrated how to develop powerful swings.

Gymnastics Victoria would like to thank all of the presenters for sharing their knowledge with the rest of the Victorian gymnastics community. We hope that all of the coaches who attended the conference enjoyed the sessions and learnt some valuable skills!