USA Gymnastics Says Program Launch A Success
Mills Gymnastics USA in Southgate, Mich., and the Wendy Hilliard Foundation in New York City, have successfully completed the training program and earned the Trampoline Development Center designation. Both clubs participated in the launch of the USA Gymnastics program designed to develop trampoline and tumbling in the United States. As part of the program, each club hosted training sessions for coaches, athletes and officials; selected a club trampoline team; and staged a local trampoline competition at the gyms. Two more clubs will go through the development program this year, and the deadline for clubs to apply for the second phase is July 1, 2013.
“The success at both Mills Gymnastics and the Hilliard Foundation exceeded our expectations,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Both clubs embraced the development program and have established trampoline as an opportunity for athletes. Also, other clubs in both of those areas attended the training sessions and have expressed their intent to establish trampoline programs. We could not be more pleased with the progress of this initiative to grow trampoline and expand its Olympic pipeline.”
Wendy Hilliard, president & CEO of the Wendy Hilliard Foundation, said, “The USA Gymnastics trampoline and tumbling clinic has been an amazing opportunity for the Wendy Hilliard Foundation. The students’ and staff's technique and knowledge have grown abundantly. Working with Joy Umenhofer, Susan Jacobson and Kyle Bowen has taken our program to the next level.”
“The guidance and training USA Gymnastics provided our gym over the three weekend visits were invaluable,” said Lanny Mills, owner and director of Mills Gymnastics USA. “My entire staff is 'amped up' about trampoline classes and starting our competitive trampoline team. Joy (Umenhofer) is an incredible asset to the USA Gymnastics trampoline and tumbling program, and we benefited immeasurably from each of her training visits.”
Umenhofer, a member of the national trampoline coaching staff, visited both clubs three times from April to June. 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.
From 2013-14, a total of 10 artistic gymnastics clubs will participate in the pilot program to become Trampoline Development Centers. For 2013, two more clubs will be selected after the July 1 deadline. Interested clubs may submit their applications for the July 1 deadline at any time, and any applicants that already submitted paperwork but have not been selected will be kept on file for the July 1 selection. In 2014, three clubs will be chosen following the two deadline dates, 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.
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men's and women's artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and group gymnastics. For more information, log on to www.usagym.org.