So those of you that follow my new Twitter account, (Hint Hint!) will already be aware that yesterday brought a difficult choice to make between coaching and training myself. I’m at the age now where there are loads of kids coming through better than me (well, currently the same as me, but they’re nearly half my age…) So I often debate with myself whether now is the time to give up doing Trampoline myself and start focussing on my coaching. Certainly if I gave one up I’d have a lot more time to focus on the other! But I always said I’d carry on until I stopped learning stuff/ progressing…

In hindsight, I don’t know if that was a realistic goalpost, because technically you can never stop improving if you work at it, so maybe I just wasn’t ready to stop when I said that. Although there is this one kid, Claire we’ll call her: she and I were training together last week, and I know she has potential and natural ability by the bucket load. It was abundantly clear when the two of us were working on the same drills and skills. What she grasped fairly quickly with control and awareness, I was still only just grasping with some control and very little awareness. I shouldn’t compare but, it’s tough to literally watch someone overtake you. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge her that at all, she’s a talented kid and I love watching her work at this kind of thing and celebrate the moment when it all ‘clicks’, it just begs the question whether I’d have just as much fun coaching as I do training. I might even find it more rewarding. Or maybe I’d just miss it and regret the sacrifice.

That brings me back to my sacrifice. I made one today when I decided to switch the leotard for the coaching Tee. It’s a great opportunity to work with kids that I don’t often work with, and a fantastic opportunity to develop as a coach in a different environment. I’ve been itching to work more with kids that are already somersaulting, ’cause I actually enjoy teaching line-outs and improving technique beyond a basic front and back somersault. There’s also the added bonus that as a newer/ less regular coach to them, I’m a bit of a novelty at the moment and they’re behaving like sponges, really trying to impress.

So today, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make, and I’ll catch up on my own training later on in the week. What sacrifices do you make in life? Do you regret them, or relish the new opportunities that come with that? I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to comment below. Meantime, keep bouncing! ~Bella 😉

Ps if I give up, my blog name doesn’t work as well!


It’s the Challenge.


Photograph by Richard Lewisohn

The Challenge…

I must confess there are both positive and negative examples that ran through my mind when I read this. One is as recent as yesterday – a boy at training has been challenged to Synchro with someone he wouldn’t normally be paired with. This is a boy who doesn’t get ‘The Challenge’ he’s not, as Wendy Bruce Martin puts it one of these athletes:

“Athletes that feed on this challenge are hungry to find out if they can add one more turn to their flip. They want to see if they can lift one more kilogram, if they can jump higher, run faster, or throw longer then they did the day before. They crave the satisfaction of knowing their mind and body are being used to their fullest potential. They thrive on working hard to master their sport. They plan how they can be better and they will do what it takes, and more.”

This is a boy who is in a female dominated sport and is comfortable to dominate due to lack of competition. When challenged to match a boy who bounces higher than him, there was no determination to push through, work harder, jump higher and link skills he doesn’t like for the sake of matching his peer. I saw the opposite effect – he challenged the other boy to drop his height by drastically reducing his own height further. Not exactly a positive attitude.
I compared this mentally with this other situation, also yesterday where several of the younger children were learning seat to hands and knees on the trampoline. The children will catch their toes/ toe nails several times on the bed while learning the skill, but not give up. Instead, they’ll keep trying, learn from their mistakes and try to place their feet more carefully. These are the children who will one day be The Challenge athletes…

Get Psyched!

Last March I visited a gym in Colorado, and when I walked in, I was overwhelmed by theamount of talented gymnasts. There were 11 year olds doing skills that were in my routines in the Olympics, and they were doing them like it was no big deal. Most of them trained over 25 hours a week in the gym and were honor students in school. These little phenomenal athleteswere absolutely delightful to watch. As I sat in awe and admired these young kids, I was brought back to memories of my childhood. With a sport that requires so much from a person, what was the reason I did it everyday, and why did I keep doing gymnastics?

Many people have asked me if my parents pushed me into the sport or if they forced me to do gymnastics, because they couldn’t imagine a child wanting to do a sport demands…

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You, patient?!

Do you ever feel like someone doesn’t really ‘know’ you? Or more specifically, that they only know a small piece of your personality? I recently had some nice stuff said about me, (I don’t wanna brag, but if you’ve just ‘got’ to know, maybe I’ll share it sometime…) When sharing this with someone pretty darned close to me, I got the aforementioned blog title as a response. Gee thanks. I’ll be honest and admit that I was kinda surprised at the reaction, and a little hurt.

Golf - by_Alexander_Taylor

Like I would ever play golf?

I know I’m patient, and some people see that, and yet other people who really should know me better apparently never see it. Maybe that’s a character flaw and I should work on being more patient with the people closest – people who I know and love. Speaking of character flaws (tangent alert, skip following paragraph if not interested)…

I was wondering how you all feel about criticism – the constructive sort. I know that psychologically speaking any form of criticism isn’t good for relationships and that people generally don’t react well to it, but I do feel as though I could help a less experienced coach if I’d give them some feedback – just one specific thing I noticed they don’t do which might help their ability to communicate with some of the children they work with on a daily basis…

I’d like to thank the following people who have inspired this post:

problemmachine with this post


and gwynethjane’s blog post

They’re all people I feel I know a little better since reading their posts, which as you can tell resonated with me. As always, it would be really awesome to hear your thoughts on this one!

molto amore! Bella 😉

Online Results & Data Protection

Musings on the potential issues of publishing results online in searchable text format…

So this isn’t going to be an in-depth post or an analysis today, but I just wondered what everyone’s thoughts regarding data protection when Competition Results are published online? The reason I ask is that I was recently researching how data about you gets all over the internet, and how even if you don’t share that much, someone else might share different information about you that could mean bit by bit one could piece together quite a bit of information about you. It got me worried, because if someone knew a child represented a certain club and they knew where that club was, they could even find out about when that child might be training, based on information all readily available online. Obviously as coaches we always try to keep our children safe and ensure they are going home with a parent or guardian who is known to us, but I can’t help but wonder if safety precautions, such as results being in PDF or images, not text format as well as not being searchable or indexed by Google and other search engines. Perhaps even making this information password protected, in the same way that event photographs are protected, could be a solution? password-protected

Posts Archive

8 Data Protection Principles

A great little post card outlining the 8 Principles of Data Protection

Bad Hair Day?!

Some fresh hair-up ideas and solutions for when your hair gets in the way of your training no matter what you do with it!

Disability Trampoline 1: ADHD

This post covers ADHD, aka Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and specifically how this affects Trampolining for children with this disorder.

Is he okay? It’s like I’m coaching a different child

If it feels like the child you’re coaching is a stranger, or they’ve changed perhaps something’s not quite right.

Medical Mayhem 1

The Importance of having completed medical forms and what to do with the information once you receive it.

Medical Mayhem 2

The Importance of having completed medical forms and what to do with the information once you receive it.

New Skills

Consolidating new skills and keeping confidence levels high when learning new skills.

Online Results & Data Protection

Musings on the potential issues of publishing results online in searchable text format…

Safety: Garden Trampolines

Have you thought about purchasing a Garden Trampoline for your little sprogget? Here’s a few things to consider before you do, as well as British Gymnastics’ Safety Statement on the matter…

Supported Somersaults with a Belt

Using a Karate belt round the waist to support a single front of back somersault.

Welcome World!

An (brief) introduction to my new blog…