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1998 Gymnastics Coaches Workshop: Choreography-Ballet Based Analysis, Correction & Retraining for Gymnastics Development Programs
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This workshop for the elite development program at GTC Gymnastics Training Center in Rochester, NY was developed to provide coaches with an indepth theoretical and practical understanding of classical ballet training and how this science can be effectively integrated into gymnastics specific exercises to enhance the overall development program.
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Part I: Understanding the Mechanical Ideal
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The presentation focuses on  the mechanical ideal for postural alignment. This postural ideal relates to the optimal control of the human frame in space, speed, balance, strength and economy. Deviations from this ideal lead to common  mechanisms of joint stress and injury.
Part II: Pre-class Warm-up, Stretch and Flexibility
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A stretch program and warm-up series are introduced to enhance the students capacity to establish correct alignment. Special emphasis was given to several problem areas.
Part III: Practical Classical Ballet Technique 
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This section of the workshop provides the coaches with an opportunity to learn about classical ballet training.  One on one attention gives each coach the practical tools needed for analysis and correction of alignment problems on their students.
Coaches are paired off as they analyze the mechanics of each ballet exercise and sequence of the technique class, starting with the parallel plie. Coach and owner of GTC Gymnastics, Sarah Jane Bernhardt-Clifford (USA Gymnastics National Safety Certification Program and National Association of Women's Gymnastics Elite Judge) evaluating the alignment mechanics of the programs ballet director.
Basic technique includes the five basic feet positions, demi-plie, grand-plie, tendue, jete, ronde de jambe, develope, grand battement, releve and temps leve.  Each coach is responsible for the analysis and correction of alignment problems on their partners while they perform each exercise at the barre.
Part IV: Integration of Ballet Mechanics  Into Gymnastics Specific Skills
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This section of the workshop provides a direct application of the ballet mechanics into gymnastics skills. Gymnastics skills are divided into segments to focus on correct body alignment.  Specific exercises are then developed to enhance the athlete's capacity to complete the skill correctly.

Gymnastics coaches in this photo include Maria Filotova, a member of the 1976 and '80 Soviet Union Olympic teams, and Sasha Kourbatov,  former member of the Russian international team.
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For questions or additional information, contact: 
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Stephen M. Apatow
Founder, Director of Research and Development
Sports Medicine & Science Institute
Humanitarian University Consortium Graduate Studies Center
for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine & Law

Phone: (203) 668-0282
Email: s.m.apatow@esportsmedicine.org

Internet: www.esportsmedicine.org

Humanitarian University Consortium Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: HRI: H-II OPSEC.


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