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I have my first level 8 meet January 18. I am a little bit nervous because I don't have all of my skills and routines down and corrected. I was wondering also if you had any good pre meet tips like tricks to not be scared and stuff. And also some pre comp diets and such. Thanks

Hello Kaylee,
         I am very glad to help you Kaylee!  Sorry for being late in answering your question.  I forgot to put on allexperts that I was on vacation.  I had no access to my files etc and was also not online…….you know……vacation.  Okay, if you are nervous about a meet…..that is normal.  You need to focus your energy (adrenalin) on showing off your talent.  You must remember that your talent is displayed in the skills you have mastered and the continuity in which you have designed their connections.   It is hugely important that your skills are in connections you can achieve and feel in control of.  Gymnastics routines are meant to be displays of skills that lead to a performance of your talent.  If you are still distracted by your skill execution… may be because you do not have the best routine composition.  Re-evaluate your routines for ownership in your connections.  When the routine best suits you……you become the performer you wish to be.  I wish you the very best in that endeavor!

The best ideas for pre workout and pre competition is this:
1.    Don’t eat protein before workouts or competition.  Proteins take longer to digest.  You will feel weaker and not as physically alert.
2.   Eat some complex carbs and drink several pints of water about 45 to 60 minutes before competition.  Complex carbs (like a cliff bar or anything that has high carbs) will give you energy long into the competition.  I used to give my girls a carb power bar and a small bottle of water about 45 minutes before the warm-ups of a meet.  They did not like it at first……then after a couple of meets of the habit……they craved it.  FYI, they would race over after arriving to get their favorite flavor power bar. 

I hope this helps you for your upcoming meets and the very best of luck to you!  
Take Care – Jack Leonard


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Jack Leonard


Former 5 time Natl. Tumbling Champ, 3 time Natl. Vaulting Champ, Natl. Floor Exercise Champ; Ass`t coach of Dominique Dawes for 6 years; Owner/Director/Head coach of Kauai Gymnastics Academy on the island of Kauai in Hawaii; Retired Physical Ed teacher; Childrens Fitness Expert; Expert Consultant for gymnastics litigation; Retired Mens & Womens HS Gymnastics coach for 32 years. National coaching honors for Men in 1981 & Women in 2001.


I value the following awards because they were given by acknowlegement through my peers: The Nissen/Grissold Award given to the outstanding Tumbling and Tramp Athlete(1972), National High School coach of the year in 1981 for men and 2001 for women, 10 time County Coach of the Year. Medal Award given at the first World Tumbling Championships in London, England for dedication to the sport. Lastly, having the opportunity to coach Wes Suter(1988 Olympian)in his intermediate years and Dominique Dawes(1992 & 1996)

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