Uneven Bar Boot Camp 2022
Headed by Masters of Sport, Tom Forster and Jess Graba, the Uneven Bar Boot Camp hosts coaches of many levels over a productive weekend, in the pursuit of becoming better bar coaches!
"I love that bars has so many options to meet the event requirements. I find bars to be the most creative outlet for me as a coach."
With a focus on proper technique and learning the correct physics of movement, coaches will begin to see bar events with newly trained eyes.
Head back to your home gyms with grounded confidence and new tools that will take your athletes and bar program to the next level.
I recently sat down with Tom Forster in Denver, Colorado, to ask him some questions about UBBC, coaching, and to get perspective from Tom in general. He has recently finished working for USAG as the Women's Team High-Performance Director, and is now getting back to his home gym and other pursuits.
When did you begin coaching gymnastics?
"I began coaching when I was in college at Penn State in the late '70s. I was hired by Woodward Gymnastics camp."
How did you choose uneven bars as a clinic specialty?
"After coaching bars at the Development Camps for a few years it was obvious uneven bars was the most difficult event for most coaches. I believed if I could teach the most fundamental concepts, methods and drills to all coaches they would find bars is not complicated and can be a lot of fun to coach."
What is a main aspect about bars that brings out your passion and enthusiasm?
"I love that bars has so many options to meet the event requirements. I find bars to be the most creative outlet for me as a coach. I get bored easily, but I never get bored coaching bars."
From a coaching perspective, is there a stage of a gymnast's ability that you find to be the most exciting or fulfilling?
"I have found Level 9 to be the most important level and fun to coach. Typically, the athletes at this level are young and on the verge of learning more advanced bar skills. It is critical they master good technique at this level so they have the correct foundation to move up to Level 10 and elite if they choose."
How have you dealt with an athlete losing confidence or the ability to do a skill?
"Athletes losing a trick is very common, even tricks they never struggled with. The most important thing to do is to go back to the drills you used to teach the skill. I would suggest not asking them to continue doing the skill with the hope it will fix itself. Go back as far as you need to help her gain confidence again. This can be difficult in the middle of a season, but this is part of the challenge of being a coach. You may not like it, but it happens to everyone so be patient and positive."
Who will you be working with this summer?
"I'm super excited to work with Jess Graba this summer. Jess, fresh off his Olympic gold medal experience, is a great communicator and has great ideas, that clearly worked out for him. He has a great sense of humor and his teaching style will be appreciated by all who attend."
Tacos, sushi, or bbq?
"Sushi. Spicy tuna is my favorite. Oh and can I get some miso soup too?"
That all sounds good to me, Tom
As you can tell, this is going to be a fantastic summer of bars learning and leveling up! Visit the UBBC website for clinic specific and more information.
See you at the clinic!
Cool fact: Tom & Jess are both Masters of Sport – but what does that mean? In the cases of Tom and Jess, the title Master of Sport was achieved for their coaching successes in international competitions over many years.