USA Gymnastics Assembles 'Dream Team' Coaching Staff
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USA Gymnastics Assembles Coaching ‘Dream Team’ in Women's National Program
By Evan Heiter
USA Gymnastics announced today that Marta Karolyi, Steve Rybacki and Valeri Liukin will join forces to create quite the force in coaching expertise and experience.
Valeri Liukin will work with the National Team as the Elite Athlete Development Coordinator, while Rybacki will serve as Director of Elite Athlete Programs. Marta Karolyi will maintain her role as National Team Coordinator.
Here’s the short of the new roles each will fill:
Karolyi’s focus will be the development and preparation of the Women’s National Team.
Okay, very broad. I see this as still allowing Marta to flex her muscle when it comes to making the big decisions. However, the record of team medals at every World Championship and Olympics under her guidance lends itself well to Marta maintaining her role.
Rybacki will oversee the administrative duties for international competition and will travel with U.S. delegations. This includes handling international travel budgets and arrangements; writing selection procedures for World Championships, Pan American Games and Olympic Games; and organizing and implementing other administrative requirements for the national team.
Alright, so a lot of administrative, paperwork oriented stuff coming Steve’s way. Where this gets interesting is the selection procedures. USA Gymnastics says that Rybacki will write them…but does this also mean independently create them? Rybacki has been involved with the selection of the last three Olympic teams, where many thought Marta Karolyi had unspoken absolute power. Could we see a shift in how Team USA is selected?
Liukin will direct the women’s athlete developmental pipeline.He will handle the curriculum and direct all developmental camps, with a focus on education, as well as oversee the Talent Opportunity Program (TOPs).
Well, this makes sense. Liukin has a proven track record with bringing gymnasts up from a young age to success on the World and Olympic level. The problem, though, is not everyone can get the Liukin insight when they’re under 10 years old. Solution: put the Liukin spin on the TOPs program! Bam!The year immediately following the Olympic Games is usually extremely telling as to the direction and climate of a nation's program. USA Gymnastics is certainly making what seem to be large steps in revamping the most successful program in the world as of late. Can't wait to see what the future brings!
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