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Solo Gymnastics Training for the Summer!

By Miranda Murphy June 8, 2018

Too much summer fun planned? Vacations? Picnics? Parties? Having a hard time sticking with a summer training schedule?

As a college gymnast, I tend to find myself working out and training alone a lot during the summer. It can sometimes be hard to find the motivation to work out by yourself when balancing your daily life, your summer job, and not having your team to work out with you.

Here are my top 6 Tips for Solo Summer Training:

#Show up.

On the days where you just don’t feel like working out, show up anyway. Whether you train for 1 hour or 5 hours, it is so important to just get yourself to the gym and to get your body moving!

Write it down.

If you have trouble making up workouts or assignments for yourself on the spot, write it down before you go in! It is very helpful to go into a workout already knowing what to do for the day.

Be Reasonable.

While it is always good to push yourself, make sure your assignments are reasonable! If your assignments are too hard to complete, it can be counter-productive.

girl practicing a back handspring on the beach

Stick to it.

Because I work a lot during the summer, I find it makes my life easier when I stick to a schedule. I try to go to the gym at the same time each day to ensure a consistent workout plan.

Ask for help.

Even though you may not be at school for the summer, you can still ask for help from your coach! Give them a call or send them a text if you need help with your gymnastics training!

Train on the best.

OK... you all know I am working at Mancino as their summer intern, but I am lucky that my daily work outs are at a local gym that has pretty much 100% Mancino mats!Mats matter when you train, and Mancino mats are the best!

Introducing Guest Blogger, Miranda Murphy!

By Rebecca Mancino June 6, 2018

Miranda Murphy just started off her second summer here at Mancino and is a valued member of our marketing and administrative teams. Not adverse to creating mailing lists and cleaning out file boxes, Miranda’s true talent is educating our staff on the “hands-on” details of the gymnastics industry.Miranda Murphy - Mancino gymnastics guest blogger

Miranda provided her bio details below:

“ I am currently a senior and captain of the gymnastics team at Rhode Island College! I have been doing gymnastics for 14 years and competing for 10 of those years. I also started coaching women’s gymnastics at the age of 14 and have been doing so for the past 7 years.

I started gymnastics when I was 7 years old. I just asked my mom one day to sign me up and here we are, 14 years later. When I was 7 and 8, I did gymnastics at a gym that is no longer in business and from age 9 to 18, I trained at Spirit Gymnastics in North Wales, PA.

I love training all 4 events in gymnastics but my favorite is either bars or beam, depending on the day. I have always been very passionate about gymnastics and have always loved how different of a sport it is. I love how there are so many variations of different skills you can learn and routines to put together. I also love how while it is a very individual sport, it is also very much team oriented, especially in college.

I went to Rhode Island College in 2015 to compete for their gymnastics team and to pursue earning my degree in Marketing. I was named captain of the team my sophomore year and named the team’s MVP this past season. I will now be entering my third year as a team captain and my fourth and final year at Rhode Island College.”

Collegiate athlete, competitor, team leader, coach, marketing student...pretty sure you can easily see why we are happy to have Miranda on our team! It’s gonna be a great summer. Keep an eye out for future insider blog posts from Miranda diving deep into her gymnastics knowledge!

3 Essential Stall Bars Exercises for your Athletes

By Bailey Thomas June 1, 2018

Stall bars are one of the best tools you can have in your gymnastics or cheer fitness program! From arm strengthening to core strengthening, here are 3 essential but simple workouts to help your athletes get the most out of your stall bars. Check out the video below to see it in action!

Front Support

This one is super simple. All you have to do is lean your body weight into the stall bars and support yourself with only the strength of your arms! Sounds easy, right? Trust me; it’s tougher than it looks.

The Human Flag

This is probably the most patriotic of all workouts, so if you really want to get in that Olympic mindset then this is for you! If you can’t do the full human flag just yet, don’t worry. It’s a beast. Try starting with your legs tucked in to your chest.

Leg/Knee Raises

For a great core workout on your stall bars try doing some leg/knee raises while hanging. Just pick a spot where you can hang without your toes hitting the ground and start pulling your knees to your chest or your toes to the sky. Pro tip: keep your back as close to the stall bars as possible to really work those abs!

Mancino's 8' high powder-coated steel stall bars provide a low profile training station for gymnast's of all ages and levels to use. These bars allow coaches to keep their classes moving and help to not tie up full sets of Uneven bars and other gymnastics equipment that can be utilized for other drills.

We also offer stall bar pads! The Core Fitness Stall Bar Pads keeps your back aligned and provide padding to cushion and protect your body from the stall bar while performing different types of core exercises. Add your digitally-printed gym logo for and extra $50!

An easy way to promote your gym

By Mancino Digital Media May 22, 2018

So you’ve got your logo and business plan, or already have an established cheer or gymnastics gym that you want to take to the next level. With the online presence of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, your gym could be featured in plenty of images and mentions throughout the internet.



A shout-out, "@mention or #hashtag by the poster is great, but those images can get lost in the endless scroll. Mancino offers branding opportunities on your equipment that will help your gym get noticed in those videos and pictures!


Down on the floor, up on the walls.

Open wall space is a perfect spot to showcase large logo graphics that can be seen from anywhere in your gym. Mancino hedges offer a great way to separate classes and stations and can double as a brand billboard!

future gymnastics academy wall padding near in-ground pit

prodigy all-stars cheer gym wall padding

gold medal gymnastics hedge mat

Mancino has the capability to print your logo directly onto our vinyl! We utilize a 5-color UV printer that has the ability to print a layer of white down first, then apply the 4 color CMYK process on top of that white. This creates a bright, beautiful logo on any color vinyl! If you have a logo that warrants the impact that a 4 color logo would offer on a mat, this is the way to go!

Berks East Gymnastics graphic wall padding

Tigar gymnastics wall padding

Mancino makes it easier than ever to get your logo on your item! We’ve introduced and “Add your Logo” option during checkout on our website! Upload your logo in the correct format (.ai or pdf vector with text converted to outlines) and that’s it! A small upcharge fee is added and we’ll contact you with any questions or placement queries we might have. We’ve included many of our popular mats and training shapes to the list like folding gym mats, octagons, inclines, tumble trainers and handspring machines!

You've worked hard to get your gym to where it is! Show off your gym spirit and get creative with us!

Inside the Park - Mancino & the Phillies

By Mancino Digital Media May 15, 2018

philadelphia phillies opening day with american flag

Mancino was excited when the Philadelphia Phillies contacted them to replace their stadium padding at Citizens Bank Park. Being a Philadelphia-area company and with many employees here from the city, working with local sports teams is extra special. To outfit the entire field required some extensive R&D and collaboration with the Phillies to determine the best padding to protect our favorite baseball team. The Phillies requested we use a special emerald green material to match past seasons.

Printing and lots of it.

Padding was only half of the task at hand. Outfield padding at any stadium is prime real estate to advertise and that meant extensive printing on the outdoor material. We used the same fabric as the emerald green but in white and printed padded walls for W.B. Mason, Xfinity, Sherwin Williams and State Farm. For durability purposes, the padding that called for a black background was printed on the same material but in black. This required a special 5-color process that puts down an opaque layer of white ink, UV-cured, then a four color process on top to create the colors needed for NovaCare and Giant Food Stores. Another area that needed special attention was the Toyota bullpen. This required a lot of printing and color-matching as the entire bullpen is Toyota red. The doors and the padding that surrounds the bullpen area was printed red on white material.

philadelphia phillies outfield wall padding by mancino

black stadium padding at phillies stadium philadelphia by mancino


Seeing White.

Do you know why the white parts of the graphics on the pads like the text for Xfinity or Sherwin Williams is a shade of gray? Interestingly enough, we were required by the MLB to print all white areas as a shade of gray. The reasoning here is so the umpires and batters can see the ball better. The white baseball against a white background would be difficult to pick up on camera as well!

wall padding outfield at citizens bank park phillies


Welcome to the Yard.

New this year to Citizens Bank Park was the newest family attraction – the Yard. This complex is on the outskirts of right field and includes a rock-climbing wall, a hot dog launcher target game, pitch counters and a wiffle ball field! Of course the field was built to match the main field, and that meant more printing. We shrunk down the graphics and outfield distance numbers to mimic the field and the results didn’t disappoint. Another fun aspect of the Yard are the pitch speed games. We printed out Phillie Phanatics to be the catchers and created padding and a catcher's glove to protect them!

the Yard at citizens bank park wiffle ball field

the Yard at phillies stadium artist rendering

the yard at citizens bank park at night wiffle ball field


Off the Wall.

Moving forward, Mancino will be keeping the pads in tip-top shape and in some cases, replacing the pads entirely. A recent example was when the Phillies centerfielder, Odubel Herrera make a great catch but also “cleated” the wall pad to get his footing. We’re happy to help when great plays like that are made!

Ensuring Athletes Safety Through Outstanding Product Quality Since 1966! Great grab @odubel_herrera! @phillies #phillies #mancinomats #mancinowallpadding
A post shared by Mancino Mats (@mancino_mats) on


The most important skill kids learn from gymnastics

By Mancino Digital Media May 8, 2018

Adapted from a previous blog written for mancinomats.com by Linda Thorberg and Brant Lutska of FLIPPING EDUCATION.

Have you heard the question, at preschools and toddler gymnastics "Are they just playing in there?" It's our job as coaches to help parents understand the importance of teaching children the way they learn best, through play. It’s proven that athletics improve self-esteem while creating healthy habits while developing social and life skills.

In order to teach gymnastics skills to young children they must first be able to do fundamental movement skills and be comfortable with their body in space. When they know how to put their bodies into shapes and can move in different positions, we can teach basic gymnastics skills. The plus side of gymnastics programs is that when children are allowed to physically move to learn concepts they are also learning skills that help them read, write, and understand the meaning of words and sequences. Here are just a few examples of things we can do in class and reasons to share with parents.

Movement

When acted out physically such as; over under, around, through, beside, and near, help children understand the words through active involvement.

Identification

When children create shapes with their bodies to make letters, they are reinforcing letter identification for reading.

Rhythm

Clapping or making a movement rhythm (stomp, jump, slide, etc.) to a word or song helps children with the rhythm of reading.

Action

Using action words in class, (jump, quick, slow) helps them understand the meaning of words with their bodies and their minds.

Sequence

When children combine two or three skills together, they have to remember what comes next. This is like linking words together to make a sentence. When children are learning by doing, they are more likely to retain what they have done!

Nothing is better than seeing our children happy, proud & confident. From building fine motor skills to improving flexibility, to learning retention, gymnastics is a wonderful way for our youngsters to showcase their talentHelp parents realize that coming to gymnastics class helps children learn with their bodies and their minds for "Life Skills" beyond the gym!

Want your gym mats to last? Don't do this!

By Tom Bair May 1, 2018

Your safety mats and padding are a significant investment in your gymnastics or cheer gym. They provide your athletes with safety, confidence, and success. Skill cushions, progressive skill builders, inclines and other shapes are all used heavily at most gyms and see the most “wear and tear”. Constantly replacing these mats can get expensive and most gym want to get the most out of every mat. Here are some quick tips to help prolong your investments!

Don’t drag

Dragging a mat can cause the vinyl to wear much faster. It also puts unneeded stress on the handles and seams. Using 2 or more people to move the mat is the best way to help keep the mat healthy. Dragging mats can sometimes be inevitable and doing so can get them dirty. Follow the steps here to clean and disinfect your mats to keep them spotless and sanitized!

Unnecessary Folding

If a mat is non-folding, avoid folding it. This can cause the foam to break which interns makes the mat unsafe. It also puts stress on the vinyl since there are no hinges.

Avoid Pits!

Avoid using skill cushions shouldn't be used in free foam pits. i.This speeds up the breakdown of the foam. Sting mats and 4” skill cushions can cause injury to athletes in free-foam. (during twisting)

Improper use!

Using a mat from which it was intended can be a real danger. Safety mats are not toys. Don’t use mats in unconventional ways that can damage the foam, vinyl or seams.

Repurposing mats for training different skills is perfect; however make sure the mats aren’t being abused or put in a position that can cause damage. Following the steps will keep your mats looking great and in great shape for years to come!

6 Tips to a better Gymnastics or Cheer Gym logo

By Mancino Digital Media April 26, 2018

A logo is essentially and extension of your cheer or gymnastics brand! It gives potential customers a feeling that can stay with them throughout the decision process. In any business, a bad logo can be a make-or-break proposition. At its peak, a logo can stand alone without any corresponding text and still be iconic. Think of your favorite sneakers. My guess is if you saw just the swoosh, you’d still know what brand it is. Besides the name of the gym or business, the logo is the most distinguishable trait of any brand.

So you have your gymnastics or cheer team or group and you’re ready for a logo to be created. Awesome! Tastes in how your logo should look will vary with every person, but a good logo will resonate with everyone. Now imagine everywhere in your gym where your logo will be. Is it on the sign out front, the letterhead, wall padding, on the gym mats or uniforms? Chances are your logo will be everywhere and that’s why it’s so important!

Below are some tips to keep in mind when coming up with a concept and design of your cheer or gymnastics logo.

1) K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, Stupid!)

This mantra can be utilized throughout anyone’s life but even more-so in design. A simple, clean logo will get your point across much quicker than a busy cornucopia of gymnast silhouettes, cheerleading pom-poms or sparkles. Note the girl in the logo to the right. She’s balancing on a beam, did you notice that right off the bat?

2) Every shade, all the time

Too many times I’ve seen logos that look great in full color, only to get lost when printed in black and white in an ad or on a busy background. Making sure your logo is designed right the first time and in all variations should be extremely important to you and the designer. Take your logo and place it in its final form on a white background. How about a black background? What about a pattern? Does it still stand out or does it get lost in one of the iterations? Look at the logo to the right again. How would the rainbow gradient look on a busy background?

3) From billboard to business card

The point being is this - if you have super small text or a design element that is extremely busy, chances are that when it’s inevitably shrunk down, readability will be reduced and could negate visibility. Make sure your logo is readable at any size! The logo on the right has super small “since 2016” text. Would that be legible printed on a business card?

4) Color Your World

Along with your gym name and logo, color is the most recognizable part of your brand. From the gym mats to the spring floors to the uniforms or leotards, These are the colors that you could be seeing for years to come. There are sure to be colors that are hot at the moment, but thinking long-term, will those colors date your gym in 5 years? Again back to the gradient. Is this the color scheme you want representing your teams in the future?

5) Go with your gut

Everyone will have an opinion about what your logo should look like. But by following the above basics, you and your designer should be able to come up with a solid design, that everyone should like!

6) Be Fair

Logo design is difficult and it can take countless options and revisions to come to a final logo design. Without getting into specifics, leave designing your logo to the professionals. And as a skilled artist or designer, they should be compensated accordingly. Too many times I have been approached to design a logo with the promise of “exposure” or a “solid portfolio piece”. If I were to ask a gymnastics coach to teach a class for “exposure” or “it’ll look good on your resume!”, I’d get laughed out of the gym! Be kind to your designer and you could start your brand or gym with a logo you can be proud of.


Daily Gymnastics Equipment Safety Checklist

By Tom Bair April 26, 2018

Safety is the number one goal in the sport of gymnastics. Gymnastics equipment checks and inspections are important to ensure our gymnasts are safe when preforming their skills. Everyday checks should become a routine for any gym manager or head coach. This will keep all coaches and staff on the same page when understanding certain areas of the gym that could need attention or upkeep. Here is what to look for.


Download the Gymnastics Equipment Safety Checklist here!

Vault

  • Vault Table
    • Check adjustment mechanisms. Make sure they work properly
    • Vault cover has no cuts/ holes
    • Base padding is secured properly


  • Spring Board
    • Material is properly secured
    • Springs are not wearing through the board
    • Rivets are holding board together
  • Runway
    • Runway tape measure is adhered
    • Runway is taped down
    • No sharp objects are stuck to it


Uneven Bars

  • Uneven bars
    • Spin & Snap locks function properly
    • Cables are not frayed
    • Tighteners function properly
    • Anchor points are secure


  • Single Rails
    • Anchor points are secure
    • Spin & Snap locks function properly
    • If interchangeable- pins are all the way in
    • Bar is secure with safety collars if adjustable


Balance Beam

  • High Beams
    • Check adjustment knobs
    • Suede is not peeling off
    • Leg padding is attached properly
    • End caps are attached correctly
  • Low Beams
    • Suede is not peeling off
    • Leg padding is attached properly
    • End caps are attached correctly


Floor

  • Check that carpet or carpet bonded is Velcro together
  • Check for uneven surfaces
  • Walk over most areas and feel for “dead spots”

Keep this in mind when choosing a gymnastics meet site

April 26, 2018

As gymnastics meet season comes to an end, many of us rejoice, but gymnastics meet directors are on the prowl, looking for host facilities that can accommodate their dates, and their size. If you are one of those meet directors, or considering the thought of hosting a meet, take a read through the information below.


Seating Competition Area = Your Site.
The seating is ultimately determined by the number of spectators expected while the competition area is dictated only by the equipment needs. A modified capital cup meet will require two sets of uneven parallel bars, two balance beams, two vault set ups, a tumble strip, and a spring floor. The total combined footprint of all of this equipment is 6,350 square feet. So a recommended facility would be no less than 10,000 square feet, with at least 100’ in one direction, to allow for full vault set up.



How's it all getting inside?

Is there a garage door? Only a single door (this could be a problem!) Double doors (can the center bar come out)? A loading dock (dock height?) Most vendors will supply their equipment in a 53’ tractor trailer, sufficient space is required to get a truck close to the load-in point. Consider the parking lot situation in this as well.



Flooring matters.

Will the facility require a cover to be put down on the floor? Mancino meets are set up using weights on a pallet system; some other vendors will use water. A small leak in a water jug that goes unnoticed could do permanent damage to a hardwood floor.



It's Electric
.
This is important for your scoring, judging, and music. Consider is there enough amperage to support all of what you will be plugging in, and are there outlets in accessible locations.



Lighting up the competition.
Your athletes need have good lighting to safely perform, and your judges need good lighting to see that performance. Also consider natural lighting. This can be a plus but also a negative if a shadow is created or the sun shining through a window makes it difficult to see.



Hot Seat.

Bleachers or chairs. Does the facility supply your tables and chairs? Or will you have to rent?


Who's keeping score?
Will there be a two judge panel or four judges? Even in the early stages of vetting site selection, these are important things to keep in mind.


The best advice we here at Mancino can give; Have a plan going in, preferably a layout drawing of your meet with measurements in advance. This way you know everything will fit the way you want it to, and know who will be there to help make your gymnastics meet run smooth.

If you have any questions about your gymnastics meet, or would like to be quoted on a Mancino Meet, email christine@mancinomats.com