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By now, you’ve surely been inundated with content from gymnastics professionals in all corners of the industry. It can be a daunting task to sift through the useful pieces of information floating about. To help, we’ve reached out to a legendary US Olympic Coach, Mary Lee Tracy, to find out what she’s doing to keep her gym on track during the shut-down.

We are ecstatic to pass along carefully curated information from one of the most successful gyms in USA gymnastics. Ms. Mary Lee Tracy has been an important part of US gymnastics over the past four decades. She is the President & Head Coach Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy and has been the Coach of multiple Olympic and World Champion gymnasts. In 2008, she was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. A few familiar past and current gymnasts over her career are Amanda Borden, Jaycie Phelps, Kim Zmeskal, Dominique Moceanu, Ashley Priess, Kayla Williams, Amelia Hundley, Lexie Priessmman, and Morgan White.

Please enjoy this collection of motivational sentiments, ideas, and workouts from Mary Lee.

Staying Connected in Quarantine

By Mary Lee Tracy

Hi Everyone! I hope you are well and staying positive and inspired! I promise to put out all I can to keep everyone motivated and full of inspiration. During this crisis, the majority of what I do will be on my Facebook pages, Cincinnati Gym and my personal page, Mary Lee Tracy. At this time, I feel led to post to help al!

  • Take advantage of this time to read and study for future planning. The (video) library on the site is a great resource and the quotes to put on your email communications to help keep your athletes motivated.
  • I would recommend sending out an email at least once a week to stay connected to your families. Include all of the sites that are available for workouts or do your own!
  • Also, include articles that could be helpful to families for activities during this time.
  • We are using Zoom cloud chats for sports psych sessions and games with the kids.

Tips for keeping coaches engaged

When thinking about coaching engagement over shut-down, a little homework never hurts. Even if you can’t chat in person, quick weekly WhatsApp check-ins might be in order during this time. Mary Lee suggests the following:

Find a time to chat with your level coaches and have them respond back to you with the following prompts:

  • “Coaching Wows” of the year. These would be stand out moments that you feel were reflective of your training. Not someone who naturally would do something super well but moments that only happened because of your preparation and training. Why did those happen?
  • “Oops” moments of the year. What did you look back on and wish you did differently?
  • Top 3 things that you did right this year
  • What needs to improve for next year?
  • Any new ideas or input for the coming year

Read below for her communications to her Team Members this week

Hello TEAM! Please fill out and send back to me.

  • What was your most proud moment of this season?
  • What were top 3 strengths this year? (example: an event, flexibility, eating habits, work ethic, etc.)
  • What are the 3 areas you want to improve for next year?
  • What are you goals for next year? Specifically, for each event
  • If you could tell your coaches one thing that you loved from last year and one way to improve from last year, what would those be?

Need some fresh home workout ideas? Here are some of our favorites from Mary Lee.

Fitness Workout Sets – 3 Rounds of Each (3x per week)

  • 15 Frog Jumps+15 Tricep Push Ups or Dips+15 Hollow Rocks+15 Superman Rocks
  • 10 Side Walking Lunges R&L+10 HS Walking Steps Forward/Backward+10 Turning Hollow Rocks R&L+10 Turning Superman Rocks R&L
  • 10 Single Leg Squats R&L+10 HS Pushups with your feet on a counter
  • 1 Min Wall Sit+1 Min. HS Hold
  • 10 Step Ups on Chair R&L+10 Alt V UPs (1/1)+10 Side V Ups R&L

Physical Abilities & Gymnastics Training (3x per week)


  • 5 Visual Vaults—Activate your body!
  • 5 Sprints outside, 10 Needle Kicks L & R, 20 High Knee Runs (quick feet!), 20 Butt Kickers (flex those feet!), 2×10 second HS Hold, 2×10 Shrugs holding weight/weighted item, 10 Push-Up Hand Hops, 10 Jump Sticks each direction (arms!)


  • 3 visual bar routines – Activate your body!
  • 1 min handstand hold, 20 straight arm lifts overhead with weight, 1 min straight body cast shape above horizontal –Turtle back!
  • 10 Leg lifts, 10 chin ups, 15 press handstands


  • 3 visual beam routines
  • 5 Stick Drills on surface of choice, 10 R&L HS Step Ins, 10 CW Step Ins, 5 BWO step ins, 10 min beam complex on a line, 5 full turns


  • On Back – 20 Kick/Pulse/Hold and Side, 20 Needle Kick/Pulse/Hold
  • 10 Turns, 10 Jump to Candle
  • 10 HS Hops
  • 2 Visual Floor Routines
  • 10 leap passes

Stretch – can be done DAILY

  • 1 Min Oversplit R&L, 1 Min Straddle R&L elevated
  • 1 Min Split with hands back,
  • 2 x 10 Bridge Rocks
  • 1 min standing pike stretch
  • 1 min wrist and ankle stretches


And, one last note from Mary Lee to you:

As the challenges rise, so must we! The motivation and the newness of staying home, in-home workouts and driveway balance beams will wear off if we do not fuel our athletes’ inspiration to keep going and be creative! Whatever it takes is what we all believe in! I am finding the more that I work to keep others inspired the more I help keep myself challenged and UP during this time of crisis.

Stay strong, club owners and coaches!

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