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Former Level 9 Gymnast and Coach Jenni Hallock Talks Ten-o Grips!

Cabbage Patch

Sometimes, our customers send us things that really make our day, if not the whole darn month! This testimony sent to us from owner/operator Jenni Hallock is one such joy.

We spoke with her and got her permission to reproduce it in its entirety. She told us, “You have to save your hands to swing bars. To the kids and to me, it’s a huge deal. I’ve got to tell them how awesome their grips are.”

Amen to that, Jenni!

Thank you so much for making the time to let us know how our grips have made a difference in your gymnastics life and and in the lives of the gymnasts under your guidance now!

Black and White Grips“Hi There! My name is Jenni Hallock. I am the owner and head coach of G-4orce Athletics in Palestine, TX. I’m writing because I want to share a testimony with you about your grips and what they meant to me as a young gymnast and what they mean to the young gymnasts I now coach at my gym.

I’m currently 34 years old. I started using dowel grips at age 10. I continued to use them until my career as a gymnast was completed at age 16. I remember how excited I was to get my first pair of dowel grips. I don’t recall what brand they were, but they weren’t Ten-o. I used them only a short period of time before I began slipping off the bar. My coach and I tried to fix them, but I kept “pinging” off the bars. It just wasn’t happening for me. It wasn’t in the budget to buy another pair of grips, so to stay safe, I had to go back to a beginner pair of grips for a while.

A few months later, for my birthday, I got a new pair of dowel grips. This pair of dowel grips was different.These grips were red, white, & blue. I also had some matching wrist bands that went with them. These were Ten-o grips. I remember being nervous about using them. After all, my last experience with dowel grips didn’t go so well.

Let me say this, this new pair of grips allowed me to do tricks and swing on the bar like never before. I loved them! 

We purchased a size 0, couple of size 1’s, and a size 2 over the years. I am one of those people that keeps certain things that are important to me. For some reason, I have kept all of my Ten-o grips, some are over 20 years old. 

Coach Jenni

 

When I was preparing to open my gym last summer in 2017, and got the bars set up, we couldn’t find my daughter’s grips. Well, I went over to my trophy case and pulled out my old grips. She and I were trying to see if they would fit her and if they were in a condition to even use. I checked to make sure they weren’t overstretched, as I know that if they are they can get caught and lock up. Thankfully, they weren’t! And, she really wanted to swing some bars!

Then and Now

I first put on my size 2 grips from 1997. I took the grip brush to them, chalked them up and I did a kip fly away. My daughter went next with my size 0 grips from probably 1993? It was pure adrenaline!

When I first opened my gym in August 2017, some of my kids had grips some didn’t. I ordered a couple of pairs from you guys. — I’m getting to the point of this story I promise. — Do you know what those girls do now? They literally will argue over wearing “those grips.” Those grips that are my grips from 20 years ago. Seriously!  They love how they feel when they are doing bars. The girls will pout when “those grips“ are taken by another gymnast already at bars. Sometimes I take them and hide them, because I really don’t want them to wear them. I want them to wear their own grips and get them broken in. I had put mine out there for display never to be used again. The girls still do it, though, they try to be sneaky because they know they’re not supposed to. Of course, I make sure to not leave any in there that are too worn out or overstretched, for safety’s sake. Crazy kids! I’ve never seen grips that last like yours do!”

Old and New

 

On the left, one of the new Ten-o 501 Blues Grips Jenni ordered for her girls since she opened her gym. On the right, one of Jenni’s old grips from the 90’s her girls keep stealing from the case, lol.

“They want to wear them because they can swing bars on them unlike any other pair in the gym. I can’t go on enough about the quality of your grips. We don’t have to use anything, but chalk on the new ones we’ve ordered from y’all or my old grips when I let them use them.

Grips in Action

What’s funny is that some of the girls have grips from another company and they are slicker than climbing a mountain in high heels. Even being over 20 years old and somewhat used, my old Ten-o grips are the best grips in the gym. Some parents don’t have the money for new grips, and this being a new business and I don’t own a credit card,  I wasn’t in a place to purchase them for the girls until now. I couldn’t care less about ever trying another brand of grips. As far as I’m concerned, you are the only company I will ever purchase grips from. I just really felt I needed to share this story with you guys.” 

Girls and Grips

Mystery Stocking Stuffer 2017

StufferNot sure what to gift your team of little Cindy Lou Who’s at this year’s gymnastics club Christmas party?

Everybody’s put their stockings up on the high beam and now it’s time to stuff them with gymnastics themed good cheer!

Ten-o can help Santa and Mrs. Coach do that in one fell swoop with our Mystery Stocking Stuffer special! The magic of the North Pole, dispatched from its Lithonia, Georgia outpost, brings you 30 mystery gymnastics themed, Christmas gift items, valued at $175 retail, for the low price of $39.95, shipped FREE in the 48 contiguous states!

Your young, gymnastics elves will be delighted to see the holiday come alive in gymnastics Christmas ball charms, Cloggels, pins, magnets, bracelets, keychains, laptop skins, stickers, beamie socks, hair ornaments, Gymmy Bandz, gift bags and event earrings.

Many gymnasts have made it a tradition throughout the community to collect and trade our pins!

Each mystery stocking stuffer set is the same, so you know; it’s only a mystery once. Our Stocking Stuffer set is chock full of shiny and gymnastics Christmas and that’s something you’re not likely to find in stores or anywhere else. Little gymnasts love seeing their passion for the sport they love reflected in their Christmas morning. They will be running around the gym and the tree wearing their new gymnastics gift goodies with smiles and pride!

For the craft-inclined coach or gymnastics mom— and we know you’re out there!— these gymnastics holiday gifts would go great in an advent calendar!

Lice make a louse-y practice: Fight Back!

lice 2Kids can say the darnedest things. They can be cute and funny and sometimes… they get head lice.

That’s not the cute and funny part of working with kids, but it does come with the territory for schools and gymnastics gyms and clubs alike.

The best thing to do is confront the problem head on (oh yeah, we said that!) and get ‘er done!

First, let’s orient ourselves to what’s real courtesy of our friends at the Centers for Disease Control located here in our home state of Georgia.

What are head lice?

The head louse, or Pediculus humanus capitis, is a parasitic insect that can be found on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes of people. Head lice feed on human blood several times a day and live close to the human scalp. Head lice are not known to spread disease.

Who is at risk for getting head lice?

Head lice are found worldwide. In the United States, infestation with head lice is most common among pre-school children attending child care, elementary schoolchildren, and the household members of infested children. Although reliable data on how many people in the United States get head lice each year are not available, an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age.

Head lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly. Head lice are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person. Anyone who comes in head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice is at greatest risk. Spread by contact with clothing (such as hats, scarves, coats) or other personal items (such as combs, brushes, or towels) used by an infested person is uncommon. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.

OK. That’s one myth debunked!

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Saving Men’s Collegiate Gymnastics

ASUTEAMCoverImageGymnastics, like music, art and other niche sports, has suffered greatly from educational budget cuts. Fewer high schools feature gymnastics programs. Kids are lucky, these days, if they get physical education (PE) at all. Cuts have hit so hard at the college level, the number of NCAA men’s gymnastics teams has gone from 270, only a few decades ago to just 16, now.

The sad and frustrating part is that enthusiasm for boys and men’s gymnastics continues to grow, but boys and men have fewer opportunities to pursue it on a competitive level, in a way that pairs gymnastics with an advanced education.

As the number of college teams has plummeted, so have scholarships to compete and attend school. That, in turn, makes for fewer educational opportunities for many male gymnasts’ who rely on athletic scholarships to offset the expense of college.

What we’re seeing is men who want to continue with gymnastics — while they’re bodies are in their prime — end up forced to choose between gymnastics and a higher education. Because of these cuts to teams and scholarships, male gymnasts are being deprived of opportunities to get an education on par with other athletes.

What ends up happening is that male gymnasts stay local and attend a community college, rather than a larger university, so they can still do gymnastics at their own club or gym. Fewer men at the larger, NCAA affiliated schools also leads to an impoverished NCAA field when good gymnasts get weeded out based on scholarship opportunities and scant team availability.

We spoke with a dedicated men’s gymnastics coach who’s taken a different tack to keep his athletes both in college and in the sport of gymnastics at a high skill level.

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The pitfalls of pit construction: the rock solid truth.

retrofitIn our 39 years in the gymnastics biz, we’ve heard tell of many things pit. Among them lurk more than a few horror stories, entailing the woes, befallen those who seek to construct a gymnastics practice pit without factoring in the lay of the land, the mechanics of the bed and all the necessities for strong and properly poured concrete walls.

We’d like to share a few of those tales of the crypt, as cautionary tales of sorts on what… Not to Do.

First and foremost: don’t get your buddy to dig out and simply pour concrete into your would be pit. It may seem tempting and affordable. For the cost of a 24 pack, some laughs and a few pizzas, you, too, could have a brand, spankin’ new pit, but no. Really, no. Don’t do it.

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Part 2, The Evolution of GMR Gymnastics Sales: Coach Mike!

Mike-NewsPager

“In 1975, by night, I coached with Joe at Lovett high school in Atlanta when the private gym club market started taking off. By day, I worked at Gwinnett Gym Center, owned by my former teammate Dan Thaxton. From there, I went to the Atlanta School of Gymnastics where another former UGA teammate, Gene Watson, joined me and we began our boys’ program.”

In those days, gymnastics training occurred in what were called classes rather than levels. Mike started with younger boys aged 6 to 10 in classes 1 – 4, class 1 being the most advanced.

Now, gymnasts are grouped into levels from 1 – 10, with 10 as the most advanced before Elite. When word got around that Mike was coaching, he began to work with older boys, ages 13 to 17, some of whom he recruited from local high schools. (more…)