Elimination Competition For The Japanese World Championships Men's Team Scouting Report by Abie Grossfeld Member U.S .A. National Coac hing Staff SITE: Okaya ma-Ken Taiikukan, Okaya ma, J apan Date : Saturday , May 30 , and Sunday , May 31 , 1970 After receiving confirmation of the time a nd pl ace of the Japa nese tryouts , arrangements were made to leave for Japan on May 26. Preliminary Preparation Before Leaving for Japan I. Studied film of gy mnasts in Mexico Olympics that were likely to be in upcoming tryout s (Kato, N akaya ma , Kenmotsu , Tsukahara and Hayata) to compare changes and progress. 2. Reviewed articles and interviews in the Modern G y mnast of th e Japanese GYMNASTS AND COACHES. 3. Inspected Football Scouter for ideas. 4. Prepared det ailed scout sheet for both compulsory and optional information. 5. Prepared ques tions for J apa nese gymnasts and coaches . Team Selection Procedure and Policy The top 36 men from the last all-Japan championships (November 1969) qualified for this tryouts. However, on ly 26 men competed in pionships (November 1969) qua lified for the se graduated from college. The age range was between 22 and 29 years. I believe a few were seniors in college - no one was lower.) From these tryouts , the top 18 men would qua lify for th e final tryou ts on July 10 and II. Then the s ix-man tea m with one alternate will be determined by adding these two tryo ut scores. The team is determined by sco res only. If a man is unable to compete, no matter what the reason , he will not be on the tea m. R ecommendation: We have a different situ ation in the Un ited States and therefore should not exactly follow this team selection policy. Training Program I. Development Program : (All competition have compulsory exe rcises.) Organized competition is begun in junior high school on three events - floor exercise, long horse vau lt and horizonta l bar. The sixevent (12 exercise) program is initiated in high school. Six a ll-around men make up a competitive team , and each college have far more than six men on their tea m. They utili ze more than six men by having an A , B, C , etc., tea m. Also their basic philosophy for doing gymnastics is not solel y competitive but based on the pleasures and satisfaction derived from attaining high levels of skill. Perhaps thi s has somet hing to do wit h why a number of their gymnasts smile when they make a mista ke - as long as there is not an injury - during, even , an important tryouts. Daily training usually involves worki ng all events in' the Olympic order with a return to the side horse. One gy mnasium - Nihon Universit y's - is avai lable for workouts from I to 7 p.m. dail y. 2. Training Schedule for this Tryouts: Five weeks before competition there was an added or overload of routine concentration. Each da y each gymnast in the tryouts from N ihon U niver20
Yukio Endo, former Olympic and world champion, now team leader for the Japanese team at the World Games.
sity (Y ukio Endo 's team), for ex a mple , performed 24 routines (2 compulsories a nd 2 option als in each event) along with weak parts for three consecutive days , then there was oneday rest (most gymnasts do light exe rcises on rest days). Then the process start over - 3 days 24 routines eac h, one-day rest. About two weeks before the tryou ts , there was a ta pering off to one routine a day and then to sequences on certain events. 3. Planned Preparation for the World Championships: The J a panese Nation a l Coaches had a meeting the day after the tryouts to discuss the weaknesses and needs for improvement. Mr. Endo (team leader at the world championships) indicated that the J a panese need improvement in optional vaulting and the felge to the planch down to bac k lever on the rings. The idea is for each locality coach to work these things out. After the final tryouts (July 10 and II ): The seve n-man team will begin to train together on Jul y 21 a nd through the world championships. They do not have a ny competition other than intratea m before a major competition. Facilities I. Training: Most gymnasiums of the top gymnasts are not hea ted in the winter. Th e re are an abundance of thick landing mats , good apparatu s, hard tumbling mats a nd very ha rd floor exercise mats. There usually are no overhead belts a nd many gy mnasiums have a tra mpoline. 2. At site of tryo ut s : one set of a ppara tus with no aux ili ary warm-up apparatus . Good apparatu s with System Reuther floor ex. a rea and Japa nese Reuther board (deadish). Grip lines on the vault ing horse were made with chalk. Grip judges on high chairs with two ca rds , one marked " 0" a nd the other marked ". 5. " A crash pad was provided for warmups on horizontal bar, floor exercise and vaulting a nd was removed just before competiti on s tarted. The
competition was recorded on a video replay unit. A hot bath at the dormitory was available. Most gymnasuS had someone massage their sore spots and bac k at the dormitory a nd wore gloves to keep their ha nds soft. Diet at Site of Competition The regular meal s are not really special. Most a te breakfast on the day of competition consisting of rice , raw egg, seaweed a nd tea. An energy drink was available of wh ich ma ny consumed. The even ings before competition, the athletes drink a shot or two of whiskey to help them sleep. They said that beer is bloating, and wine gives you a hangover. Generally , they seem to consume a good qua ntit y of food. Yet, they are trim. They don 't eat deserts with mea ls. Most of the ath letes smoke about one-half to one pack a day , supposedly for the purpose of relaxation. Nakaya ma is one of the few at hletes that does not smoke. Conduct and Format of Competition Most of the men gy mnasts arrived in Okayama two days before competition time and did not go to the gym to work out but , rather, did light ca li st henics outside of the dormitory handstands , scales , turns . The day before competition, all the gy mnasts worked out at the place of competition to ge t the feel of the apparatus. Most did a compu lsory and optional sequences on each event. In all , it a ppeared to be a strenuous wo rkout the day before an important competition. Each morning the gy mnast s wou ld gather with their c1ubma te s before breakfast for morning exercises. This is a co mmon practice. Pre-competition warmup started about an hour a nd a ha lf before competition time and completed well before competition began (about 30 to 40 minute s). There was not a ny auxiliary warm-up a rea.