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In 1977 gymnast and illustrator Don Tonry released an epic book for visualizing gymnastics called Gymnastics Illustrated. Obviously, this was many years before Youtube or even frame by frame replay, Dory’s revolutionary book illustrated how how good technique was applied in action.

Humans have three major ways of learning information: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. I owned this book for many years and used it to help boys and girls with the visual aspects of our sport. I used speech, the book as a visual aide, and then finally put the kids in the positions to cover all learning modalities.

Throughout my career as a coach, I have also used my ability to draw to demonstrate step by step procedures, hand placements, or visual cues for students.

The other day I began doodling a drill that I wanted to use to help my boys, and it occurred to me, I could pick up where Mr. Tonry left off. I could make more intricate drawings of drills  and place them around the gym as visual references for the kids to implement. This first doodle one  though I thought should go to my good friend Jed.

Jed has been battling cancer for nearly as long as I have known him. However, anyone who knows Jed already knows who was going to win that fight. Jed is one of the most tenacious and yet loving individuals I have ever known. It is cliche, but “Give up” and “quit” are not in his vocabulary.

Jed is the guy that will drive 5 hours round trip just to pick you up from the airport instead of having you take a cab. Jed is the kind of guy that will buy you a pair of shoes when yours are worn. And Jed is the kind of guy who has been kicking cancer’s ass for the last two and half years.

It all begins with gratitude, and I am very grateful for my friend Jed.

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