Gymnastics Hairstyles for Competition Day

This week I was on the hunt for some fresh and fun gymnastics hairstyles for competition day! Thank goodness there are talented mommas sharing great hair ideas and tutorials with the less creative and capable (me)! Find the following gymnastics hairstyles below for links and youtube videos.

Gymnastics Meet Hairstyles | Gymnastics Hairstyles | Braid Hairstyles for Gymnasts

16 Gymnastics Hairstyles – Braids

1. Zipper Braid | Cute Girls Hairstyles -includes video tutorial
2. 4 Strand Braid to Bun | JEhat
3. 5 Strand Dutch Braid | Twist Me Pretty -includes video tutorial
4. 3 French Braid to Bun | JEhat
5. Double French Braids Pinned | JEhat
6. French Up High Bun | Cute Girls Hairstyles -includes video tutorial
7. Bundled Braids | Cute Girls Hairstyles -includes video tutorial
8. Waterfall Headband Braid | Cute Girls Hairstyles -includes video tutorial
9. Double French into High Pony | Cute Girls Hairstyles -includes video tutorial
10. Dutch Sister Braid | MakeUpWearables -includes video tutorial
11. French Loop Braid to Pony | JEhat
12. Dutch Accent Pony | Cute Girls Hairstyles – includes video tutorial
13. Braided Pull-Through | Babes in Hairland –  includes video tutorial
14. Princess Pentagon with Braids | Princess Piggies
15. Double Knot Braid | Girly Do Hairstyles – includes video tutorial
16. Triple French to Piggies | Princess Hairstyles

Which of the above listed gymnastics hairstyles is your favorite? Have any of your own gymnastics hairstyles that have proven to be winners on meet day? Send them my way! 


Today I celebrate 15 years of coaching by remembering where my journey began – The wonderful world of non-competitive gymnastics!


I took my first coaching job at a small gym. It was wonderful. I could not have chosen a better environment to start my career than at a gym that fostered fun, confidence, and development without the worries of routines, deductions, and scores.

Although I enjoy the competitive world of gymnastics, I often yearn for my little gym of wonder. Unfortunately, 900 miles offers a bit of a challenge and so last week I opted for a place that although new to me, provided the nostalgia I was seeking.


The moment I walked into The Little Gym, I felt the magic. Two seconds later my 2-year-old and her friend had their noses pressed on the glass dividing the viewing area from the gym. They were mesmerized. They were ready.

Soon moms, dads, and tots trickled through the front door. Parents greeted each other and caught up on weekly happenings.  A few littles excitedly found cubbies for their shoes. The less patient attempted to join a class already in session – their plan quickly thwarted by a fast acting mom.

Then Ms. Kim gave the signal. What followed was 45 minutes of serious fun! Singing, clapping, running, jumping, laughing, rolling, swinging, crawling, climbing, and turning were included.


What I loved

One class: With only our class utilizing the space, my daughter was free to explore the kid-size equipment without interruption.

Age appropriate: The Little Gym offers four different parent-tot age groups (between 4 months and 3 years). That meant our class was designed for tots that were comparable in size, coordination, and social development.

Music: Clapping, singing and action songs kept my two-year-old’s interest and made each activity and transition exciting.

Aesthetically Pleasing: Clean, organized, and colorful are not always applicable adjectives to gymnastics centers, but The Little Gym nailed it!


3 Dimensional Learning

My experience was in a gymnastics class, but The Little Gym’s ‘Three-Dimensional Learning’ approach is applied to all of their programs including, Karate, Sports Skills, Dance, and KinderMusik. Their holistic philosophy offers development for children twelve and under based on three core tenets: ‘Get Moving’ to foster flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination; ‘Brain Boost’ to nurture listening skills, concentration and decision making; and ‘Citizen Kid’ to promote sharing, teamwork, cooperation and leadership abilities. Sounds great, right?

Introductory Experience

Are you looking for a non-competitive experience? Curious if there is a Little Gym near you? With over 300 locations, chances are good.

Click here to find your nearest location and book an introductory experience!

Disclosure: While I was compensated to write about my experience at The Little Gym all opinions are my own.

Gymnastics Parent Poll

This poll was created to better understand trends within the gymnastics community. All findings will be reported on Gym Gab following a substantial collection of data with the understanding that gymnastics clubs’ individual needs, goals, decisions, and demographics are unique and independent of other establishments.

Destira Leotard Gift Card Giveaway found below!

If you’re done taking the poll, enter the Destira GIVEAWAY!

While on Gym Gab’s Facebook page, tag a friend on the giveaway announcement so we know who to award the second gift card to if you win. Hard to pick which friend deserves to share in the winnings? Tag as many friends as you want and we’ll choose one for you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Gymnastics Medal Display Ideas

If medals are taking over your athlete’s room, or hiding in a box somewhere in the attic between baby clothes and Christmas decor, it’s time for a gymnastics medal display!


Gymnastics Medal Display


Although DIY medal displays take some work, they have the potential of holding an ever increasing amount of awards. On the other hand, purchasing a gymnastics themed medal display can be a convenient gifting option and way to organize medals by level or event.

From homemade, to purchase-ready, choose your favorite way (or hers) to display your gymnast’s hard-earned awards!


Gymnastics Medal Display | Gym Gab


CURTAIN ROD: It’s a fairly easy concept . . . but here’s a hint: loop the ribbon around the rod instead of hanging it like a curtain, allowing for easy on/off and forward hanging medals (shown on shutter pictured above). To see the curtain rod medal display put to practice, visit HERE.

SHUTTER: My mother painted an old shutter for my room as a creative way to display the medals I accumulated as a gymnast. I loved it! Not sure where to find an old shutter? Try antique stores.

CORK BOARD: This idea works great when combining pins, ribbons, medals, athlete numbers (mostly used at Nationals), and credentials (used at Invitationals) into one display. To attach paraphernalia simply staple on! You can add fabric over the cork or paint the wood boarder for a more personal touch. Check out A Pretty Happy Home  for instructions and ideas on making your own, durable, display cork board.

Wood Ribbon Rack

Not interested in the hassle of making your own gymnastics medal display? Try one of the above pictured wooden displays made by Etsy Shop Owner, FreeStyleMom. Cute, right? Oh, and the above pictured Gymnast board comes with hooks, of course. Checkout these and other styles HERE.

Gymnastics Medal Display

If you’re looking for something that declares “GYMNAST”, consider the metal gymnastics award displays available on Amazon. You can find 5 hook, 8 hook, and 9 hook versions in neon colors and fun patterns.

If your daughter wants to categorize her awards try Liztards “Level” or “Event” displays!

I’d love to hear how you display your child’s prized decor! Happy Hanging!

Nastia Liukin Cup Live Stream

We’ve been counting down the days and it’s finally here! The Nastia Liukin Cup! The athletes have been spoiled all morning by Nastia Liukin and sponsors such as GK Elite, but now it’s time to put on their leotards and prepare to compete!

My girls are excited to watch for their Daddy who will be coaching at the event. I’m excited to see fantastic gymnastics from inspiring teens. What are you looking forward to?!?!?

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 2.18.04 PM














Universal Sports is providing live stream coverage of the event (found below) starting at 8PM EST.


411: Nastia Liukin Cup

Two weeks ago, two of my husband’s athletes qualified to the Nastia Liukin Cup. In my excitement to share the news, I realized that NOT EVERYONE knows what the Nastia Liukin Cup is! If you’re out of the loop or confused on what it all means, or just in search of some 2015 details, read on!


“On Aug. 11, 2009, USA Gymnastics and Nastia Liukin announced a partnership to create the Nastia Liukin Cup, which would provide a competitive opportunity for the country’s top Junior Olympic gymnasts. Proceeds from the Nastia Liukin Cup go into the Nastia Liukin Fund, a charitable fund within the National Gymnastics Foundation.” -USA Gymnastics

The Nastia Liukin Cup differs from other events requiring qualification, such as Level 10 Nationals, most notably in that the Nastia Liukin Cup is a televised podium competition held in conjunction with the prestigious American Cup!

How Participants are Chosen

Gymnasts are selected to participate in the Cup from a series of designated invitationals around the country held in January and February. The invitaionals, called “Nastia Liukin Qualifiers” are allotted a designated number of qualifying spots – at most 1 Senior (ages 16 and older) and 1 Junior (ages 15 and under) from all level 10 sessions, determined by the highest all-around.

A total of 18 junior and 18 senior gymnasts will advance to the Nastia Liukin Cup.

“Gymnasts who qualify for the Nastia Liukin Cup will receive a Nastia Liukin-designed leotard and a warm-up from GK Elite; two tickets to the American Cup and recognition during the event; and the opportunity to meet Nastia Liukin and participate in a team photo.” – USA Gymnastics

2015 Nastia Liukin Lady Luck Junior and Senior Qualifiers
My favorite two qualifiers this year . . . cheers to these lovelies.

2015 Nastia Liukin Cup Information

The sixth annual Nastia Liukin Cup will be held at the at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas, on March 6, 2015.

You can watch the televised event through Univeral Sports or better yet, attend in person! To purchase tickets visit TICKETMASTER.

Find out who will be competing for the Junior and Senior Nastia Liukun Cup Champion Titles by reviewing the 2015 qualifers  thus far or predict who will qualify  at upcoming Nastia Liukin Quailifers, running now through Valentine’s Day weekend.

Past Nastia Lukin Cups

Did you miss any of the Nastia Liukin Cups of past? You can watch them now! Find full broadcasts of 2010 – 2014 competitions HERE and results HERE.

Gymnastics Meet App

In honor of meet season I’m sharing my three favorite things about competitions and introducing you to TumbleTally – a sponsor of Gym Gab as well as a fabulous tool to assist you in your score tracking efforts this year!

Three things I LOVE about Meet Season

(1) Singing the National Anthem –  all too rarely do I reflect on the privilege of living in a country with so many protected freedoms. I am thankful for an opportunity to express gratitude before each competition.

(2) Athlete “sparkle” – the atmosphere of a meet often exposes a little extra “sparkle” in athletes . . . a smile, a chin pop, or a slightly bigger tumbling pass that isn’t revealed in everyday workout.

(3) Analyzing Results – call us crazy, but my husband and I scour over results after every meet. We look for progress. We note athlete’s milestones, high all-arounds, and determine where our team may need improvement. We look at what event had the highest team and individual scores. We also compare results from previous seasons and set goals based on where we stand. Usually it’s just the two of us, some dessert, and a bunch of papers. This year, we’ve invited one more to our slightly obsessive ritual – TumbleTally.

Tumble Tally Gymnastics Meet Score Tracker | Gym Gab

How TumbleTally Came to Be

TumbleTally was designed in 2010 by a software developer – gym dad who after years of sitting on the bleachers at meets decided there should be a more efficient way to track his daughter’s scores than by flipping between his phone’s notepad and calculator. He searched for a score tracking app for his android, but found nothing. Several months later, TumbleTally was born.  The final touch was the girl and boy icon, drawn by his then 12-year old daughter, Elisabeth.

Since then, 21 app updates have been completed incorporating feedback and ideas from parents, coaches, and current users. Word of the user friendly app spread fast and parents started requesting an iPhone version. TumbleTally 2.0 for iOS hit the App Store at the end of 2013.

Today, TumbleTally 2.0 is available on Google Play Store for Android phones and tablets, on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch,  and on the Amazon Store for Android phones and tablets, including all Amazon Kindle Fire tablets and the Fire Phone.

Here’s what TumbleTally tracks – gymnast’s scores and placings at each meet and data for each season. Gymnasts are grouped by level and age. Team scores are reported within designated levels and display contributing gymnasts and scores. Also included are meet comparisons, score averages and high scores on each event and in the all around. A built-in data screen allows you to share/backup and import/restore databases.

TumbleTally for Parents

It’s important for gymnasts to compete against themselves (shoot for higher scores than the previous meet) and not always depend on awards to feel accomplished. TumbleTally allows for easy charting and a simple line-graph visual to track improvement from meet to meet and season to season. 

It may be tempting to use TumbleTally’s multiple athlete function to chart every athlete your daughter competes against – but try to refrain as this defeats the beauty of competing against one’s self. Rather, root for your child’s teammates and if you track their scores, do it for the team score!

TumbleTally for Coaches

Meet results are often posted online, but rarely do all of our meets end up on the same site. TumbleTally provides continued score tracking in one spot, for the athletes that matter most to us – our athletes!

I use TumbleTally to assist me in a rewards program for my young gymnasts. My athletes are highly motivated by their team sticker chart – a poster that results in a party once completed. Gymnasts earn stickers in a variety of ways including beating season high scores on each event and in the all around. This is where TumbleTally has replaced hard copy results – printed, highlighted, and filed. Now I simply pull out my phone and have all the information needed at my fingertips.

Interested in getting TumbleTally for you phone or tablet? Download Here!


line-22 copy
What’s your favorite things about Meet Season? Comment below, even if it happens to be the nachos from the concession stand!





Stocking Stuffer Gymnastics Gifts – 2014

Gym Gab’s 50 Gymnastics Stocking Stuffers – 2013 guide proved to be a helpful resource for gym parents last Christmas. Almost 365 days have come and gone and once again it’s time to find gymnastics gifts small enough to help stuff the stocking!

This year’s Stocking Stuffer Gymnastics Gift Guide includes a whole  new set of gifting ideas and variations from last year finds. I also included a few repeats – staples and ideas worth revisiting!

 50 Stocking Stuffers 2014 |Gymnastics Gifts |Gym Gab

Like last year, the 2014 list includes gymnastics gifts for gymnasts of all ages and abilities! Many items can be purchased through Amazon (great news for PRIME members doing some last minute shopping) or on product specific websites. There are also personalized hand-made items, sold through Etsy, requiring several weeks to end up on your doorstep. For these items, order today!!!

My favorite gymnastics gifts for the stocking this year?  First, the Tendlite! It may be a bit of an investment compared to other gifts in your child’s stocking but what it can offer your gymnast parallels to almost none in way of gymnastics gifts. Find out what makes it so great – listed with the gymnastics gifts below (# 3 under gym bag gymnastics gifts). I also love the leotard keychain by Alpha Factor for no other reason than I find it extremely cute. Of course I’m also a fan of leotards, the flexibility bands, deep blue rub, gymnastics books, inside gymnastics magazines, and . . . who am I kidding, I love all of these gymnastics gifts!

Happy Shopping!

Gymnastics Gifts for the Gym Bag 2014

Gymnastics Gifts for Gymnasts of All Ages and Abilities | Gym Gab

1. GYMNASTICS PIN – gymnasts love to adorn their bags with “milestone pins”. Celebrate a level advancement/completion or an all-around score or new skill with aFind a variety of pins to choose from.  Multiple styles found | HERE | and | HERE |.

2. CHALK – let your gymnast save the day at a meet with an extra block of chalk or keep it at home to go with her new gymnastics bar! Find it | HERE |.

3. TENDLITE –  is a FDA cleared LED Light Therapy Device that offers 60% faster healing time by increasing joint tissue repair, strength, flexibility & mobility or other inflammation related ailments in areas such as the shoulder, knee, elbow, wrist, ankle, back, hip, etc. Tendlite is also a convenient size for a stocking (and gym bag). Read the reviews/purchase | HERE |.

4. DEODORANT – this is a gift the coaches will appreciate as well! Pre-teens often perspire in the gym sooner than their less active peers.  You can find kid’s deodorant without antiperspirant for younger ones | HERE |.

5. FLEXIBILITY STRAPS – flexibility is a HUGE part of gymnastics and something that gymnasts can improve on at home. Here are some great contraptions to assist in your athlete’s journey to a more limber body:  | I-Flex JR | FLEXISTRETCHER | STRETCH OUT STRAP | SUPERIOR BAND |.

6. RIPT SKIN CARE – although I’ve never tried this product, one of our Level 10’s uses it and I’ve heard great things. Learn more | HERE |.

7. WRIST BANDS – chalky, sweat-stained wristbands need replacing every once in awhile. Look | HERE | or | HERE |. For UNDER ARMOUR wrist bands check | HERE |.

8. KEYCHAIN – add some personality to the gym bag, backpack or keys. Check out all three colors offered | HERE |.

9. GRIP BAG – a grip bag should be washed often and traded out every once in awhile. I love the ones found | HERE | and | HERE |. Plain styles found | HERE |.

10. DEEP BLUE – ease sore muscles, joints, and sprains with this essential oil based product. Read the reviews | HERE | but I recommend purchasing through licensed distributors | HERE |.

11. WATER BOTTLE – keep your gymnast hydrated in style. My daughter likes to use the Camelbak kids water bottles at gym found | HERE |. Kleen Kanteens are also popular, found | HERE |. If you want it to say “gymnastics” look | HERE |, | HERE |, & | HERE |!

12. BODY ADHESIVE – this gift will keep the wedgies at bay. Review found | HERE |, product | HERE |.

13. TAPE – commonly used for tape grips, joint support, and ankles. Find a variety of colors | HERE |. For KT tape look | HERE |.

14. LIP BALM – EOS lip balm is a must for the gym bag! Find a variety of flavors | HERE |.

15. SPORTS HEADBAND –these gymnastics gifts stay in while flipping and twisting. Favorites at our gym are Under Armour, girl sizes found| HERE |or IVIVVA found | HERE |

16. BAG BALM – use it for dried, cracked, and ripped hands. Get a travel size for the gym bag | HERE |.

17. STOPWATCH – bright colored stopwatches are fun for timing splits, handstand holds, or rope climbs. Find them | HERE |.

18. GYMNASTICS SHORTS – there are several companies that provide gymnastics shorts. A few include Destira, GK, Flip N Fit, Alpha Factor, & Snowflake Design. Find more options | HERE |.

 Gymnastics Gifts for the Younger Gymnast 2014

Gymnastics Gifts | Stocking Stuffers 2014 |Gym Gab


19. DRAWSTRING BAG – A washable drawstring bag to tote shoes, snacks, and good luck charms to and from gym. Find the pictured bag | HERE |.

20. TIC-TAC-TOE – a travel sized magnetic tic-tac-toe game with gymnastics pieces is a great gymnastics gift and activity for meet travel or a distraction while waiting for awards. Find the game | HERE |.

21. MCKENNA AG BOOKS – the popular 2012 American Girl of the year book about a young gymnast with a great name :). Find both books | HERE |.

22. DOLL LEOTARDS – we use these leotards as stuffed animal attire at our house. Cute prints  found | HERE |.

23. GYMNASTICS BEAR – achievement bears celebrate gymnastics skills and levels. Check out the designs | HERE |.

24. GYMNASTICS MONKEY  – a monkey performing giants? What a great novelty gift! Find it | HERE |.

25. ROOM DECOR – decorations to declare her gymnast-title can be important for a little girl. Find this gymnastics sign | HERE|.

26. HAIR BOW – colorful bows add a bit of individuality to workout attire. Clip on a pony or bun and you’re done. I love the prints found | HERE |.

27. GYMNASTICS BOOKS – looking for easy reads that keep your gymnast’s attention? Try one of these:  Gymnastics Girl Maya’s Story, Gemma Gymnastics Fairy, I will Try, Lily’s Lucky Leotard, or Tina Tumble’s.

28. LEOTARDS –  although leotards may be obvious gymnastics gifts, a girl can never have too many and they are always appreciated by the receiver. Check out Destira, GK, Flip N Fit, Alpha Factor, Plum Practicewear, K-Bee, OZONE  & Snowflake Design. Find more options | HERE |.

29. JEWELRY – there are many beautiful pieces of gymnastics jewelry these days, especially on etsy. Find one of my favorites | HERE |. More options | HERE | and | HERE | and | HERE | or | HERE |.

30. MCKENNA AG DVD – the 2012 American Girl of the year gymnastics movie is always a hit with young gymnasts. Purchase | HERE |.

31. MOGO BRACELET – this magnetic charm bracelet is a popular pick for the younger gymnast. Find charms | HERE | and the bracelet | HERE |.

32. VICI DOLL – this bendy doll is typically used by coaches to demonstrate proper technique and body positions, but fun is to be had when gymnasts get their hands on vici. Find a version | HERE | and another | HERE |.

33. BOOKMARK – with so many great gymnastics books to choose from, it only seems fitting to include a gymnastics bookmark in your child’s stocking! Purchase | HERE |.

34. SOCKS – plain socks may not be an exciting stocking stuffer, but add bright colors and the word gymnastics and they turn into the perfect gymnastics gift! Find the pictured socks | HERE | or some from Justice | HERE |.

35. PILLOWCASE – I LOVE this gymnastics pillowcase! The customized design includes the gymnast’s name within the gymnast silhouette. It’s also easy to tuck inside a stocking! See it up close and purchase | HERE |. Other options can be found | HERE |.

 Gymnastics Gifts for the Older Gymnast 2014

Gymnastics Gifts | Stocking Stuffers 2014 |Gym Gab

36. GYMNASTICS USB FLASH DRIVE – it’s a conversation starter and a fun way to transfer homework documents or media from one computer to the next. Find it | HERE |.

37. GYMNASTICS SHOES – theses sandals are designed with the gymnast in mind. They provide support and comfort for an easy transition between events during competition. Note they come in adult sizes. Find them | HERE |.

38. LEOTARD GIFT CARD – this is a great stocking stuffer option for a gym diva more particular about her style. Destira, GK, & Snowflake Design offer gift certificates on their sites.

39. GYMNASTICS DVDS – try the recap of the 2012 London Olympic Games: Highlights. Or there is always the classic teen flick Stick It.

40. FICTIONAL GYMNASTICS SERIES – check out the Go-for-Gold series by Olympian Dominique Moceanu or The Gymnastics Series by NCAA gymnast, April Adams.

41. TIGAR PAWS – training gear becomes more common with growth and increased hours in the gym. Tigar paws are a great way to support wrists throughout workout. Find traditional tan | HERE | or fun workout colors | HERE |.

42. GYMNAST SCOREBOOK – to keep track of progress! Find custom designs | HERE |.

43. JAMBERRY NAILS – gymnastics print nail wraps for post competition-season nail fun. Find | HERE |.

44. SPORTS BRA – I love everything about Ivivva’s reversible youth sports bras with fun color and prints. Also check out Under Armour’s HeatGear bra.

45. OLYMPIAN BIOGRAPHIES – inspire your gymnast with autobiographies from Gabby Douglas and Shawn Johnson. Psst . . .  Shannon Miller also has a book available for pre-order that will be released Summer of 2015. Check it out for next year’s stocking.

46. iPOD CASE – gymnastics cases for ipods, iphones, ipads, are always an easy win with (pre)teens. Options found | HERE |.

47. DECALS – the pictured gymnastics decals come in a set of six and are great for subtle room or locker decor. Frame a few in a picture frame for a unique art piece. Find them | HERE | or others | HERE |.

48. GYMNASTICS MAGAZINE – how about a periodical all about her favorite sport?!?! Check it out | HERE |.

49. TRAINING BOOKS – the brain may not be a muscle, but gymnast’s minds do need conditioning. Books like Your Best Meet Ever, and Gymnastics Psychology can help! What great gymnastics gifts!?!

 Gymnastics Gifts for the Christmas Tree 2014

Gymnastics Gifts | Gymnastics Ornaments 50. Christmas Ornament – Year/Level Ornament | Rainbow Metal Ornament | Glitter Ornament – more colors available | Amazon Options |



Gymnastics Equipment for the Home

Find the Perfect Balance Beam for your Gymnast

5 Reasons to Own a Balance Beam



Ultimate Stocking Stuffer Giveaway

The Holidays are much more fun when all the shopping is finally done. Gym Gab is kicking off gift-hunting season with a fantastic giveaway. Over  two-hundred-and-fifty dollars worth of gymnastics gifts will find their way into one lucky gymnast’s stocking this year!


Ultimate Gymnastics Stocking Stuffer Giveaway | Worth over $250


What’s included:

1. $50 Leotard Giftcard | Destira Leotards
2. Gymnastics Grip Bag | It’s All Eye Candy
3. Gymnastics Ornament | It’s All Eye Candy
4. Gymnastics Nail Wraps | Jamberry Nails
5. Personalized Gymnastics Charm Necklace | Sweet Peas Stamping
6. Tic-Tac-Toe Gymnastics Bottle Cap Game | RaeKary Designs
7. Personalized Gymnastics Pillowcase | Mary’s Canary
8. Personalized Gymnastics Scorebook | Allyson DuPont Designs
9. Six Gymnastics Wall Decals | Express Wall Stickers
10. Gymnastics Glitter Lanyard | Aerials by Alpha Factor
11. Gymnastics Mini Travel Bag | Aerials by Alpha Factor
12. Balancing Act| The Gymnastics Series
13. Tumbling Dreams | The Gymnastics Series
14. Flipping Out | The Gymnastics Series
BONUS: Gymnastics Mystique Headbands | GK Elite Sportswear


Interested in MORE (35 more to be exact) gift ideas for your gymnast’s stocking? Gym Gab’s 2014 FIFTY Gymnastics Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide is coming your way next week! Until then, check out the unique (and many personalized) items found listed above or take a peek at Gym Gab’s 2013 stocking stuffer list.

For BIGGER Gymnastics Gift Ideas check out Gym Gab’s Home Equipment Ideas!

Coach and Teammate Custom Portraits

Hands down, my daughter’s coach is one of the most important people in her life and has been since she was two years old. Every year my husband and I wonder how we can express our unmeasurable appreciation for someone so influential in our daughter’s life. We’ve yet to find a Christmas gift that’s worthy of the giving, but we continue to try.


My husband and I (coaches ourselves) always appreciate goodies and gift cards, but this year we sought a gift with a sentimental flare for the beloved “Miss Joey” (as we affectionately started calling her when our daughter was a tot and couldn’t pronounce her D’s.) So what did we decide on? A watercolor painting of our little gymnast’s team, of course!



Only time will tell if this Coach Gift is a success with Miss Jodi, but I loved it so much, I kept going. With the help of two talented artists I now have THREE beautiful gifts: A team painting for my daughter’s coach, a teammate painting for my daughter’s friend, and an individual painting for her gymnastics idol (technically she has a hundred idols in the gym, but this one is for an extra special role model that is also an assistant coach to her team.)


They’re beautiful, right!?!? I’m willing to bet that any coach, grandparent, teammate, etc. would be thrilled with such a unique gift! The key of course is to get on it right away. Christmas may be more than a month away, but these talented artists only have but so many hours to paint such personalized gifts!! Although the above photo used as inspiration for the individual gymnast painting is from a professional photo shoot, any snapshot will work. So start scanning through the photos in your phone! Find anything good?

About the artists

Emily Stringfellow

I stumbled upon Emily Stringfellow after a friend posted his family portrait, done by Emily, on Instagram. What first caught my attention was the flawless depiction of movement! After scanning through Emily’s instagram account I knew she’d be up for the challenge of painting gymnasts.

“I have loved art and drawing since I was young, but never consider it as more than a hobby until about a year ago. I painted some portraits for friends as gifts, they urged and encouraged me to do more, and then I ended up on etsy painting for people I don’t even know. It’s always fun to receive a photo from someone and turn it into a painting. In a way I get to know a family or a person through painting their portrait and feel honored that they are trusting me to create something that will be cherished and displayed in their home. I also really enjoy painting with watercolor. It is soothing and relaxing and I love the way that the water and paint flow on the paper and create unique color impressions once dry.”  – Emily Stringfellow

Contact Emily through Yellowstring Etsy Store  | Follow Emily on Instagram


Elizabeth Dalton

I first discovered Elizabeth Dalton’s work in the home of a neighbor. I loved the abstract nature and simplicity of the piece and knew I wanted a painting that incorporated the same youthful charm for my daughter’s room, or really a painting of hers anywhere in the house!

“My love for art started in 7th grade when my long haired, grateful dead t-shirt wearing, art teacher made me think art was ‘cool’. I took several art history classes throughout my education and then backpacked through Europe in my 20s. Seeing all the different styles of art helped inspire me to find my own creative outlet. My favorite thing to paint right now are homes. I love all the emotion and sentiment that is tied up in a home. It’s always so much more than just a house. Plus it makes a great gift!”  – Elizabeth Dalton

P.S. I’m enlisting Liz to paint our gym building for me – yes another gift up my sleeve.

Contact Liz through Love Lizzy Dee website  | Email  her directly –

Dollar Store Good Luck Gifts!

Good luck gifts are a fun way to remind our gymnasts that we’re rooting for them! These surprises don’t need to be extravagant or pricey, they just need to send the message that our gymnasts are loved and supported. All it takes is a quick trip to the dollar store and 100 pennies (more or less).

Good Luck Gifts | Gymnastics Meets

With tax, I spent just over three dollars on the above pictured good luck gifts – notice there are three! I used patterned paper, stickers, and string to add my own personal touch. The project took me a total of 10 minutes (I’m sure someone with more craft sense could do it in half the time). Cheap and fast – can’t beat that!

Here are some more good luck gift ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest, also with items you can find for a dollar or less:

Good Luck Gifts for Under a Dollar | Gym Gab Blog |Gymnastics Meets


McKayla Maroney: Then and Now

Gym Gab is excited to present the last of a five-day series featuring the Fierce Five. Today we take a look at McKayla Maroney and why she was so important on the U.S. team in 2012, as well as where she is now.

Find other Fierce Five member’s “then and now” links below.

McKayla Maroney | Fierce Five | Gym Gab SeriesPhotography | Christy Ann Linder

McKayla Maroney Then

At her first Junior U.S. Championshps in 2009, McKayla Maroney was the “other” gymnast from Gym-Max, sidekick to the surprise Junior champion Kyla Ross. Her difficulty was not very high on bars, beam and floor, but she did have one showstopping trick: Maroney was a 13-year-old who could do an Amanar vault, largely considered the hardest thing to do in women’s gymnastics. And in spite of her age and experience, she did it very well.

McKayla Maroney Now

The “not impressed” face was just the beginning. The expressive, tell-it-like-it-is Maroney underscores what makes the Fierce Five different, even compared to other uber-successful U.S. women’s gymnastics teams. When she describes her gymnastics career, Maroney doesn’t talk about sacrifices, school dances not attended, family she doesn’t get to see much because she’s always in the gym. “We all love gymnastics so much,” she says. Though a recent knee surgery will keep her out of commission for the rest of the year, Maroney, who successfully defended her World title on vault at the 2013 World Championships, is planning to return for 2015 with an eye to making the Rio Olympics.
Gabby Douglas:  Then and Now
Jordyn Wieber: Then and Now
Aly Raisman: Then and Now
About the Photographer: Christy was a former level 10 & Michigan State gymnast. She later returned to her roots by honing her photography skills- specifically in the sport of gymnastics, where her passion is unmatched. Find more amazing images of current elite gymnasts at