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Brad McLaren

Worrying about placements?

By The Mclaren Post

Good Morning Parents,

So my topic today is all about “placements”.  All too often this word creates a lot of uproar.  In my experience, I have learned to never talk about levels or season prep for summer placements because things change and athletes are unpredictable just like most things!

First off, us as coaches, only want one thing: what is best for each athlete.  I understand that we all want our children to be on top, or to be in the top groups, but in reality, not everyone will.  Every athlete learns at their own pace and it is no fun for anyone when an athlete is misplaced.  It is not a matter of who is better, moreover, it is more dependent on multiple things.   Personality, work ethic, goals, passions, coaching style, talent, skill level, and the list goes on and on.  Part of our job as coaches is to recognize all these traits that go into training these young athletes.

Secondly, there is no “perfect” group.  There is going to be somewhat of a diversity regardless.  There is no “agenda” or “motive” for putting athletes in specific groups, it is all about what is best for them and their training.  One thing that you, as a parent, have to understand about the coaching staff, is we know what is best for your athlete in regards to training whether you agree or not.  This is our profession so let us be professionals.  We will make sure that she is taken care of and has a path that best fits her, and if something changes, so will we and her training plan.  It is really that simple.   Trust us in knowing that our plan for them is for their best interest.

Lastly, I understand that not everyone is in this for ” top levels and college scholarships” esc…. that ” we just want them to have fun and be active”.  I completely understand that and appreciate that and actually agree with that.  On our end, you have to understand the expectations of our program and staff as well as we create a new vision for the team program.  We have systems in place that can create a great experience for all, but that does mean grouping will change.  We have to look at all the aspects as a whole and this is how we place the athletes to best suit their needs/wants/passions/and talent levels.  So all we ask?  Just trust the process and how we do things.  I can tell you right now, it works.


:0) Brad





Why Gymnastics? A Simple Answer to a Simple Question

By The Mclaren Post

Good afternoon,


I hope this blog finds you all well.  In the mist of all this crazy madness, I wanted to bring some normalcy to you.  As I embark on this venture of bringing you information about our great sport, I thought that I would simply start with a very easy and basic question: Why do gymnastics? Out of the hundreds of extra activities family’s have the option of putting their children into these days, one of the most beneficial, by far, is the sport of gymnastics.  Does this mean being in it for the long haul?  Absolutely not.    It is not a sport/activity for everyone, but what it is for everyone is a basic foundation building  pathway for anything else active you do in your life.  I have first hand experienced the benefits of this sport through my successes in other athletics and in my everyday life as a Husband and soon to be father.

For youth, this sport is an incredible avenue to help teach the basic functionality of the human body.  Balance, muscle and mind coordination, and focus are just a few of the essential basic skills developed for our bodies functions on a daily basis.  Do we all acquire these skills over time, absolutely, but being in the sport of gymnastics accelerates the bodies mobility and functionality at an earlier age.  I strongly believe that with what this activity entails, it speeds up brain development also, with what we are asking our bodies to do with this sport.  This special sport also allows our youth to become more in tune with their body and mind as it teaches them how to focus on not just the body “as a whole” but as little individual pieces of the body.  There are not a lot of sports out there that teach athletes how to isolate muscle groups through flexibility and strength.


Will my child do gymnastics?  Absolutely he or she will:). Does that mean that will be their sport of choice?  No, that will be determined but I can tell you that he or she will be taking classes until he or she is old enough to go in one direction with their athletics or the other.  I grew up a gymnast and moved into organized sports and give 100 percent of my talents and success to the sport for giving me the tools needed to succeed.  My wife was a gymnast also and plays a huge role in her profession as well.  Bottom line, this sport is a great stepping stone to help develop children’s motor movements that will greatly enhance their bodily functions later in life.  If you are in the sport, good for you and keep pushing.  If you are not, let your children give it a try.  You have nothing to loose and everything to gain from them being active in a sport like gymnastics.





By The Mclaren Post

Good afternoon Bio Family and followers!


I want to say a huge WELCOME to a new blog that I am starting that is going to be fun, interesting, informative and everything in-between that deals with the sport of gymnastics.  Some things that I will talk about will be fun and informative about our great sport, others will be silly and humorous and others will be serious.  This is an amazing sport that, lets face it, is like no other and from my experience, just try to have fun with ride because it is a long one:)  Each week, I am hoping, I will bring you something interesting to read.  Please, if you ever have comments or questions, do not hesitate to ask as I will do everything in my power to answer or even discuss topics.  As many of you have seen in the last year, we are making great strides in the gym and moving towards being more and more “relevant” in the gymnastic community.  This is just another piece of that.  I am looking forward to moving forward with everyone and, in this crazy time, be safe and stay healthy:).  More to come from the Mclaren Post!


As always, Keep Reaching Higher