What Was Popular This Year: My Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014 (Plus 5 That I Really Liked but Didn’t Make the Cut)


I have to admit: I love year end round up lists.

As 2014 comes to a close, I have the opportunity to do my very own year end list!

So here is my very own Best of JAG Gym Blog 2014 list ranked by number of views:

10. Gymnastics is NOT Life: 10 Things Nobody Should Give Up Because of Gymnastics.  This was on of my more controversial blogs.  The follow up It’s Not My Life, But It is an Important Part of My Life: 50 Things Everyone Can Benefit from by Being a Gymnast was less popular but gives another perspective to what might be a complicated relationship I have with this sport that I love.

9. Take a Break From the Bleachers: 10 Reasons Not to Watch Practice This is the new comer on the top 10 and one that I knew would resonate with so many.  Again, like all advice and opinion, it is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation, but rather it is food for thought.

8. 8 Myths about Gymnastics Judges Busted  This is one of my favorite posts, and I was so happy that so many people read and shared it.  These ladies and gentlemen in blue have a tough job and do not get enough credit for how difficult (and thankless) their jobs are.

7. Fit and Funky  One of my earliest posts, this was also my first piece published on my Huffington Post blog.  It recounts the strange insistence my then 4 year old daughter had for pursuing a dance class in which she did not actually move.  It always makes me smile.

6. 10 Word Choices That Smart Athletes (and Their Parents and Coaches) Make to be the Best of the Best  This post was one of the more popular ones outside to the sport of gymnastics as it’s advice is broadly adapted to any sport or other pursuit.

5. “I Know I am Difficult to Coach” and Nine Other Things that Fearful Gymnasts Want to Their Coaches to Know  This one was written from the heart of a former scared athlete to my coaches.  It was one of the blog posts that gave me the most affirmative feedback that what I was writing was helping people and knowing that was probably one of the best things that happened to me this year!  So thank you!   The coaches version was written by a reader and is simply brilliant.

4. A Dangerous Dozen: Misguided Ideas of Well-Meaning Gym Parents  It is said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions…this blog covers some of those.

3. 20 Thoughts That go Through Your Head Before a Gymnastics Meet: Parent, Gymnast, Coach, Judge and Meet Director Perspectives  I wrote this blog when I was in a pretty silly mood and was surprised that it spread like wildfire–I guess I am not the only one who thinks these things!

2. 20 Reasons Your Preschooler Should Do Gymnastics (That Have Nothing to Do with Learning Gymnastics)  The direct benefits of the sport are many, obvious and impactful.  But all of the little things that kids learn are also priceless and often over looked.  In 2015, I will write a version for school-aged gymnasts.

1. 20 Things Only Parents of Gymnasts Understand  This post was by far the most popular post I wrote with almost 500,000 people reading it!  It is a clear example of how much we all share in the passion with which we support our athletes through this sometimes crazy sport!

But page views are not everything.  So here are five more posts that did not make the top 10, but I really liked them.   My honorable mentions (in no particular order) are:

Don’t Freak Out, But Chances are Your Child is Not Going to be an Olympian.  Because the chances are so small, let’s keep it real.

30 Secrets of Brilliant Coaches.  A brilliant coach is worth their weight in gold!

Parent to Parent: How to Deal with Overly Competitive Parents  Because sometimes you just need to laugh at the insanity.

Your Child is Special, Just Like Everyone Else’s  I know it’s hard for some to believe, but other people love their children as much as you love yours.  Weird, huh?

The Rat Race: An Open Letter to Competitive Parents from the Parent who Concedes  Sometimes quitting feels good.

Thank you all for your support, your comments, your challenges and for sharing this blog to other members of the gymnastics community and the community of sports and parenting at large.  It is a privilege to have so many people take time out of their lives to read and comment on my musing on this blog.  I am humbled and honored that so many of you are living this journey with me and am excited to see what 2015 brings!