By Clare Johnson-Coach Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy
Hello! My name is Clare Johnson, I am 23 years old and I am a coach at Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy. This year in April I married Paul Bretscher, who is also an athlete with MTGA, and we coach the developmental team together. After more than 15 years of competing trampoline gymnastics across the globe I am proud to now coach young athletes along with my husband and use my passion to help them grow in a myriad of life skills. Lately, I have noticed a special attribute that trampoline practices have brought to our athletes and many around the globe. Unlike soccer, football, and many school related sports, trampoline combines girls and boys of ALL ages and rank into a single group that trains together and grows together. Not everyone matures at the same rate, but it is worth noting that girls and boys of the same age will probably agree and like the same types of things around the same time making classroom environments less diverse in many ways.
Being from a large family myself, as well as in the gym at an early age, I believe that daily exposure to many different personalities and maturity levels made my ability to work alongside and appreciate the differences God has given to each of us in a very tangible way. Relationships are such an important part of life and our trainings in the gym enable us as coaches to facilitate healthy ways of problem solving whether it is settling conflict or even preferring others when picking a game to play. I am prouder of my athletes when they cheer up a teammate during practice than when they win a medal at a competition. Having older teammates helps push the younger ones to grow in their maturity and ability to find the middle ground when having a conflict with their friends and family. Trampoline is a newer sport to the world stage and is still vying for a place in the spotlight within the gymnastics world; however, from personal experience trampoline is a fun place to get any child physically active in an environment unlike any other. We welcome kids and adults to our trampoline and tumbling facility to build new relationships and of course learn awesome skills on the trampoline.