ArtSports adds second internationally known coach
When ArtSports head coach Tex Womack left for France in November to be with the club's two World Age Group gymnastics qualifiers, the several dozen other
members of ArtSports' youth team were not left without a mentor.
Mike Zapp, founder and owner of the Holland Park trampoline and tumbling club, was able to bring in another internationally respected coach, Doug Boger, a long- time friend of Womack's who had recently moved back to this area. A former Colorado high school and national champion in gymnastics events, Boger has owned different clubs of his own (most recently Bounce in San Diego, Calif.), and served as a national team coach.
“Doug is a good addition to our coaching staff because he's content on just coaching with Tex and covering Tex when he travels, which is getting to be a lot lately,” Zapp said, referring to Womack's selection last fall as a national team coach. Meanwhile, Boger, who has been a national coach himself, “was getting tired of so much traveling,” the ArtSports owner explained.
At the Worlds event, ArtSports' two Womack-trained entrants - Sam Chiacchia (bronze medal in age 13-14 synchronized trampoline) and Kristen Bowman (fourth place in age 15-16 tumbling) made strong showings. Chiacchia (pronounced kee-AH-kee-yah) has also been added to the national junior gymnastics team.
“It feels good to be back in Colorado,” Boger said in a recent interview, noting a related advantage is living closer to his mother in Denver. Age 62 now, he described himself as “semi-retired,” but still eager to help Zapp and Womack develop high-quality athletes. “At Bounce, we broke the record for having the most spots at Worlds,” Boger said. “That's what we're trying to do here.”
According to Zapp, the Artsports team coaching staff now numbers five in all. Others are Carola Heim, the state's Jump Start director, along with Dominic Barge and Rachel Brock.
For Chiacchia, it was his second year qualifying for Worlds, having taken fifth in age 13-14 double-mini trampoline in 2009 in Russia. Still, the pressure was just as tough, “like bees in your brain,” he said between training exercises recently at ArtSports. Added Bowman: “Everyone's looking at you.”
Chiacchia offered more description: “You're in the middle of an ocean of chaos, and the other kids want it just as bad as you. It comes down to how mentally composed you are.”
Still, the competitors wouldn't have traded the opportunity for anything. Bowman, a Peyton High School student, described it as an “overwhelming learning experience,” and Chiacchia, of Air Academy High, talked about the roller-coaster sensation in which he sat in the stands for 15 minutes after his synchronized effort (with Ronald Jacobson of California) thinking they had placed fourth. But the judges corrected themselves on a flaw by another duo, moving Chiacchia/ Jacobson up to the podium.
Westside Pioneer article