Endorsement for “Coaching Commandments”


“Thank You” for Coaching Commandments

Thank you for reprinting the 20 Commandments of Coaching (‘Chalk Talk,’ Nov. 2007). You note that the commandments are an adaptation of a 1987 article written by Dr. Joe Massimo, but I think Joe’s Coaching Commandments go back even further than that.

I know that I all but memorized his sage advice on coaching many years earlier, when I was just starting my coaching career back in the mid-1970s.  When I started Buckeye Gymnastics in 1982, I used these same commandments as the foundation of our teaching and coaching philosophy. 

As we celebrate 25 years of landing on our feet at Buckeye Gymnastics, Joe’s advice to coaches can still be found in our staff handbook. We still train our teachers and coaches using the 20 principles as our guiding light.

Tens of thousands of children in Central Ohio (and who knows how many around the country and the world) have benefited from the coaches and teachers who carry forward Joe’s principles in the gym every day.

I think it’s possible that the repeated publication of these 20 Coaching Commandments has had a greater positive impact on gymnasts in this country than anything you have ever published.

Thank you for sharing them with us one more time and thank you to Dr. Joe Massimo for helping generations of young gymnasts train under the direction of teachers and coaches who are safe, effective, positive and gentle, because you touched their hearts.”

David Holcomb, [Buckeye Gymnastics] Westerville, Ohio

Reprinted from: International Gymnast Magazine,

Letters to the Editor, Chalk Talk, Nov. 2007.


Author’s note: This is a bit of a departure from a normal testimonial or endorsement, but we were so moved by this “thank you” letter sent to the editor of International Gymnast Magazine.  It was written by a prominent gym owner and coach, Mr. David Holcomb of Buckeye Gymnastics, and we have reprinted it in its entirety along with our reply to Mr. Holcomb.


Reply to “Thank You” Letter

Dear Mr. Holcomb,

Thank you for your letter to the editor in International Gymnast (IG) Magazine. We were very moved by your comments. It is so satisfying to know that sometimes just one thing we do as coaches, teachers, and mentors can have a significant impact on the lives of the young athletes in our charge.

In fact, you were correct in your letter that you had first learned of the commandments when you were starting your coaching career because the originals were part of a two part series published in 1975.  The original list was just referred to as “Massimo’s Big Twenty.”  In 1987, the two articles were rewritten and the coaching philosophy and guidelines were presented in more detail. Several versions of the guidelines were reprinted over the years and soon were referred to as the ‘Coaching Commandments’ by you and other coaches, as well as Dan Millman, and IG magazine.     

We also want to thank you for your work in training hundreds of teachers and coaches using positive principles and sound philosophy. As a way of doing this, we are going to republish the “Coaching Commandments” principles and guidelines in our new book entitled, “Gymnastics Psychology: The Ultimate Guide for Coaches, Gymnasts, and Parents.” 

We truly appreciate the fact that you are committed to helping generations of young gymnasts through ensuring that your teachers and coaches adopt these principles as their guiding light. We also thank you for sharing your story with us and bringing this to our attention, so that the new generations of coaches to come, in our country and around the world, can also gain some insight from the commandments as they develop their own coaching philosophies to positively influence a new generation of gymnasts.

Best regards,

Joe and Sue Massimo


Authors Note:  You can find the original “Coaching Commandments” along with bonuses for coaches, gymnasts, and parents in our new book entitled,
“Gymnastics Psychology: The Ultimate Guide for Coaches, Gymnasts, and Parents.”
 Realize Your Peak Potential!  Doc & Dr. Sue

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