Ocean State School of Gymnsatics

Ocean State School of Gymnsatics

Christine Zinno, a resident of Smithfield, is a coach at the Ocean State School of Gymnsatics (OSSG). She also teaches trampoline and tumbling gymnastics classes. I had the pleasure of speaking with her about her style of coaching, the fun she has with her students at the gym, and even their exciting trip to New Jersey for Regional championships at the end of April.

Christine started the first and only trampoline and tumbling team in Rhode Island, located at OSSG in Lincoln. OSSG is the premiere gymnastics facility in the area and hosts a very competitive artistic gymnastics team. The Lyons, who own the gym, have mentored and guided Christine and her program so that they too have demonstrated excellence. Starting out as just a small recreational class, Christine has been able to grow her team to 21 athletes. Two of her daughters are even part of this exciting and adventurous one-of-a-kind gymnastics team.

Christine grew up in Ohio doing artistic gymnastics before switching to trampoline and tumbling. She then became a five-time national champion in springboard diving while in college in California.

When she and her family moved to Smithfield seven years ago, Christine thought it would be great to be able to coach her daughter in trampoline and tumbling, so she ran with the idea. Her class grew from a small team to a larger team. In three short years, OSSG now has one of the largest trampoline and tumbling programs in New England.

What makes this program so fun and exciting for both Christine and her students, Christine says, is that there is always a new skill to learn. Her girls have fun doing what they do, and they are hard workers. This approach to gymnastics is one that is unique and very suitable for an athlete that may not be as interested in the beam or the bars and wants to go more into the tumbling and flipping side. Christine also always makes sure that her students are having fun and enjoying themselves and while they are part of a team, she knows it is always important for the girls to make the most of their time while they are at the gym. She likes to use the method of playing games with her students to foster a fun environment.

Christine finds it extremely rewarding to be able to establish great relationships with her students where they feel respected and where they can come to her for advice. She wants to help her students learn leadership skills, integrity, and she strives to be a respectful coach to her girls. One thing that Christine and I talked a lot about was her style of coaching her students on different skills and techniques. She prides herself on positive coaching and says that that’s had a major impact on the students in a good way. As she says, the coaches are driving the ship and so everything they do for their kids will be remembered. Christine is surely taking the positive coaching route with her athletes. We also talked about the influence a good coach can have on an athlete growing up, and Christine is paving the way for amazing gymnasts.

Travel is a huge part of this sport, and Christine and her team of girls are excited to join ten other states in the region for Regional Championships, where Christine is confident her athletes will medal. As Christine mentioned to me, her girls are very hard workers, training two to three times per week and several hours throughout each practice. She is confident that her team will do well and that their hard work will pay off. They are headed to New Jersey at the end of April for their championship and could not be more excited for what is to come.

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