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Masayuki “Mas” Watanabe

Masayuki “Mas” Watanabe is world renown in the gymnastics world for his technical expertise of gymnastic movement. For the past 35 years, he has developed many world-class gymnasts, Olympians, national champions, and trains coaches, at all levels and from many countries.
Masayuki Watanabe is known throughout the gymnastics world for his technical expertise of gymnastic movement, and his ability to combine the precision of the physics of movement while maintaining the beauty, elegance, and artistry of gymnastics. He was a member of the Japanese National Team for six years, including Japan’s 1966 World Championship Team, when Japan dominated the World and Olympic competitions. For the past 35 years, he has used his extensive gymnastic knowledge and skills to develop many world-class gymnasts, Olympians, national champions, and trains coaches, at all levels and from many countries.
Watanabe moved to the United States in 1969 and was the Assistant Coach for the University of California Berkeley. Under his coaching, the University was the 1975 NCAA National Champion Team, and two 3rd place finishes in 1974 and 1976. Through the University and his club he trained several athletes that became National Champions and Olympians on both the men’s and women’s side, including 1972 Olympian George Greenfield and 1976 Olympian Tom Beach before being recruited to work full time for the United States Gymnastic Federation.Watanabe was instrumental in creating the Junior Olympic Program for Boys, and conducted the first USGF Jr. National Team Training Camp. Through this program he was able to create on a national level a system to train young gymnasts with precise and efficient fundamentals. With these improved fundamentals the athletes were able to perform the increasingly difficult skill more easily and safely and that made their rise to international competitors much quicker. In this program he created a system for coaches to teach and trained many coaches that, in turn, successfully coach many national champions, international champions and Olympic Champions. The success of this program was obvious by the rise of the US team during the years from 1974 to 1984. His visionary approach to analyzing difficult skills, break them down into simple efficient movement and then teach them is unparalleled in the gymnastic community.

In 1984 he coached in Japan, including being the Head Coach for the Men’s Japanese National Team from 1985 to 1986. During this time he trained many Japanese athletes to World Championship and Olympic medals. In 1988 he returned to the United States and served as the USGF Men’s Program Director for 10 years. He is currently coaching elite women gymnasts at Byers Gymnastics Center in Sacramento, California. Received the 2006 USA Gymnastics Lifetime Achievement Award.

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