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Guiding High-Flying Students On and Off the Mat

Guiding High-Flying Students On and Off the Mat
Photo Courtesy: Timur Abdullin

Sports have always been a microcosm of life. On the surface level, sports are the struggle for victory. However, they are so much more. Competing is to push yourself and find your limits, sometimes even for a moment, surpass them. It is about respecting your opponents and yourself and working together as a team. Few people know this better than Timur Abdullin.

As a competitive gymnast and coach with decades of experience, he intimately knows how the exhausting preparation and each victory and defeat, are potential life-changing lessons for his student-athletes.

How It All Began

Timur Abdullin began gymnastics as a child and quickly fell in love with it. He competed at the national level in his home country of Kazakhstan for 16 years, facing the highest level of competition and training under world-class coaches. Most people would assume he’d be devastated when injuries ended his career. However, he saw the truth before him: sports are more than just the results on a scoresheet. The beauty lies in sport’s ability to shape and improve the lives of anyone who competes. As he says in his own words,

“I came to the conclusion that personal development is more important than achieving results…my future is that my gymnasts, having reached certain heights, always remain not only successful athletes but also respected personalities. I want them to continue to lead by example, to demonstrate the impact of sport on life, and to climb the career ladder with confidence.”

Timur as a Coach

He has made shaping athletes his life’s work. Thanks to his world-class knowledge of gymnastics, connections within the sport, and the drive to succeed that he developed as an athlete, he is in a uniquely strong position to have a wide range of influence over up-and-coming gymnasts. He has spent extensive time as a judge, including at the U.S. Nationals, as well as a term as the President of the Federation of Gymnastics of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Working in these positions gave him the perspective of looking at the sport of gymnastics from a larger picture and seeing what is best for the development of the sport on a macro level.

After retiring as an athlete, Timur Abdullin came back to school, taking advanced courses and eventually obtaining a certificate of International Coaching Model from the International Federation of Gymnastics in 2003, the highest achievement possible from that governing body. He has not only coached athletes like Jonah Soltz competing at the international level, including the Junior Olympics and World Cup stages but also given seminars and training to other coaches on how to develop their athletes best. A major part of these seminars is walking other coaches through his course designed to qualify his students for scholarships, which demands more than just results in competitive settings but a focus on education and character.


Timur Abdullin’s knowledge of the sport from every angle, as a competitor, administrator, coach, and ambassador, is invaluable. This allows him to guide athletes through the challenges of elite competition and ensure that they are performing their best not only on the mat but also when off the mat. As a head coach at the Metropolitan Gymnastics in Seattle, Washington, he keeps guiding the best and brightest athletes to the highest level of competitions and beyond in life.

About the Author

Jamal Moran is an enthusiastic sports follower. He is tracking new talents and skilled coaches growing in different kinds of sports.

Published by: Nelly Chavez

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