Meet R-Staff

Dedication to the sport and intense training are part of each R Athletics’ Coaches resume. New coaches spend weeks shadowing classes and in skill development training. All coaches continue with monthly skill and child development instruction.

R-Coaches are Safety-Certified in first-aid and CPR and have a background check on file.

They will greet your child as they line up, encourage and praise them throughout the class and meet with you occasionally with updates and progress reports.

R-Coaches LOVE to watch your child shine!

Rachel Rydbeck

Rachel Rydbeck

Owner | Head Coach

Rachel was a competitive gymnast and a State All-Around champion in her youth and has a deep love of the sport. It brings her great joy to coach athletes who participate in gymnastics. It was her dream to be able to share her gifts and talents. In 2010 her dream was fulfilled when R Athletics opened. Rachel strives to offer excellence in all areas. Her coaching staff is exemplary and the level of coaching is top-notch. Every child is taught the proper skill progressions while having fun! Details are important to Rachel: individual attention, monthly themes, special events, and coach-parent communication are all vital components to the success each child will experience.

John Rydbeck

John Rydbeck

Owner | Finance, Building, Operations, Maintenance Manager

Married to Rachel Rydbeck for 16 years, John is responsible for all of the financial and operational decisions that keep R Athletics a top-notch facility. A graduate of Hope College with a Chemistry degree, he works at Infrastructural Alternatives, an environmental engineering firm, during the day and spends his evenings and weekends keeping R Athletics running smoothly.

Karen

Karen

Special Events Director | Pro-Shop Manager

Karen is a mother of 5 grown children and grandmother of 13. She has a teaching degree in elementary education and has taught 2nd grade. She also has been the infant and early childhood director in a large church. Karen was a part of the planning and launching of R-Athletics and is currently the director of birthday parties, manager of the Pro Shop and staff at the front desk. Karen’s talents also extend to creating all of the embroidered apparel and accessory items in the Pro Shop.

Claire

Claire

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Team Coach

Claire has been involved in the sport of gymnastics for 27 years. She was a nationally competitive gymnast for twelve years. Claire has coached through all levels of the sport from Recreational through Elite. Claire has studied at both Universities of Pittsburgh and Grand Valley with a Child Psychology emphasis and is currently pursuing a Sports Science degree through the United States Sports Academy online. She loves to help children grow as athletes and individuals through her efforts.

Cari

Cari

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Rockit Team Coach

Cari grew up in Montana, but spent nearly a decade in Hawaii before moving to Michigan in 2013. She’s been involved in the sport of gymnastics for more than 25 years as an athlete and coach. She fell in love with the sport in high school and has several USA Gymnastics certifications in Preschool and Recreational Coaching. She believes gymnastics can benefit any child of any ability because in addition to teaching strength, agility, and coordination, it also develops goal-setting and social skills. She lives in Walker with her husband and very old dachshund, Maddy.

Anna Sophia

Anna Sophia

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Team Coach

Anna Sophia has been involved in gymnastics since she was two years old and has been at R Athletics for 6 years, including two years of competition. She is currently attending Michigan State with plans to study Kinesiology/Exercise Science in college and then pursue her degree in Physical Therapy. She loves the sport of gymnastics, so coaching comes naturally. Sharing her passion with her athletes is a wonderful adventure

Jontae

Jontae

Ninja Zone, Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Jontae is a multi-sport athlete and has been a tricking and tramp wall artist for a year. He has worked with kids at his previous job and as a camp counselor at Camp O’Malley. And he is an excellent swing dancer! Jontae is always willing to try new things and is a vocal cheerleader for all our athletes.

Lindsey

Lindsey

Team Coach

Lindsey was a Junior Olympic gymnastics athlete for 12 years including being on the Junior Olympic team at R-Athletics. She is currently attending MSU to pursue a major in hospitality and competed on their team for 3 years. Her free time is consumed with wedding planning (a September wedding!) as well as spending time friends and cuddling pets. She found her passion working with kids at a young age, especially in Gymnastics. She can’t wait to help many little ones reach their dreams.

Addison

Addison

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Ninja Zone Coach

Addison has been involved in gymnastics since the age of 8. She competed four years on teams at R-Athletics and has 4 years experience in dance. Addison is a current student at Ionia high School and is taking 4 online college courses in pursuit of something in the medical field. She carries a 4.0 GPA, a member of the National Honor society and the captain of her Volleyball Team. Addison loves kids. Her favorite part of coaching is being able to be an encourager and positive role model while helping kids achieve their goals in the sport of gymnastics.

Michelle

Michelle

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Team Coach

Michelle was one of Rachel Rydbeck’s former gymnasts and always placed high in All Around Gymnastic competitions. In high school, she broke the school record for bars and balance beam, and was the regional bars champion and 2nd in the State on the balance beam. She was on the All Conference and All State team and named MVP. Michelle loves coaching gymnastics because she gets to be a part of every child reaching his or her goals. She loves to have fun with them and make them feel special.

Rachel

Rachel

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Team Coach | Developmental Team Director.

Rachel was one of Rachel Rydbeck’s former gymnasts, competing all the way up to Level 10. During her career, she was a Level 9 National All-Around Champion and also received a full ride gymnastics scholarship to Northern Illinois University. Rachel competed at college gymnastics for four years while earning a degree in nutrition and dietetics. She loves coaching gymnastics because she loves seeing the joy it brings the athletes when they learn new skills.

Nick

Nick

Ninja Zone Coach| Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Nick has been a gymnast most of his life, and, more recently, a diver and a rower. Nick has also babysat since the age of 14 and was a teacher-cadet. He is currently enrolled in Grand Rapids Community College to study Physical Therapy and Exercise Science. Nick loves to get the kids moving and feeling great about their skills and themselves.

Francis

Francis

Ninja Zone Coach | Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Francis has been involved in Parkour and Freerunning since 2016. He was a former student in our Warrior club program. Music has been a big part of his life along with movement. At two years old he pronounced that he was a violinist and has played the violin for 10 years. He has also played the tuba, piano and trumpet and participated in the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys. Francis loves to share his passion of movement with children and see them achieve their goals.

Cohen

Cohen

Rec. and Rollin’ Director | Ninja Coach | Rec. & Rollin Coach | Team Coach

Cohen has been participating in gymnastics in some capacity since he was 2 years old. Cohen is also very accomplished in Taekwondo. He obtained his black belt at the age of 9, and his second degree black belt at 11. In 2008, Cohen was ranked third in the state and finish third at the AAU Junior Olympics. In addition to Tae Kwon Do and gymnastics, music has always been a big part of his life.

Emma

Emma

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Ninja Coach

Emma has been involved in gymnastics since she was 4 years old. She placed 1st on floor and 3rd on vault in the 2013 AAU Junior Olympics and participates in the sport today with the Forest Hills Gymnastics team. Not only does Emma compete in gymnastics, but she is also a certified black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Outside of sports, she enjoys the Fine Arts such as music and drawing. In the future, she hopes to become a radiologist for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Betsy

Betsy

Administration/Operations Manager | Rollin’ Coach

As a mother of 5 children and a grandmother of 3 beautiful little girls, Betsy has spent the last 30 plus years working with children and volunteering in their schools and as an organizer of their sports teams. She is a graduate of Aquinas College with a degree in Business Management and is responsible for running the front desk at R Athletics. The highlight of her week is spending time with the babies of R Athletics. She delights in how much progress a child who is just crawling can make in a few weeks of class!

Kayla

Kayla

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Kayla was a gymnast in the R-Athletics Rec. program for 7 years. She loved her time in the gym, not only for the skills she was taught, but for the way the coaches took an interest in her. She hopes to make your gymnasts feel as amazing and accomplished as she felt while participating in the sport. She also loves art and music. In the future, she plans on attending college to work with children or animals.

Kori

Kori

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Cheer Coach

Kori has been involved is cheerleading since the age of 6. She cheered throughout her entire high school career and was voted cheer captain her senior year. Kori loves being able to interact with the children she coaches, along with putting a smile on their faces when they master a new skill. Her favorite part of coaching gymnastics is being able to encourage students to do something they love just as much as she does.

Ray

Ray

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Ninja Zone Coach

During his time at Aquinas, Ray cheered for 4 years and got his degree in music performance. He has been with R-Athletics for the past 4 years. Ray’s gymnastic skills come from his cheer background. He enjoys teaching the kids and having fun while also helping them learn. His favorite part of coaching is seeing how excited the kids are for class.

Korin

Korin

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

A six year veteran of the sport of gymnastics, Korin has a life-long love of the sport. In high school, she also participated in sideline cheer and her tumbling efforts greatly benefitted from her time spent doing gymnastics. She is currently attending Cornerstone University for a degree in social work and has spent her summers working as a camp counselor at Miracle camp in Kalamazoo.

Taylor

Taylor

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Taylor has grown up with gymnastics. She started it at the age of two and continues today as a dedicated member of the Forest Hills Gymnastics team. Outside of the gym she is a senior at Forest Hills Eastern with plans of attending college next year and pursuing a degree in health sciences. Being in competitive, XCEL and now high school gymnastics has given Taylor a wide perspective of the sport as a whole. Her favorite part about coaching is seeing the confidence of the gymnasts improve when they reach a new goal.

Sami

Sami

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Sami is studying at Aquinas College and working towards her Early Childhood Education. She has also worked at e developmental center teaching 2-4-year olds. Sami has been cheering for the last 5 years. She started her sophomore year in high school and loves it! The gymnastic skills she developed during her cheerleading career are perfect for her job at R Athletics.

Olivia

Olivia

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Olivia has been involved in gymnastics throughout her childhood and now competes with the Forest Hills Gymnastics team for the past two years, which she loves. She also participates in track and field. She loves spending time with kids and her favorite part of coaching is watching all the young gymnasts fall in love with the sport. It makes her love the sport even more!

Nikki

Nikki

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Nikki has been involved in competitive gymnastics for the past eight years. She was one of the members of the first R-Athletics team! Her love of gymnastics has helped her easily transition to coaching and she loves to see the excitement in the kids’ eyes when they learn a new skill. A student at Lowell High School, she enjoys learning friends and going to the beach.

Presley

Presley

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Cheer Coach

A graduate from GVSU, Presley will be starting a graduate program in sports and performance psychology. She started gymnastics at 3 years and was a 3-time state champion member of the Grand Ledge High School Gymnastics team. Nannying and working with special needs children have fostered her love of helping young people thrive.

D.J.

D.J.

Ninja Zone Coach | Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

As a young boy, DJ competed in state and regional gymnastics meets up to level 5. He studied Tae Kwon Do and Jiujitsu and won the 2011 USA Pankration National Championship. This earned him a spot on the USA team at the World Championship where he won 2 silver and one bronze medal. While attending Blake High School of the Performing Arts, DJ played violin and drums and wrestled competitively. He graduated from GVSU with a degree in Biomedical Sciences and aspires to join the military and serve our country as a United States Naval Officer.

Hannah B.

Hannah B.

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Hannah started gymnastics when she was 9 years old. She competed for R Athletics up through Level 8 Junior Olympic and now competes for the Forest Hills Gymnastics team. She attends Forest Hills Northern and, in addition to gymnastics, she also participates in diving. Hannah loves spending time with kids and her favorite part of coaching is watching expressions of gymnasts when they learn new skills and being able to cheer them on like her coaches did for her.

Kelsea

Kelsea

Team Coach | Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Kelsea has been involved in gymnastics since she was 4 years old. She spent her high school years on the R-Athletics Junior Olympic team. At University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, she competed on their gymnastics team all four years and went on to win four National Championships. Currently she is teaching Special Education in Coopersville. Her favorite part about coaching and teaching is the “lightbulb” moments when kids finally understand a concept or master a skill that they have been working so hard to accomplish!

Caitlin

Caitlin

Team Coach

Caitlin

Maheen

Maheen

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Maheen has been a gymnast since she was 3 years old and continued through her senior year on the Forest Hills Gymnastics team. She is in her last year at FHC school and plans to attend Kalamazoo College in the fall. As a long-time babysitter and the oldest of her family, Maheen is well acquainted with children and how to work with them. Her favorite part of coaching is getting to be a part of a gymnast’s career and enjoying their growth in skill and confidence.

Avery

Avery

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Team Coach

Avery has been involved in gymnastics for 13 years and is currently on the R Athletics’ Junior Olympics’ competitive team. She attends Cedar Springs High School and plans to attend Michigan State University and would love to compete as a rower there. Being a mentor to the younger girls both at practice and during competitions is very satisfying to her. She enjoys passing on her knowledge of the sport to her classes!

Marissa

Marissa

Cheer Coach | Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Maheen has been a gymnast since she was 3 years old and continued through her senior year on the Forest Hills Gymnastics team. She is in her last year at FHC school and plans to attend Kalamazoo College in the fall. As a long-time babysitter and the oldest of her family, Maheen is well acquainted with children and how to work with them. Her favorite part of coaching is getting to be a part of a gymnast’s career and enjoying their growth in skill and confidence.