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 | Co-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

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.

Becky

Becky

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Cheer Coach | Team Coach

Becky was a gymnast for 6 years and a USAG competitive gymnast for 4 years. In college, she danced for 2 years and performed around Grand Rapids. She has coached team and Rec. gymnastics for 3 years and has worked for 10 years with children in various positions. She is a graduate of the culinary program at Grand Rapids Community College and caters many staff events at the gym. She was the assistant coach for the competitive cheer team at R Athletics last year and coaches many of the surrounding high school cheer teams on their tumbling.

Valerie

Valerie

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Valerie was a competitive gymnast throughout her childhood and competed with the USAG. She continued in the sport as a coach to her high school team. She has always had a love and passion for the sport and for watching others grow to love it. She is proud to use her experience to make her a better coach for young gymnasts.

Kaylie

Kaylie

Rec and Rollin’ Director | Team Coach

Kaylie was a USAG competitive gymnast throughout her childhood. She participated in competitive cheer at Grandville High School and was titled All Conference, All Region, and All State. During high school she started coaching gymnastics with her sister Rachel, who was also her former coach. A passion was sparked and she has been coaching gymnastics for the past 8 years. Kaylie is the Rec. and Rollin’ director as well as a coach of the R-Athletics competitive team.

Julie

Julie

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Ninja Zone Coach

Julie has been involved in gymnastics since age 2. She began competing for USAG at age 6 and then did All Star competitive cheerleading through late middle school and early high school. Julie competed for her high school cheerleading team where she was captain and earned 2 All State awards Julie also cheered for GVSU before she began coaching four years ago. Julie’s favorite part of coaching is seeing a new skill ͞click͟ with students and being part of her students’ lives.

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 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.

J.J.

J.J.

Team Coach | RUSH Athletics Coach

J.J. was a USAG competitive gymnast until high school when she joined Rockford’s Gymnastics Team. She is a graduate of Grand Valley with a Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science. J.J has been coaching gymnastics for eight years. During that time, she has coached team, recreational and pre-school classes, birthday parties, and open gyms. The joy and excitement that children express when accomplishing new skills is why JJ loves her role as coach. They make her smile!

Cohen

Cohen

Ninja Program 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!

Abby

Abby

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Cheer Coach

Abby is a native of Grand Rapids. She was involved in gymnastics for approximately 4 years, starting at the age of eleven. In high school, she was on stage crew for her school’s plays and musicals. Even though theater took up most of her time, she always had a love for gymnastics and would go to open gyms to keep up her skills. Abby currently is a senior at Grand Valley State University majoring in Business Management. She loves to watch her athletes shine with each improvement they make!

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.

Mackenzie

Mackenzie

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Mackenzie is a competitive optional gymnast at R-Athletics. Starting gymnastics at the age of three, she has been competing for over 10 years and has been a state champion on vault for 2 consecutive years. She is currently attending Cedar Springs High School. Being able to see the joy and excitement gymnastics gives children is why Mackenzie loves to coach.

Lauryn

Lauryn

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Team Coach

Lauryn was a competitive gymnast at R-Athletics from elementary school through middle high. She now attends Thornapple Kellogg High School where she runs track and cross country. Her future plans include college and becoming an orthodontist. Sharing her knowledge of gymnastics with here students is what she enjoys most!

Katie

Katie

Cheer | Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Cheer Coach

Katie has been involved in gymnastics throughout her childhood. At lowell High School, she spent four years on the Varsity Cheer team earning All-Conference and MVP awards. She continued her love of cheer by joining the team at Aquinas College. Katie is studying Communication and Math. She loves working with kids and helping them grow as athletes.

Jake

Jake

Ninja Coach | Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Jake is a senior at Forest Hills Central. Jake grew up in the gymnastics world watching his sister compete. Along with his own gymnastics background, he is a multi-sport athlete. Jake loves to coach with a lot of energy and passion. He always makes sure the kids are having the best time.

Hannah

Hannah

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Team Coach

As a former gymnast of Rachel Rydbeck, Hannah competed through level 9 where she placed top 5 All-Around at Regionals, qualifying her for Nationals. After being a club gymnast for 11 years, she pursued volleyball through high school and college. She attended Bethel University (MN) where she received her B.A. in Athletic Training and her volleyball team made it to the Elite 8 her senior year. Photography is her favorite hobby and she aspires to be a photographer. Hanna enjoys coaching because she loves helping young kids improve their abilities and reach their full potential.

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.

Hannah P.

Hannah P.

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Hannah has loved and participated in gymnastics since the age of two. She competed four years on the R-Athletics Junior Olympic team. She is currently attending Wellspring Preparatory High School. Her love of gymnastics has translated well to coaching since she always wanted to encourage her teammates to improve and now she has the privilege of passing on her love of the sport to the next generation.

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.

Rian

Rian

Ninja Coach | Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Rian comes to R-Athletics with a black belt and over five years of experience in Tang Soo do. He has worked with kids from preschool through high school in schools, in community programming and in the mountains of Colorado. Rian enjoys outdoor adventures from hiking to multi-day kayaking trips and eagerly shares this excitement with others.

Bryan

Bryan

Ninja Coach | Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Bryan is currently a senior at Lowell High School who plans on attending Michigan State University next year. In his free time he plays baseball and snowboards. Bryan has prior experience coaching young children. He taught snowboarding and skiing at Cannonsburg Ski Resort for 3 years. Bryan loves working with children to see them improve and grow in the gym as well as becoming a better person all around.

Bradley

Bradley

Team Coach | Rec. & Rollin’ Coach

Bradley graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Mathematics and Psychology geared toward Secondary Education. She started student teaching at Lowell High School this fall. She participated in gymnastics as a kid and fell in love with the sport, but couldn’t stay with it constantly due to moving out of the country. She got back into the sport through coaching and found her passion all over again. She has a love for helping kids achieve their goals and develop the strength and discipline gymnastics requires, but also all the fun that can be had. Other than teaching math and coaching gymnastics and soccer, she loves to travel, read, ski and be around puppies.

Ray

Ray

Ninja Coach | Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Rah Cheer 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.

Addison

Addison

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Team 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.

Delaney

Delaney

Rec. & Rollin’ Coach | Team Coach

Delaney grew up in the metro Detroit area. She has been involved in gymnastics for 17 years. After competing competitively until high school, she than began coaching. Delaney is currently studying health care administration at Ferris State University. When she is not at the gym or in class, Delaney enjoys being with friends, reading and listening to music. Delaney loves coaching because she enjoys seeing kids gain confidence and accomplish the goals they have set.