More Than Just a Coach: Timur Abdullin is a Mentor and Father Figure to His Gymnastics Students

Young gymnasts dream of standing on the Olympic stage, gold medals around their necks. But Timur Abdullin knows that there’s more than just the Olympics in this life, and he makes sure to teach his students how gymnastics can help them beyond the gym and into the future.

Former member of the city and national junior team of his native Kazakhstan, Timur excelled at gymnastics throughout his youth. When injuries took their toll, he ended his 16-year professional career and instead found a new focus in the development of the youth program.

He studied at the University of Physical Culture and Sports, where his thesis focused on young athletes’ mental and physical preparation. In 2000, he began to coach and work in the Olympic Reserve sports school, concentrating on student-athletes.

University and The Start of Coaching

Timur graduated from the university in 2003, then went on to receive his certificate of international coaching cum laude from the International Federation of Gymnastics in 2009. Then, he began his career as a judge, awarding prizes at major competitions, including the World Championships, Student Universiades, and the Olympic Games.

Throughout his career, one thing that struck Abdullin as concerning was seeing the effect of years of challenging training on young athletes, focused so sharply on their athletic prowess that left the rest of their still-forming lives at the wayside. Determined to do what he could to balance that, Timur redirected their energies to become both successful athletes and respected members of their communities and the world at large.

How Gymnastics Can Teach Life Skills

Timur Abdullin Coaching

Gymnastics, by nature, is an individual sport relying on training the body to complete complicated and controlled maneuvers. Precision is everything. That kind of commitment and focus is a lot for any athlete, but especially for young athletes who are striving for the acceptance of their families, coaches, and teams. A highly skilled gymnast has a career of 10 to 15 years on average–which, if it started in youth, can mean many gymnasts are in their early twenties and burned out.

With their entire lives ahead of them and without the proper coping skills and worldly experience, many former athletes turn to other outlets–very often drugs and alcohol.

Abdullin wanted to emphasize the importance of the whole person for his students. He focuses on demonstrating to his young athletes that they are leaders in their communities and need to lead by example. Developing their personalities, continuing their education, and learning how to handle disappointment and frustration in healthy ways are hallmarks of Abdullin’s coaching.

Opportunity in America

Timur Abdullin started his career in the United States in 2020. He became a senior trainer at Universal Gymnastics Academy in North Port, Florida. At the same time, he continued his coaching career, including as a sitting judge of the US Nationals in Tampa, Florida.

While in Florida, he received his accreditation as a United States Gymnastics Federation member and began training his team at his gymnastics club. Timur also has the pleasure of qualifying gymnasts for university scholarships, with three former students preparing and succeeding.

Timur’s newest position is as a senior coach at Metropolitan Gymnastics in Seattle, Washington. Metropolitan Gymnastics has an award-winning national development program for boys and a Junior Elite program that Abdullin runs.

One of his shining stars is Jonah Soltz, a Men’s Developmental Program member. Soltz took 5th in the 2023 US Gymnastics Championship and 6th at the Men’s Developmental National Championships. Most importantly, Jonah also has a whole life outside of the gym, something Abdullin is proud of.

For Timur Abdullin, while gymnastics may be beautiful, they’re not the only thing in life. Personal development is more important than achieving results, something he plans to prioritize for the next ten years as head coach of his gymnasium.

Vision and Legacy

Coach Timur Abdullin’s arrival at Metropolitan Gymnastics heralds a new era of ambition and aspiration for the men’s gymnastics program. With a forward-looking vision, Coach Timur is dedicated to sustaining and enhancing the rich history of excellence that the program is known for.

His leadership philosophy is rooted in creating an environment that prioritizes excellence, dedication, and growth, both on and off the gymnastics floor. Coach Timur’s approach is not just about refining the physical skills of his gymnasts but also about nurturing their mental toughness and passion for the sport.

Under his guidance, young gymnasts are encouraged to dream big and work tirelessly towards achieving their personal best. Coach Timur’s commitment to inspiring these athletes is evident in the personalized attention and mentorship he provides.

By leveraging the strong foundation established by previous generations of coaches and gymnasts, he aims to contribute significantly to the legacy of Metropolitan Gymnastics, ensuring its reputation for producing top-tier athletes continues to grow.

Coaching Staff


The success of Metropolitan Gymnastics’ men’s program is a testament to the collective effort and expertise of its award-winning coaching staff, with Coach Timur Abdullin playing a pivotal role. As a specialist overseeing Levels 8-9 / Junior Elite (JE) gymnasts, his expertise is crucial in preparing athletes for the higher echelons of competitive gymnastics. Coach Timur’s role is instrumental in developing the technical skills, discipline, and competitive mindset required at these advanced levels.

The coaching team at Metropolitan Gymnastics is a blend of experience, passion, and dedication. Steven Schmerber, serving as the Men’s Program Director, focuses his efforts on nurturing young talents in Levels 5-7 / Future Stars.

His leadership ensures that the foundational skills are solidly built, setting the stage for advanced development. Yury Kartzev, an Optional Coach for Levels 9 and 10, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team, focusing on fine-tuning the gymnasts’ skills and routines for elite competitions.

This collaborative coaching team is the backbone of the gymnastics program, ensuring that each gymnast receives the guidance and support needed to excel. Their combined efforts foster a culture of excellence, where every gymnast is encouraged to push their limits and achieve their best. The team’s dedication to skill refinement and competitive success has made Metropolitan Gymnastics a nurturing ground for champions.