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Athletic development specialists dedicated to the art and science of excellence in movement

Gymnastics

Fixing What's Broken: Elite Development and USA Gymnastics

I was thinking yesterday morning the USA has looked great during podium training in Tokyo; almost TOO great. Unfortunately my gut instinct was correct. First Anna Li went down with a lower abdominal injury, then Allie Raisman with an ankle then Alicia Sacramone with a potentially torn Achilles.   Fortunately, Allie appears to have escaped serious injury and should make the final lineup.  With these injuries, ASac and Anna join a growing list of US elites on the injury sideline for the most important competition since the 2008 Games. 

Looking Beyond the Mouth: Orthodontics and Their Effect on Athletic Development

One of the defining images from this summer’s swimming World Championships was that of teen sensation Missy Franklin showing off her orthodontic gadgetry on the medal podium. 

A Look Behind the Scenes at Cirque du Soleil: Lessons for a More Prophylactic Approach to Reduce Competitive Gymnastics Injuries

Last November we to attended Cirque du Soleil's production of Alegria during its stop in Tucson.  While watching the show and the amazing feats of athleticism by the performers, I wondered "what type of sports medicine infrastructure do they provide?" After all, it's not as though you can find an abundance of people walking the street who can substitute for an injured performer at a moments notice. 

Pitfalls of Habitual Taping and the Battlefield Care Approach to the Treatment of Gymnastics Injuries

While taping is seen in many sports it seems to be an epidemic in gymnastics. It is ingrained from generation to generation, seen as slightly cool and an easy “fix” for coaches. I’m not a big fan. If an athlete needs a tape job to get through an important competition then it is fine but not the solution. Here are some of my issues with taping:

Think Big

10 Years, 10,000 Hours, or 3 Hours Per Day. That is how long it takes to develop an elite level athlete.  Many gymnasts (and their parents!) have high aspirations in the sport.  The level of commitment by gymnastics families is matched by few sports.  However, achieving greatness requires a more refined approach than a crazed obsession with reaching the next level in the shortest time possible.