WAG Dr Sands article - What is wrong with WAG in the US

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chalkbowl

Judge
Fan
Nov 16, 2006
619
Agreed. It is one of the reasons I never let my girls train more than 12 hours a week, even with that one of them has lasting back problems. and had spinal surgery. There is no doubt that gymnastics does not do a growing body good at extremes.

What's crazy to me is when people like Dave Tilley (DPT, SCS, CSCS) do injury prevention seminars at congress, they are some of the LEAST attended sessions all weekend long...
 
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Aero

Coach
Fan
Jan 1, 2014
836
33
Michigan, Region 5
@bogwoppit, thank you for taking the time to post this article. I think the more frequently people see articles like this, it can only do good for the community. It is certainly a thought provoking and intellectual argument to make. If the government funded sports more heavily like in other countries, it would allow coaching education to become a more prominent, and even required aspect of the broad field of American sports. I agree with Dr. Sands that it would also go a long way towards mitigating athlete abuse in its various forms. A good system of mentors teaching the "know-how" would also put a lot of positive, accountable people in charge, and that would really help shift the culture of gymnastics, and would also have an additional effect of preventing the spread of misinformation and "old school" coaching techniques that are outdated and damaging. Implementing this type of country wide coach education system would also make sports, amateur or professional, a more enticing environment for scientists and researchers, too. We would see a huge boost in sports research, sports specific medical professionals, and high quality sports research centers. I think it would create more jobs!

The caveat is that for the U.S. government to boost funding in sports and create a nationally recognized, university-level educational system with all the necessary oversight, it would have to lower or cut funding in other places. There is always a requisite balancing act when money is involved. I do think it would be absolutely worth it, though. Our youth becomes the future of our country, and sports are a fantastic way that young people learn important life concepts and values. Perhaps we can redistribute some funds from our exorbitant military funding. :rolleyes:

As an aside, I can say for sure that if I could get a degree in gymnastics coaching, I would immediately go back to school!!! :p
 

raenndrops

Coach
Oct 24, 2009
6,788
The 'Wood, Ohio
@bogwoppit, A good system of mentors teaching the "know-how" would also put a lot of positive, accountable people in charge, and that would really help shift the culture of gymnastics, and would also have an additional effect of preventing the spread of misinformation and "old school" coaching techniques that are outdated and damaging. Implementing this type of country wide coach education system would also make sports, amateur or professional, a more enticing environment for scientists and researchers, too. We would see a huge boost in sports research, sports specific medical professionals, and high quality sports research centers. I think it would create more jobs!

The caveat is that for the U.S. government to boost funding in sports and create a nationally recognized, university-level educational system with all the necessary oversight, it would have to lower or cut funding in other places. There is always a requisite balancing act when money is involved. I do think it would be absolutely worth it, though. Our youth becomes the future of our country, and sports are a fantastic way that young people learn important life concepts and values. Perhaps we can redistribute some funds from our exorbitant military funding. :rolleyes:

As an aside, I can say for sure that if I could get a degree in gymnastics coaching, I would immediately go back to school!!! :p
When I attended The Ohio State University (years ago), There was a class offered about coaching the young athlete. I just looked and they have at least 3-4 classes directly related to coaching. ;)
 
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Taxidriver

Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2016
217
Well other countries make it work, so clearly it can be done. But it definitely requires a mental shift. We would not accept unqualified teachers, but honestly it takes nothing to be coaching kids 40 hours a week. Is that okay?

Not to say I do not know any amazing coaches who have no formal training. There are many. But surely a structured system of training, and retraining, makes sense.

In Canada, and the UK, you can only coach skills you are qualified to coach. Along with thus there is a huge safety component to the training, child safety too.
Whilst it shocks me that in the US you don’t have to to be qualified to coach sadly it doesn’t solve everything.
Sadly here in the UK we have our own issues with medals being more important than individual gymnasts. I can think of one elite gym who when you look at how many age 13+ gymnasts have long term injuries its just scary, their philosophy seems to be lots of girls hugely high hours most wont make it but a couple will, where as my dd gym philosophy is help each gymnast reach their potential.
But the high hour gym are well liked by British Gymnastics and no one seems to question their high injury ratio.
 
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