WAG Highschool and Injuries

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Nov 1, 2015
It’s only the third day of practice there is already an injury. An ankle roll from a round off was the culprit. I have heard nothing but terrible things about injuries with high school gymnastics and as a very prudent coach I never imagined there would be an injury on the team I coached so soon (I've gone 15 years with only a sprained ankle as a JO coach). It just seems like many of the girls aren't working out over the summer. It is not skill level, it is the athletic condition of the athletes that leads to many of these injuries. The problem is I have some girls who work out all summer at Club and I have some girls who do nothing all summer (que injuries here). I can't require them or even suggest they need to work out over the summer, nor can I exclude them from activity based on this fact alone.

Is there a way to measure ankle and wrist strength in your gymnast? I’m thinking if I can come up with some general requirements I may be able to address any weaknesses with athletes who need extra conditioning before they get an injury.
The more conditioning they do the better. Lots of calf raises, ankle abcs, shin burners, etc. Build a strong core.
Maybe suggest tiger paws for them? And resistance band ankle work?
I don't know if you could do this or not. I guess it would depend on how much time you can commit and if you have the facilities during off season. But with my son's football team, they also can't require the boys to condition during off season. Their coaches do offer off season voluntary conditioning sessions and incentives for showing up to these sessions. The boys are put on teams. Which ever team gets the most points (you get a point for coming to conditioning) will get to have dinner on the coaches. They can't require it and can't penalize anyone for not coming. But they usually have a good turn out. They also have individual incentives. The 10 boys with the highest points get to be co-captains for the varsity football games. That is a big incentive for the younger players who wouldn't get that opportunity until they were actually a captain as a senior.
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That sounds like a great idea, I think our school has a general fitness and conditioning program in the summer. Now my brains turning trying to think of some incentives these girls would be excited about. As a mom of three living off coaches pay I'm going to have to be crafty :)
I second resistance band ankle work. Can you give them "homework" to use therabands every day while they watch tv or whatever?
Another good ankle "stabilizer" is setting up 2 cones or other small (non hazardous) obstacles and having them run in a TIGHT figure 8. Toe raises (holding weights) . Lots of "stick it" drills.
I like the idea of an incentive, it doesn't have to be something that costs money. Be creative! It could be the winner gets to choose a game at the end of practice, or they get free time on some equipment or something. :)

And.... I would make conditioning "games" and drills a huge part of practice when you can. ;)
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Our coach offers free workout time with our team for girls that will be on the high school team. It isn't required, but it is available for two months before high school practices start. Since they are working out with our team, they get conditioning and basics.
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