WAG Little Girls In Pretty Boxes (and other books?)

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purpleleomom

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Nov 10, 2013
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I'm halfway through reading Little Girls in Pretty Boxes, and it's making me want to redirect my DD into another sport. Please tell me it's sensational and exaggerated! After watching the Gabby movie this morning, DD made the comment "when I'm an elite trying out for the Olympics..." I cringed. This is not a legit possibility for her at all, but after reading this book, even the mere mention is horrifying.

Any other books I should read as we go along? I'm also reading Chalked Up. It's also disturbing, but it feels more like one athlete's personal struggle and less like an epidemic.
 

LIGYMMOM

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Apr 1, 2013
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DD and I read Gabby's book together, and also Shawn Johnson's. These are not as "heavy" and might restore your faith in the sport! :) Nadia also has a book, but it's very political, not as much about gymnastics as about her defecting to the U.S. if I remember correctly, but definitely interesting.
 

Terry

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Sep 20, 2013
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As a former gymnast all I can say is if your daughter loves gymnastics it is without question the right sport. I know that there are books about abuses out there, but please take them with a grain of salt. A good coach has to push his/her gymnasts and keep the pressure on or no one will advance. Its part of their job. But that does not have to equate with abuse and generally it does not. Most elite gymnasts love their coaches and trust them and the elites are the girls that get pushed the hardest. Go watch a video of Aly Raisman after her gold winning floor routine at the Olympics. She ran straight into her coaches arms. As you advance in this sport it obviously becomes more competitive -- but the training and work ethic and skill and focus and high level of conditioning -- and a million other pluses -- that I attained from my years in the sport have remained with me. It is a terrific sport -- no reason to worry. (that does not mean that you should not keep on eye on things and make sure your daughter's coach is the right one for her. But again, no reason to be worried)
 

Natasha

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Jan 28, 2011
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As long as you do your job and make sure she is in an emotionally healthy gym, she will be okay. Unfortunately there are some coaches out there at some gyms that use tactics that are not conducive to little girls growing into emotionally healthy adults. And, unfortunately some parents put up with coaches like this because they may be great technical coaches and they believe that it is what is necessary to have success. However, that is simply not true. There are plenty of gyms around with awesome coaches who understand not just the technical aspects of coaching but get the emotional/mental side and do not do more damage than good.
 
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aileenmaryf

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May 29, 2013
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I used to love reading Kerri Strug's book! I would check it out of the library and keep it for weeks.

Oh my gosh, I read this book while I was in gymnastics (I want to say 8th grade). I think the book was slightly old when I read it, but I was definitely inspired. I remember there was a poem in there and I typed it up and hung it on my wall in my room and I read it everyday for a very long time. I wish I could remember what poem it was! But anyways, I loved Kerri Strug's Biography!
 
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