My almost 9yr old (starting DP level 5 in January) is very pigeon toed. I had never even noticed it before I started researching her deductions on beam. But now I see that even between events at meets she stands with both feet totally turned inward. I also think she is getting a lot of deductions for this on beam and floor.
She has always loved beam and she works very hard at it. I hate to see her not live up to her potential due to this issue. Any ideas on ways to combat this? Drills? or should I just put her ina ballet class to learn good turn-out?
Ballet class is good and all, but I agree with the other poster that PT may be better. To prevent injury, strength rather than flexibility will help her.
For some positive inspiration, Rebecca Bross has knock knees and has managed to win multiple international titles. To my understanding, she does not receive a deduction for sickling her feet to make them touch due to her condition (I attached a pic). However those knees and ankles (along with Valeri Liukin but that’s a whole can of worms) have gotten some gnarly injuries. Perhaps they could’ve been prevented with better strength and PT. Still, she is a former shining star of WOGA.
If I may say as a coach, I like to try and roll with the punches. Yes, I’ll try to correct certain things. Heck, I have an athlete right now with rather pronated feet. That’s something she’s getting surgery for. In the time being, I help strengthen her and change her skills around to best suit her body (hooray XCel).
I’d rather help the gymnast shine where I can. Meaning, we may work on things while also understanding that some deductions may be ‘built in’. In the position I’m in, I’m hesitant to ask a child to change their body. I fear I’ll make the child self conscious or I’ll make the issue worse. However, it can be helped with care and support from you, her coach, and her doctor. You have your heart in an amazing place, so I’m sure you’ll find a solution.