Perhaps too many "training" camps in Texas where they are expected to present worlds ready routines instead of aiming to paek in London. Very hard on a body. They'll be lucky to have anyone left and it'll be like the Olympics all over, except this time without Nastia and Shawn!
I heard! I am kinda bummed but I am glad to hear that Sam is taking some time to get the surgery and to get herself well again. She is a senior this year so maybe she has plans to do college gymnastics and she is keeping that goal a priority?? Not sure--just speculation.
Ugh I hope team coordinators are re-examining their training expectations/beliefs.
It's a lot smaller scale, but our track coaches went through it too. This year was our most intense ever, with7 day a week practices(even after meets!) lasting often 3hours a more (a lot of running, lifting, and plyos) All of a sudden we had girls getting injured and fatigued. Well they looked at what we were doing, and changed the workouts a bit and cut back to 6 days a week. It benefitted everyone-we qualified more girls to state and sectionals than the previous 3 years combined!
It's the Eastern European train til you drop philosophy that's basically training them til they drop!! USAG (read: Marta and company) should be looking at how many of their top gymnasts are hurt with this ridiculous system and make the necessary adjustments like that track team did...but to whoever thinks that is going to happen, I have a bridge to sell to you in London!!
Why do you think there are so few elites, period? There are plently of girls who could (skillwise) be elite but they don't want the schedule, the increased risk of injury or the increased risk of burn out. They want to have FUN with a sport that they do every day
so they stay in the JO circuit.
I agree Socko. GIrls in the US have some great alternatives.
NCAA gymnastics is so big and exciting in the US. For girls to be able to compete against great gymnasts, have limited training hours (20 hours a week I believe) and have some fabulous and televised meets. The Olympic dream seem to involve a lot of pain and dissapointment for the majority and a fabulous blaze of glory for the minority.
All little girls dream of going to the Olympics, that is just the way kids are, but their dreams never seem to involve stress fractures, tears and strains.
USAG seriously needs to re-examine how it raises Elites. Shawn did not go the traditional Elite route, she had her dream and moved on. All power to her.
This laps over somewhat into the TOPS thread, just because kids want to train the mega hours and still find it fun, is it apprpriate if their bodies may be damaged long term? How much pounding is too much?
I agree, Bog. I have watched some NCAA gym meets on my 'on-demand' t.v. system. Those ladies look like they are having FUN! Their floor routines alone are MUCH more fun/interesting than traditional Olympic-style floor routines.
And if you've ever been to an NCAA meet (we used to go to Cal Berkeley's sometimes) there's so much POSITIVE energy in the arena. And the girls seem to learn a lot more about true 'team spirit' than the Olympic types.
W/ the NCAA route, you (hopefully) have four years to enjoy competing, whereas w/ the Olympics, it's one chance every 4 years, and a lot of 'chance' is involved as to wether you will be ready/well or not. Sam proves that. She can take the time to get better now, and it's not going to make her miss her chance to be a part of the team. I vote NCAA, and hope USAG can take some cues from them. But as socko said, I'm not planning to buy any bridges from her!