- Mar 16, 2011
Wait... if the average elite girls are training the same and/or less hours... but all these "aspiring" elites are training double the hours at half the age.... why does that meant the sport is evolving and it's harder to become an elite athlete? These tiny little girls putting in these hours aren't the elite ones yet. I think it's more a symptom of how overly competitive parents are getting with their kids in recent years. But that doesn't mean it will correlate to success in gymnastics. Quantity does not equal quality with this sport. In 10 years if every girl at the Olympics trained 40 hours a week at age 8 at level 7 and were all on TOPs "A" team every year.... well then I'll come and eat my words.
Coterpandguidegirl, I agree with you as far the overzealous competitive parents. As my previous post state "I hope these produces better gymnasts and not merely "upping" each other on who spends the most hours in the gym or for the gym to generate more income". But the sport is indeed evolving. It has to. Becoming a team member is harder. They keep cutting the numbers and making the skills harder. In TOPS alone, in 2005, about 71 made A team. Last year and this year, that number is down to around 55. In addition the required abilities test is different. In 2001, they did pull ups and push ups as part of the abilities test, no cast to handstand. You can also check the average scores of each test. There were significantly lower 5 to 10 years ago. Even Shawn Johnson commented on an interview that her hardest skills in 2008 are now being used as warm up by the young athletes around here.
Didn't they also cut the nimber of gymnasts we sent to World's and the Olympics? If they have not cut thr numbers in a decade, then I stand corrected. I just want to make it clear, I am not complaining or saying anything is wrong, just that that is what I've personally observed.
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