South African gymnast Brandon Beack

… In August 2012, Brandon’s goals changed dramatically. He had a bad dismount at gymnastics training and fell on his head and back. He compressed his 6th and 7th vertebra which has left him paralyzed from the chest down.

He is working hard daily to regain some/all of his physical ability.

Walking with Brandon

Click PLAY or watch his story on YouTube. (17min)

should gymnasts do other sports?

We KNOW that athletes from the lesser sports should be cross-training Gymnastics.

But should we encourage our gymnasts to play other sports?

I think so. As long as they don’t get injured.

… If it takes an infographic of [football head coach] Urban Meyer’s football recruits at Ohio State [the Buckeyes won the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship in January] to shift the paradigm in youth sports, then so be it. The image above clearly demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of his recruits are multi-sport kids. …

recruits-to-ohio-state-football

This is not new information, but it has caused quite a stir. Here is what it says in a nutshell: To be an elite level player at a college or professional sport, you need a degree of exceptional athleticism. And the best medically, scientifically, and psychologically recommended way to develop such all around athleticism is ample free play and multiple sport participation as a child.

Why? Well let’s see what the experts say …

… Steve Nash, who got his first basketball at age 13 and credits his soccer background for making him a great basketball player …

Are all sports the same?

No, they are not. They each require specific athletic, technical, and tactical skill sets. Some sports, in order to be elite, require early specialization, such as gymnastics and figure skating. Other sports are so dependent upon physical prowess (American football, basketball, volleyball, rugby, and others) that the technical skills and tactical know-how can be developed later. …

Can you guess the one thing that most elite athletes have in common?

related – Is It Wise to Specialize?: What Every Parent Needs to Know About Early Sports Specialization and its Effect Upon Your Child’s Athletic Performance

Thank coach John Carroll for the link.

Hailey Strole returns from brain tumour

16 year old Hailey Strole has overcome all odds. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor and undergoing multiple operations, she has returned to gymnastics and is committed to continuing her dream of competing. Her life is far from what many would consider normal, but Hailey’s positive outlook has gotten her through the darkest of times. Watch her inspiring story now.

Donate to the Texas Children’s Hospital.

This is the first Gymnastike post I’ve linked to in a long, long time. The boycott continues. But I made an exception for Hailey. She’s worth it. :-)

Thanks Jason.

Special Needs Gymnastics

Here’s the sequel to the 2014 Grow through Movement – Special Needs VIDEO, one of my favourite edits yet from Tumbl Trak.

Tumbl Trak is proud to introduce our latest work in Special Needs Movement. In collaboration with Occupational Therapists, teachers, parents and students we are learning more every day about the incredible benefits Tumbl Trak equipment offers students with special needs.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Tumbl Trak just posted a series of videos on Special Needs Gymnastics. Browse the Grow Through Movement playlist.

Thanks to Rec specialist Carrie Lennox for the links.

Dove: Choose Beautiful

Sport can build self-confidence of girls and young women.

According to a study connected by Dove, most women (96%) said they wouldn’t choose the word beautiful to describe themselves — although about 80% said there is something beautiful about them.

Mashable – Powerful Dove experiment shows how women can choose to feel beautiful

Feeling beautiful is a personal choice women should feel empowered to make for themselves, every day. This new short film, Dove: Choose Beautiful, shot in 5 international cities (San Francisco, Shanghai, Delhi, London, São Paolo), takes a look at women around the world thinking about their own beauty.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

new TV show – “Douglas Family Gold”

Planned (working title).

Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas stunned the world in 2012 by becoming the first African American in history to win the individual all-around gold medal at the Summer Olympics. Behind her meteoric rise was a supportive family willing to sacrifice everything for years to help her dream.

Now 19, Gabby is ready to do it all over again in hopes of making it back to the medal podium in 2016. The Douglas family shuttles between California and Ohio to support Gabby’s training regimen while also juggling their own lives.

Her brother John is the family’s second Olympic hopeful in track and field, while devoted sisters Arie and Joy are eager to blaze their own paths. “Momager” Natalie keeps this tight-knit family in check, knowing regardless of what happens, “Team Douglas” has already won gold.

Variety

(via @GymCastic)

THWTS – Sanne & Lieke Wevers

The Hard Way To Success – Episode 17 – Sanne & Lieke Wevers (NED)

Very cute. It’s fun to see the sisters training Beam together. Papa is one of their coaches. A Gymnastics family.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. (24min)