Published April 22, 2020
Edited by Roslyn Kerr, Natalie Barker-Ruchti, Carly Stewart, and Gretchen Kerr.
This book lifts the lid on the high pressured, complex world of women’s artistic gymnastics. By adopting a socio-cultural lens incorporating historical, sociological and psychological perspectives, it takes the reader through the story and workings of women’s artistic gymnastics.
Beginning with its early history as a ‘feminine appropriate’ sport, the book follows the sport through its transition to a modern sports form. Including global cases and innovative narrative methods, it explores the way gymnasts have experienced its intense challenges, the complexities of the coach-athlete relationship, and how others involved in the sport, such as parents and medical personnel, have contributed to the reproduction of a highly demanding and potentially abusive sporting culture.
With the focus on a unique women’s sport, the book is an important read for researchers and students studying sport sociology, sport coaching, and physical education, but it is also a valuable resource for anyone interested in the development of sporting talent.
It’s available through Amazon.com.
Professor Barker-Ruchti contends that coaches should plan for Gymnastics peak performance as adults, rather than trying to teach as much difficulty as possible when girls are small: