Have you seen Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian forensic pathologist who fights against efforts by the National Football League to suppress his research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) brain degeneration suffered by professional football players?
Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.
Anyone who boxes or plays football should know the risks by now. I’m more concerned for coaches and athletes in sports who assume they are at low risk of micro-trauma injury to the brain. Trampoline? Artistic Gymnasts?
related – League of Denial
Canadian gymnast Taylor Lindsay-Noel was paralyzed in 2008 training a toe-on double front dismount from Bars. No pit. No spot.
She’s very eloquent. Very active online.
And now she’s launched a podcast called Tea Time with Tay.
In her first podcast Taylor details the day of her life-changing accident.
Here’s her website.
Bruce Craven is an owner of Craven Sports Services. He and his wife Karen have worked with gymnasts for decades.
Currently Bruce is assisting male gymnasts at Taiso Gymnastics Saskatoon. As always he’s focused on training the correct muscles for each element. And contracting those muscles in the best sequence.
Click PLAY or watch L-sit training on YouTube. (Flexibility and specific strength.)
Dr. Dave Tilley reports on monitoring for peak height velocity in his Gym.
Dave’s been tracking 3 numbers for each of the growing kids:
• seated height (torso length)
• wing span
Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.
At MINIMUM your gymnasts age 10-17 should have a place in the Gym where they pencil in their standing height on some regular basis. They should know when they are growing. There are implications for training load.
If you want to research this topic, get Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science, Gymnastics. (2013).
Here’s the Google Books preview.
related – Tracking Growth and Development To Reduce Injury Risk In Gymnasts
Dr. Dave Tilley is concerned:
… the unfortunate reality is that the typical way gymnasts were taught to land growing up (me included) may not be the safest for them and most effective to stick skills. Not to mention coaches are also unfortunately very mis-informed about what the best available science suggests for proper landing mechanics. The concerning typical landing position that we need to move away from is one of
• Knees and feet together
• Glutes engage with the “hips tucked under” into hollow
• Knee dominant landing strategy
• Stiff impact with upright torso
… The reality of the situation is that we need to change the way gymnasts land, starting from a very young age. The more ideal landing we should be teaching and forcing athletes to use is
• Feet hip width apart
• toes, knees, hips, and shoulders close to inline (generally)
• core engaged in relative neutral (not excessively hollowed or arched)
• proper angular displacement of the hip and knee joints
• hip angle generally 30 degrees, and trunk / tibial lines close to parallel …
Why Gymnasts Must Change How They Land
With greatly increased difficulty being competed now and into the future, obviously the “best” landing positions are the ones that bring impact forces to zero with the least risk of injury, especially major injuries like ligament ruptures.
Most of the top male gymnasts in 2016 land their difficult skills in a very typical way.
Check these successful WAG landing positions. (Some are luck, of course. But many are skillful.)
Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.
An archive of newsletter articles by Dr. Gerald George can be found here.
A sample — “The Mechanics of Impact“:
… The effectiveness of the take-off sets the uppermost limits of what the gymnast can hope to obtain during the airborne phase of any skill. During this moment, the path (trajectory) followed by the performer’s center of gravity, as well as the quantity of rotary motion (angular momentum) available for skill execution, are irrevocably established. …
Once the gun has been fired, there is no turning back…for the trajectory and momentum of its bullet are irrevocably established! …