, ,

Helping Gymnasts Through Puberty and Growth with Dr. David Kruse

In today’s podcast, we are joined by Dr. David Kruse, the USA Gymnastics Medical Director & Team Physician, who is dedicated to promoting athlete wellness and health in the sport.

He gained his B.S., Biology, University of California at Berkeley, and M.D., University of California at San Diego.

David has 15+ years of domestic and international event coverage experience, including the Rio and Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. 

Today Dr. Kruse will be sharing his expertise on growth, puberty, and maturation, and offering valuable insights on supporting gymnasts through this challenging period.

He highlights the physical, mental, and emotional changes that gymnasts experience during puberty. 

This transformative phase often brings about a new sense of identity and social norms, making it essential for gymnasts to navigate these changes effectively in the context of their sport, school, and personal life.

Dr. Kruse emphasizes the importance of providing mental and emotional support to gymnasts during this turbulent time. 

He shares valuable advice on understanding their perception of social norms and external influences and offers strategies to help them cope with these challenges. 

By creating a supportive environment, coaches, parents, and medical providers can assist gymnasts in managing their emotional well-being.

Puberty-related injuries, such as Osgood-Schlatter disease, hamstring strains, gymnast’s wrist, and Sever’s disease, are common among gymnasts. 

Dr. Kruse sheds light on effective approaches to managing and preventing these injuries. 

He emphasizes the need for individualized care, shared decision-making, and gradual return-to-play programs, ensuring the long-term health and well-being of the gymnasts.


We discuss:

  • How maturation affects performance.
  • Athletes’ cognitive and emotional development during maturation.
  • How to navigate the effects of maturation, advice for parents and coaches.
  • How to develop a healthy relationship with your athletes.
  • Common injuries to be aware of during maturation
  • The three-step approach to injury recovery. 
  • The importance of sleep. And…
  • Empowerment through knowledge


Helping Gymnasts Through Puberty and Growth with Dr. David Kruse


Listening platform thumbnails 

For those seeking more in-depth knowledge on these topics, Dr. Kruse will be presenting at the Shift Symposium 2023.

The symposium offers an opportunity for medical providers, coaches, and gymnasts to learn and grow in their understanding of gymnastics and athlete health. 

Visit https://shiftmovementscience.com/2023shiftsymposium/ to get your tickets.


Hope it helps!

– Dave

Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science