For gymnasts, growth and puberty phases ( ages 8-14 of puberty in particular) are some of the most challenging to navigate. For gymnasts, parents, coaches, and medical staff, there are many problems that come up.
These can range from frustration with skills, losses in flexibility/power, growth-related injuries, hormonal changes, mood swings, and more.
As adults trying to help young kids through these years, it can be hard both from a general point of view but also from a gymnastics specific point of view.
So, after getting a massive amount of requests on this topic I wanted to get together some friend of mine to help people in the community out.
Dr. Ellen Casey is the current Team USA Women’s Senior National Team Physician and has an abundance of both academic and clinical experience on this topic. She was a gymnast herself, competing at Penn State, and has now worked with hundreds of gymnasts from lower levels to elite international.
Nick Ruddock is an international elite gymnastics coach who has consulted with 21 gymnastics federations. He has personally coached hundreds of athletes, some up to the most elite level, and has consulted with well over 1000 gymnastics professionals. He commonly is answering questions, and offering solutions, to helping young gymnasts in the sport.
I asked them to come on the podcast to dive into the younger years, and puberty in particular, to help the community out. We talk about
- What is puberty and why is it so tough on athletes?
- The normal expected changes during growth
- What gymnastics coaches should be focusing on for training in the gym
- Why our culture needs to change for not placing too much demand on young gymnasts
- How to stay safe, buts still make progress in the gym
- How parents can better help their gymnasts get through rapid growth
- Common injuries and preventative concepts
- The best practices for gymnastics professionals to use day to day
You can check it out on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher or watch it on YouTube here.
A Guide To Navigating Puberty In Gymnastics With
Dr. Ellen Casey and Nick Ruddock
Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science