Sunday 25 July 2021

Marla Ahlgrimm On Gymnastics Safety

Marla Ahlgrimm

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles recently made headlines when she pulled out of the postponed 2020 Olympics. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, Biles asserted that mental and physical health issues spawned her decision. This has brought sharply into focus the types of dangers faced by athletes, and gymnasts in particular. 
Marla Ahlgrimm explains that gymnasts, especially those with Olympic aspirations, face injuries each time they get on the mat. From strains and sprains to broken bones and physical and emotional fatigue, potential risks are everywhere. But, with a few safety precautions, many young athletes can have an enjoyable and minimally painful experience. 

Gymnastics gear to keep an athlete safe includes wrist straps, reinforced footwear, and a spotting belt. Marla Ahlgrimm notes that these pieces are essential during practice. Gymnasts should also wear comfortable, snug fitting clothing that will not come away from their bodies while they tumble and flip. 
Marla Ahlgrimm also points out that there are plenty of competition and practice safety precautions that all coaches should insist upon. One is to complete a sports physical prior to each season. This is also important for novice gymnasts that have yet to touch the mat for the first time. All athletes should stretch before tumbling, which should always be done on a padded surface. 
Coaches should be qualified, and beginning coaches should be supervised by a facility director with years of experience coaching up-and-coming gymnasts. 
Marla Ahlgrimm
Marla Ahlgrimm says that young athletes should also feel comfortable sticking up for themselves. Those who feel as though they are injured or unable to complete a move should talk with their coaches and parents to come up with an alternative routine that does not put them at risk. 
Finally, Marla Ahlgrimm explains that performing gymnastics requires at least two people. Practice should never happen alone, and the athlete should never wear jewelry or chew gum and on the mat.


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