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Pros of Being Tall

kendo348

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I am equally as excited to watch my younger daughter conquer level 9 bars! She has grown so much. She is about 5' 6" now and it amazes me that bars is still her favorite event. She has definitely figured out how to make her height work to her advantage!
I’m starting a new thread for this so as to not be a hijacker! This is of great interest to me. My daughter is tall for her age and I often wonder how long she will be able to last in this sport. She is a bars girl - but I always figured bars is the first event where height will become a problem. When people say a gymnast is tall they usually mean like 5’2” lol. She will certainly hit 5’6”. So I’m interested in the experience of being a gymnast who is actually tall, not just “taller” and the forecast I can expect for her future. In what ways can it be an advantage? At what level/skills does it become an insurmountable obstacle?
 

Pirouette

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So my DD16's story is a little different because she didn't start gymnastics until she was 11 and already over 5' tall. She is in the Xcel track, doing Platinum now, and she is 5' 9.5" tall. Being so long-legged, she looks beautiful when she leaps, and her lines on beam are very pretty. She says that being so tall reinforces for her that you really do have to work for the skills. Nothing comes easily when you have all that length to move around. She also says that keeping tight knees can be difficult. She doesn't seem to get the skills as easily as her shorter teammates. Maybe that's just an individual thing, but maybe it has to do with her height -- who knows?

Her coaches have to adjust the bars for her EVERY SINGLE TIME. Luckily, another gymnast is getting close to her height (maybe 5' 7.5"?) so at least it isn't just for her alone any more . . .

Did you know that smacking the mat with your feet as you swing is a deduction? Ask me how I know that . . .

#tallpeopleproblems
 

SandSurfandGym

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Its never insurmountable.

Google Australian senior international gymnast Georgia-Rose Brown. She has been a long term member on the Australian team and at 173cm (approx 5 foot 8) has absolutely beautiful lines on bars and beam.
 

JessSyd

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I have mentioned this before here, so apologies for the repetition, but in Australia a bars specialist on our national team is 5’8. She has been on the team for years, has medalled at World Cup events, and looks beautiful on bars!
 

JessSyd

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Snap SandSurfandGym! I was posting about Georgia Rose at the same time you were. She’s the tallest WAG gymnast currently competing at international level. She looks stunning on floor too. Does not have the D to compete against the big names but always has lovely execution.
 
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MBJ974

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I agree...never insurmountable, at any level, especially for a gymnast!!!

Based on my experience, she will go as far as her grit will take her. There have been so many days, weeks, and even seasons of frustration for having to tweek skills and adjust quipment in order to maximize my Dd's tall body. She struggles with keeping her legs and arms straight and pointing her toes. However, she is a very determined, resilient person who will just put her head down and plow through the storm. That is what speaks volumes.

On a side note, my tall DD has had significantly less injuries thank my ODD who has a typical gymnast body.
 

kendo348

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I agree...never insurmountable, at any level, especially for a gymnast!!!

Based on my experience, she will go as far as her grit will take her. There have been so many days, weeks, and even seasons of frustration for having to tweek skills and adjust quipment in order to maximize my Dd's tall body. She struggles with keeping her legs and arms straight and pointing her toes. However, she is a very determined, resilient person who will just put her head down and plow through the storm. That is what speaks volumes.

On a side note, my tall DD has had significantly less injuries thank my ODD who has a typical gymnast body.
This is good to know! I will keep all these responses in my back pocket for the day when she gets frustrated and asks me about this. So far having straight legs comes easily to her, but she hasn’t had any puberty growth spurts either. She is still utterly convinced she will be one of the small percentage in her group who statistically will make it to L10. She’s not bragging, she just says it in this quiet matter-of-fact way when it comes up that almost scares me with her determination. A bit scared for her if she realizes someday she won’t get there, and a bit scared for me if she does get there haha.

That’s great that your taller daughter has had less injuries! I have wondered about that too.
 
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kendo348

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What is the easiest event on which to progress when height is an issue? Which is the hardest? I know this may vary for each person but I’d be curious what others experiences are.
 

Ginger

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What is the easiest event on which to progress when height is an issue? Which is the hardest? I know this may vary for each person but I’d be curious what others experiences are.
I don't know an answer to this question but let's talk about tall gymnasts on UB...
Svetlana Khorkina was 5'5''
Kyla Ross is currently 5'7'', and still top UB gymnast for her UCLA team
Nina Derwael, current UB World champion, is 5'5''
Ashton Locklear, who almost made it to 2016 Olympics as a bar specialist, is 5'4''
 

Aussie_coach

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Long fingers make gripping the bars easier, also many low to high bar changes are easier when you are tall.

But remember you are usually a gymnast for a short portion of you life, most are done by adulthood but you must be an adult for a long time. I am an adult in my late 30’s and still have that “gymnast body”. I am 5’0” and a little extra height would help in many way - driving, seeing over the dash board, being able to reach things and carry things better, buying clothes that fit, being able to see in crowds, having your feet reach the floor when you sit in a chair, spotting my gymnasts, well you get the idea.

I don’t mind being short, but when you are typical gymnast height and an adult, you experience a world that is designed for people just a bit taller. Being tall isn’t a bad thing!
 

Jard.the.gymnast

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I am 5’9, was about 5’5 when I started gymnastics i think.

Things that were easiest for me were certainly jumps and leaps. I had a very decent split half jump on floor and was getting close to my split full. For reference, I couldn’t even do a back handspring. I was also always awarded for my artistry.

I also have relatively long fingers (even for my height) so grabbing the bar was easy, although I did slip off a lot when I had no grips yet because I tend to hold on to the bar with my fingers only.
 

kendo348

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Long fingers make gripping the bars easier, also many low to high bar changes are easier when you are tall.

But remember you are usually a gymnast for a short portion of you life, most are done by adulthood but you must be an adult for a long time. I am an adult in my late 30’s and still have that “gymnast body”. I am 5’0” and a little extra height would help in many way - driving, seeing over the dash board, being able to reach things and carry things better, buying clothes that fit, being able to see in crowds, having your feet reach the floor when you sit in a chair, spotting my gymnasts, well you get the idea.

I don’t mind being short, but when you are typical gymnast height and an adult, you experience a world that is designed for people just a bit taller. Being tall isn’t a bad thing!
I agree! Height has its advantages in life! I think I do a decent job of keeping her whole future in perspective relative to her gymnastics, but I’d still like her to be able to experience the skills she hopes for before she leaves. While her dance/artistry is beautiful and she scores well, she doesn’t seem to care much about the score - her heart is just on learning to fly. It makes me happy to know that height could be used well on bars!
 
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kendo348

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So my DD16's story is a little different because she didn't start gymnastics until she was 11 and already over 5' tall. She is in the Xcel track, doing Platinum now, and she is 5' 9.5" tall. Being so long-legged, she looks beautiful when she leaps, and her lines on beam are very pretty. She says that being so tall reinforces for her that you really do have to work for the skills. Nothing comes easily when you have all that length to move around. She also says that keeping tight knees can be difficult. She doesn't seem to get the skills as easily as her shorter teammates. Maybe that's just an individual thing, but maybe it has to do with her height -- who knows?

Her coaches have to adjust the bars for her EVERY SINGLE TIME. Luckily, another gymnast is getting close to her height (maybe 5' 7.5"?) so at least it isn't just for her alone any more . . .

Did you know that smacking the mat with your feet as you swing is a deduction? Ask me how I know that . . .

#tallpeopleproblems
Haha yeah, our gym has a side kip station on a bar that is lower than the normal low bar, which is fine for some girls but she told me she sometimes hits the mat when kipping on that bar. It’s a tough life! :)
 
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ldw4mlo

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Did you know that smacking the mat with your feet as you swing is a deduction? Ask me how I know that . . .

#tallpeopleproblems
Yes because my 5 ft daughter does it every meet currently after her pirouette. It’s not height, it’s technique. They are working on it.
 

2G1B

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Yes because my 5 ft daughter does it every meet currently after her pirouette. It’s not height, it’s technique. They are working on it.
While true that it is technique, it is also true that a shorter gymnast can have little more forgiveness in technique on these skills than a tall gymnast. For those gymnasts who are 5'5" or taller there is very little wiggle room for technique on things as "simple" as a drop kip.
 

Jard.the.gymnast

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Yes because my 5 ft daughter does it every meet currently after her pirouette. It’s not height, it’s technique. They are working on it.
It can be height, especially on tap swings. We have some kids that are now straddling their tap swings since the bar can’t be any higher
 

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