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UPDATE, What does it take to make a GREAT Gymnast

coachp

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Just following up with an update to the below post. Please read first.

October 26 , 2017
"""As a coach we have soo many stories of very talented kids who suffer season ending injuries and no one to share them with So here is one story that I would like to share.


I started coaching Kendal when she was 6. We brought her up from preteam all the way to level 10. She was generation 2 of our program so we were pretty proud of her and a few others that joined her. Kendal was on top of her game, she was Western national champion on vault, 2nd all around, then went 10 and won beam and Vault at state … colleges were all looking at her big time. Until.. Her ankle swelled up one day in for no reason , then she got "the" MRI. That tough little kid competed a whole season on a broken tibia at the base where it meets the foot… yea she said her ankle was tender, but just taped it and went on. As it turns out it was a hairline fracture that didn’t heal and a cyst developed. Surgery was in order. Okay so this is not an injury with a track record, it’s one of those weird injuries that doesn’t really have a record of gymnasts returning etc.. Many in the community wrote her off, and there was a lot of uncertainty of what the ultimate outcome would be physically, could she continue? Would the ankle heal up? Would she ever vault again? How long was the lay off? The prognosis was not good, “you are going to miss the entire season and we hope to return next season”. She was devastated, but her Dr assured her that she would in fact return. (very important, excellent Dr).

Surgery came and went, things were going fine and then 4 months later the bottom dropped out. She was in a deep funk. Colleges weren’t interested anymore, she wasn’t coming back as fast as she thought, etc… The staff, her parents and her teammates did EVERYTHING to keep her in our site. She absolutely was second guessing herself. We talked and we talked and we talked and we talked and she was down but never gave up, No way. She was hanging from a tread but refused to let go… When she was down we picked her up and dusted her off, when she wanted days off her parents would maybe give her one, but usually just dropped her of at the door. When she was upset we listened and gave her a dose of reality. “you loved it before your injury, it will pass”. When she cried we hugged her. She came to gym when she didn’t want to, she dealt with the pain when she didn’t want to, She continued not knowing anyone who had returned from this injury…. because she knew in the end… It would all pass. (You have to drill this into your kids.)

Kendal missed the whole 2015 season, and did her first meet in January of 2016, it was a travel meet to Texas and she went all the way to that meet to just do beam. I knew at that moment we had her back . The next meet she competed beam, bars and… Vault! Actually placed second on vault with a 9.55. Kendal ended up coming in 2nd AA at state that year and qualified to Nationals. In 2017 She got a 37.8 at regionals and qualified to Nationals again.

Kendal graduated high school this year and bid farewell to all of us 2 months ago. She is now a member of the top 10 D1 Gymnastics Team. So proud ! :) The lesson here is , it’s natural to get depressed, it’s natural question your body, it’s natural to question your mind, oh and... never give up. ""

UPDATE. well.... here is Kendal now. She has been exhibition on beam and vault for the past couple of meets... But today... She got to officially put up a score for her college team.
My Baby girl, my Captain... KENNY!!! (Kendal).


They haven't posted her vault video online yet but here is her exhibition from last weeks meet (today she got a 9.8 on vault and nailed her exhibition Beam again).
VAULT
Beam

Check her out here on UCLA Banter
 

txgymfan

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Thanks for sharing! She looks awesome. I hope she is having a blast in college. You deserve to be proud!
 
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thefellowsmom

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Thank you so much for posting this. We really needed this story. My dd has been out for almost a year and will compete beam only for the first time this weekend. Her dreams are still alive and her passion intact. I could not be more proud. Again, thank you.
 

txgymfan

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Thank you so much for posting this. We really needed this story. My dd has been out for almost a year and will compete beam only for the first time this weekend. Her dreams are still alive and her passion intact. I could not be more proud. Again, thank you.

So happy to hear she will be competing again! I hope she enjoys every minute!
 

3cats

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What an amazing athlete! Her story exemplifies the dedication, perseverance, passion, and outside support that every great athlete needs. Thanks for sharing.
 

Flyaway

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Thank you so much for sharing. So much of this sport is NOT about the skills, it's about the grit, perseverance and passion. Best wishes to Kendal as she continues to pursue her dream!
 

sce

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Love this, thanks for the update. The ups and downs are really tough. So exciting to hear of a kid making it past the down times to reach her dream.
 
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calli

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Thank you so much for sharing this most inspiring story !!! Your persistence and commitment as a Coach to her during such a long and difficult time is equally inspiring! :)
 
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