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What is the physical limit of skills? Where will WAG plateau?

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M&G'sMom

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I'm a mom of two kids, my oldest being almost four and in rec gym. I was reading something the other day that was saying McKayla Maroney's amanar vault (the current hardest) will not be enough to get her to the next Olympics, as girls are already creeping up on passing the difficulty of that skill. This is the pattern in all of the other apparatuses, that the skills keep getting tougher and tougher every year.

I'm wondering, where will the skill difficulty necessarily have to plateau, having reached the limits of physics? Where do you think that limit is? If my kids stay in gym and ended up elite one day, what on earth will they be doing by then? It can't just be about how dangerous a skill can be, because FIG already "bans" skills that are too dangerous, like the Korbut flip.

Do you think, instead, that they will begin to change the other rules of the sport (like age limits, time limits, etc) to keep the entertainment factor fresh, or do you think we will simply reach that physical limitation and just try to make each execution as perfect as possible?
 

gwenmom

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No idea here, but I am interested to see how this discussion goes.
 

Justmehere

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.

I think that eventualy to do the difficult skills and do them correct, it is going to require smaller girls, not just shorter but skinnier, and it is going to cause a lot of problems in this sport.
 

Pineapple_Lump

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I'm a mom of two kids, my oldest being almost four and in rec gym. I was reading something the other day that was saying McKayla Maroney's amanar vault (the current hardest) will not be enough to get her to the next Olympics, as girls are already creeping up on passing the difficulty of that skill. This is the pattern in all of the other apparatuses, that the skills keep getting tougher and tougher every year.
Vault values have been changed (down). I think that comment probably has more to do with the fact that several up and coming US girls can do the vault well and have shown promise on other events. Maroney will need more than just vault to be on a team she will need another strong apparatus.
 

iwannacoach

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Were will it plateau? That very question has been pondered since the mid eighties, and so for it hasn't slowed down. I suppose when the kids start violating some international "space treaty" that limits the number of "low earth orbit" objects any country can deploy........ :eek: :D
 
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dunno

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good one^^^ i'll comment more on this later but wanted to clarify the "Korbut" flip. it was NOT banned because it was dangerous. in fact, it was a very simple skill. it was banned because FIG did not want bars to go that direction like circus. plain and simple. :)
 

M&G'sMom

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good one^^^ i'll comment more on this later but wanted to clarify the "Korbut" flip. it was NOT banned because it was dangerous. in fact, it was a very simple skill. it was banned because FIG did not want bars to go that direction like circus. plain and simple. :)
Really? That's very interesting! Do you have a link to an article or something on that I can read more on? That makes me wonder what other kinds of skills they might consider "undesirable". I have always read that it was because they thought standing on the high bar is too dangerous.

Thanks for the replies so far everyone, I'm hoping someone here is or is related to a physicist who could shed some light on the physical aspects of it for us. Some formula of like, muscle/weight X terminal velocity + pi =# possible rotations :)
 
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M&G'sMom

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Vault values have been changed (down). I think that comment probably has more to do with the fact that several up and coming US girls can do the vault well and have shown promise on other events. Maroney will need more than just vault to be on a team she will need another strong apparatus.
True, and that's a good point, but I was reading somewhere the other day that some up-and-coming elite girl (no clue about name, sorry!) can now do that same vault but with three twists, which would obviously be worth more than McKayla's (and especially after she takes almost a year off, but who really believes she's coming back, LOL?) Hasn't been landed in any competition yet, I guess, but soon, no doubt.
 

dunno

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there is nothing around now. you'll just have to trust me being around as long as i have. 1 of the skills they DID ban was arabian 1 1/4 to the stomachs. this was in the late 80's and THOSE were dangerous. and now they are not allowing arabian 1 3/4 for the boys under level 10 (i think that's what i just read). or it might be 8 and down. sorry, it's slipping my mind at the moment.

and in a nutshell, gymnastics is near an ending point skill wise. i'm sure we will see yurchenko triple twist as we did with Kohei. and at least 1 girl has done a yurchenko 2 1/2 flip (Maroney when she was with Howie in to a very high mat in a pit) and things like triple backs from girls bars were easier before 20 cm (8 inch competition landing mats) although there were only 1/2 dozen that did them. and again, 1 of those girls was a girl from Howie's.

when they raised the horse/table from 120 to 125 (2 inches) we got more vaults. they'll have to raise it again to get more. or make the boards like mini tramps. understand? equipment will have to be modified. like an air floor on top of the spring floor. or going wider than 180 (plus or minus 1 cm) on the bars. it used to be 160cm and changed after 91 (? i think i recall) world championships. if you want to see a Kovacs we need a bit more swing room to perform the correct tap that would accomplish this skill for a girl. the beam would have to widen to 6 inches and be raised 2-4 inches to see more there.

anyway, enjoy this as it is 1 of them that was done with 20cm mats and a 4 incher on top: http://youtu.be/7BcotWQtmZQ she is still the only American to have done one.:)

bottom line, both men's and women's are near their capacity. combinations may be new/better but root skills will be the same. there is your formula. :)

p.s. and btw, Shantessa's bar routine would never score in the new code because there is nothing in the interior. her bar routine had to be shortened to accommodate this skill.

and i don't have the national routine of this gymnast, but she was the 1st American (and 1st in the world) to perform a lay out double double. Maloney came soon after. the new bar code, even though they dropped it to 8 skills, makes it very difficult wise cardio wise to end with something superfabulous. so that is more human capable performance than equipment
modification. enjoy this: http://youtu.be/Jt2ymrpmBMA
 
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2G1B

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It seems like a lot of news outlets reported in 2012 about the Korbut Flip was banned for being dangerous. I have a different question about it though... I see Dunno commented about the uneven bars being further apart now; but on this video it seems like they are *crazy* close. Did all gymnasts of that time have the bars this close??
VIDEO: Here
 

M&G'sMom

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Yes, they were absolutely that close for everyone at one time----have you seen the 1936 Berlin Olympic reels? They're like parallel bars, only uneven. I'm assuming that's where the name came from. It's crazy how close they once were, and how relatively easy the "Olympic level" skills were back then----I could have won the 1936 Olympics when I was 8, LOL.
 

dunno

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the "news outlets" have no clue what they are talking about as far as gymnastics goes. they sensationalize EVERYTHING. the Korbut flip was relatively easy as several of us had gymnasts do them until FIG disallowed them. to my memory, nobody even broke a finger nail doing them. it was simply a direction that FIG did not want the girls to follow. this is the very reason that the girls still have a low bar. they do NOT want it to be boys high bar for girls. understand?

in that era the bars were at 140cm. and keep in mind that this evolved from the boys parallel bars which were used for women before the 140cm bars made/came in the middle to late part of the 60's.
 

M&G'sMom

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[...]and in a nutshell, gymnastics is near an ending point skill wise. i'm sure we will see yurchenko triple twist as we did with Kohei. and at least 1 girl has done a yurchenko 2 1/2 flip (Maroney when she was with Howie in to a very high mat in a pit) and things like triple backs from girls bars were easier before 20 cm (8 inch competition landing mats) although there were only 1/2 dozen that did them. and again, 1 of those girls was a girl from Howie's.[...]
That brings up an interesting point, the equipment---you can make them harder to do skills on, but making them easier for skills is actually where you'll see any type of entertaining progression. People can only tell the difference between 9.0 and 10.0 when it comes to "perfection" for the most part, so watching for hundredths of a point difference won't keep the cameras rolling. But making the beam wider makes tumbling so much easier, and so on. Great point!

Also, I'm gathering that Howie's is known for pushing girls to take risky chances?
 

dunno

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no, absolutely not. Howie and his wife Jennie are excellent coaches. they currently coach Kyla Ross.:)

a 6 inch wide beam would also eliminate missing the feet on dismounts, split toes, broken toes, etc; :)
 

Pineapple_Lump

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Howie and his wife Jennie are excellent coaches.
Yes, I loved how they let Shantessa do different things that made her stand out even if she did not get the results. Thanks for posting her video dunno, it was nice to watch her again.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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I don't know where the sport will plateau, but I am absolutely positive we're nowhere near that point yet.

I think that in fact coaching is going through a renaissance of sorts right now. Coaches are sharing their methods online in a way they never have before, and we're using Coaches Eye and other stuff like that do break down skills in ways we could only dream of before.

The results will start to be visible in the 2016 Olympics, I think, but you can really expect one heck of a show in 2020 and 2024!
 

M&G'sMom

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I don't know where the sport will plateau, but I am absolutely positive we're nowhere near that point yet.
Interesting; do you think we're "a long way" as in the difference from 1936 to 2012, or a "long way" as in we could add one or two more twists or whatnot to the hardest skills? What are the hardest skills you can see happening in the future on each event? As in, do you think it's possible to, say, land a triple arabian on beam (just for random example), or will that never be possible on the current equipment? If those things are theoretically possible right now, given enough time to train them, do you think that means the average age of Olympic gymnast will rise due to the necessary extra years worth of training it would take to get there?

I think that in fact coaching is going through a renaissance of sorts right now. Coaches are sharing their methods online in a way they never have before, and we're using Coaches Eye and other stuff like that do break down skills in ways we could only dream of before.
Good point, but don't you think there will be a limit to how much elite coaches share with each other, with the intention of not helping out their gymnasts' competition too much? I'd love to believe most elite coaches are most concerned mostly with the progression of the sport overall, but I know they are all human, as well, and want to win.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Interesting; do you think we're "a long way" as in the difference from 1936 to 2012, or a "long way" as in we could add one or two more twists or whatnot to the hardest skills? What are the hardest skills you can see happening in the future on each event? As in, do you think it's possible to, say, land a triple arabian on beam (just for random example), or will that never be possible on the current equipment? If those things are theoretically possible right now, given enough time to train them, do you think that means the average age of Olympic gymnast will rise due to the necessary extra years worth of training it would take to get there?
No idea, but I'm on the edge of my metaphorical seat waiting to find out.


Good point, but don't you think there will be a limit to how much elite coaches share with each other, with the intention of not helping out their gymnasts' competition too much? I'd love to believe most elite coaches are most concerned mostly with the progression of the sport overall, but I know they are all human, as well, and want to win.
But that's the thing -- that limit has always existed, but it has very quickly and very suddenly risen much higher in the last 5 years or so. Tons of the top coaches now have blogs and youtube channels on which they share their methods. New drills spread at a rate that has never before been possible. The knowledge that other coaches have gained is available at a level it simply has never been before; even if those top coaches are still holding something back, the available knowledge pool is simply immense in comparison to what it always has been.
 

CoachTodd

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I'm not sure where the skills will end. Since they've started the open ended scoring and allowing specialists, I've seen more bigger, stronger girls last longer in the sport. I think some of the bigger skills will require a physically stronger gymnast thus more muscle weight. If FIG wants to see harder dance skills done, they'll change the values to match. I do think we're going to see quite a few more solid gymnasts out there instead of the traditional "body type" (I hate that term) of the thin dancer body shape. Beam may be a different story.
 
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