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Gymnastics/Flexibility in male gymnast

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My son is an 11 year old 1st year level 8 gymnast. He is not very flexible, especially for a gymnast. He does not have any of his splits. His scores suffered for this at lower levels, particularly on floor, but he is having a much better year so far. He wine the all around at his last meet and placed in the top 3 excluding Floor and PBar. My question is, does he have any kind of future in gymnastics with such low flexibility. Of course, we are not talking Olympics, but perhaps college? Also, is it always possible to increase flexibility, or are some people just not going to get it. I feel like his coaches have given up on him increasing his flexibility and actually have said they are just focusing on power and strength moves with him.
Thanks for considering this question.

Answer
Cat-

Being a good gymnasts will require a fair amount of flexibility. Twenty-five years ago it was essential to be able to do splits on FX. Now, that is not necessarily true. Many advanced skills require flexibility but there are ways to work around that problem to some degree.

He still has the ability to make a college team even with limited flexibility but it is important that he keep working on it. Yes, you can get better with a persistent effort. You have to be committed to it, though. Some people are more tight through the hereditary differences about body composition and makeup. However, working his range of motion will help prevent injuries, add to his skill development and make his gymnastics more artistic looking. Good luck,

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Mark Williams

Expertise

My expertise is primarily with men`s gymnastics at all levels. General questions about gymnastics and Olympic and World Championship competitions are also areas which I have knowledge.

Experience

Head Coach at the University of Oklahoma, 1996 Assistant Olympic Coach for US Men''s Team, 1999 Head Coach of Pan American Games US Men''s Team

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