It seems I can’t go a day without reading something from somebody wanting to know where Kyla’s upgrades are. Why isn’t she upgrading? Is she injured? Is Marta holding her back? Why isn’t she upgrading???
Personally, I don’t mind that she’s not upgrading. So many gymnasts have gotten injured because their coach has them training too hard for too long or too hard while their body is also trying to grow. I’ve always wished that coaches would realize that nature takes a back seat to noone’s gymnastics career. Let the gymnasts heal. Let the gymnasts grow. Maybe we can stop a few overuse injuries.
That’s what I HOPE is going on. She could just be in a holding pattern while she waits to go to college. Nothing wrong with that. It would just be nice if this eventually turns out to be something we point to as one of those moments that mark the evolution of gymnastics. It has taken a long time just to accept non-prepubescent female gymnasts and now it’s starting to look like we are heading into an era of not only accepting them but actually planning for longer careers.
Some folks are still convinced that younger and smaller is better. This is an old post from American Gymnasts that, among other things, talks about how there were so many more junior than senior gymnasts at 2011 US nationals. It’s supposed to be an example about how much better suited junior gymnasts are to the sport but it ignores the fact that junior gymnasts aren’t held to as high of a standard when it comes to qualifying for US nationals.
However, even some of the most die hard believers in the power of being young and tiny seem to be coming around.