> A big part of this problem is that women and girls are being forced to meet athletic standards that are based on how men and boys develop. If you try to make a girl fit a boy’s development timeline, her body is at risk of breaking down. That is what happened to Cain.
I wish they would expand on this a little more - are the coaches broadly incompetent or do they have a specific misconception about how to train women? What do they belive that is causing them to underfeed their athletes?
Also, I wouldn't say Salazar is incompetent, but he was supposed to be this distance running genius and it seems more and more like he was no better than the dozens of crappy DI college coaches out there who get a lot of talented athletes, grind them up, and see who survives, leaving a trail of injury and burnout in their wake. Salazar just had access to better talent and drugs.
So much of climbing the ladder in athletic competition is about surviving each rung of physical and mental hardship. Talent gets you on the ladder but the work too keep climbing gets more and more grueling with each step. At the upper echelon of athletics are people who are basically clinically obsessed and had the good luck to make it through critical development years relatively healthy.
I think that's the truth of high level athletics and most of the time people who are involved in them are so convinced they're the lottery winner no amount of warning can stop them and when, in most cases, they come up short, the previous warnings hit them like a truck.
Now, if this woman in the article is correct, a new approach to female athletics must lead to an increase in performance and she'll revolutionize women's sports. Otherwise, she's just another person warning young athletes that they probably won't make it and the torture they're going through probably isn't worth it.
I think it might be that they're competent with respect to achieving specific athletic goals but incompetent with respect to recognizing (ab)normal development in young women. I'm not an expert by any means, but I get the rather strong impression that elite athletic coaches for young women overwhelmingly either are male or are former elite female athletes themselves. Add that to selection bias for their clients and they might very well have little to no experience working with a normally developing female body.
Examples from music (Jackson Five), TV and Movie child actors, this example, and the USA gymnastics all come to mind.
(To be more specific, I'm talking about four women. One of them was semi-pro before changing her mind and going to college. The others just did it for fun as kids, not unlike other kids playing recreational basketball.)
But no wonder toes are not meant to support whole body.
While the unhealthy weight cuts aren't completely in the past, they have been addressed and greatly mitigated.
Rotator cuff injuries are quite common, and I suspect that cases of disordered eating are higher than you might think.
But also has its own historical accusations of drug use, abuse, murder with its own documentary https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxcatcher
If we choose time periods closely enough, most sports are probably scandal free 5-15 years at a time.
Even at the level of FIRST, I think there are some unhealthy things that come out of the competitiveness, with teams where professional engineers do almost all the work, or a small set of students get a lot more attention than others. But it has a tonne of great benefits despite some small issues.
Edit: It’s sarcasm. Clearly Nike doesn’t actually care about athletic ability if the only goal of their coaching was to get their female athletes to lose weight.
Serena Williams would beg to differ.
Instead of shrinking from her body shape or her age or her motherhood, she has embraced them and she and her brand are stronger for it. Of course, not everyone has the ability and confidence of Serena Williams.