I understand that Coach Wang / Xu get allocated pretty much all the talented juniors, but they do such a shitty job peaking their gymnasts for the olympics and world championships. It's so sad seeing all these talented juniors end up crippled with injuries. It's like being part of this coaching team is a double-edged sword and will only result in short-term success….Hoping for more talented juniors to be placed in the other coaching groups.
First of all, I don’t think Wang and Xu gets ALL the talented juniors. They have better relationships with certain provincial teams and the other coaching teams have better relationships with other provinces etc. Also I think they take a look at what foundations were already built, for example, when Xiong was still around, he had a reputation for teaching really good tkatchevs, so girls that already had one end up with him.
Second, I think sometimes the priorities are kind of… well let’s say there’s a conflict of interest. So for China, outside of Olympics, the most important competition is National Games, and that always falls the year after the olympics. So you get a lot of gymnasts peaking right before worlds and then by the time worlds comes around, they are tired and injured and basically broken. Another issue with timing is that the “selection process” in China starts quite early with National Championships being in May usually so I feel like a lot of gymnasts are in their best shape trying to beat out their competition just to get on the team, and then they are injured and then they had to be swapped out the last minute, or they are given cortisone shots and had to compete injured. I think this is where coach wang’s team get the most flak because there seems to be a pattern of news coming out of his gymnasts having severe injuries when it’s too late to swap them out.
Third, the communication between provincial teams and national team is… super shitty for no apparent reason. Like you would think, right? But no. So I heard of this incident with a gymnast (I’m not going to use any names from here on to not get anyone into trouble) that had a minor injury, and her provincial team was told by the doctors that she just needed about a month of rest and she’d be fine. The national team was not told this when they expressed interest, and the provincial team just basically sent her to beijing after giving her a week of rest, so a month later the national team is just like “wait…. wtf???”
Another story I heard was someone already had a hip injury during her training at the provincial team, but the national team wasn’t told about it, and I think Lu Le (Wang’s team’s assistant coach) was helping her with her splits and made it worse.
The last thing is that I feel there’s not enough coaching teams or at least enough assistant coaches/support staff and that certain gymnasts really don’t get enough personal attention. This is especially pronounced for Wang/Xu’s team because they do get the most gymnasts (whether through good relationships with provincial teams or because they have a reputation of churning out high difficulty), I think the whole team would be a lot better off both health-wise and originality-wise if they had more assistant coaches that can give more personal attention. I think a lot of injuries happen when they try to just mass produce the same skill combos. Some gymnasts are just not suited for certain skills (ie. preferences in whether or not a skill has a blind landing and stuff like that I think does affect a gymnast’s confidence level with a skill)
Anyways, I just feel like wang’s coaching team is kind of like the canary in the coal mine for the systematic shortcomings of the chinese system, 1 because he does get the most juniors and 2 because more people pay attention to his gymnasts because they are so popular and talented and 3 because there are issues in training philosophy that are systematic but more apparent with his group.
And that concludes my babble on this subject.