Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Landing Mats vs. Skill Cushions

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Years back, when I lived in Iowa and coached at the U of Iowa, I almost took a job with AAI in Ames.  I was so interested in helping to prevent injuries through better equipment and safety issues.  I just couldn’t see myself sitting at a 9 to 5, so I moved to another university and kept coaching a few more years.

One thing I took from the interview and tour of the facility was that skill cushions are skill cushions and landing mats are landing mats.

I still go into gyms to choreograph or do PT sessions and the gymnasts are still landing dismounts on skill cushions and they still have skill cushions under beams (and it’s competitive season time).

Back in the day, I saw more ACLs and ankles “blow” while gymnasts landed dismounts into skill cushions.  It was like their heel got stuck in the deep “crash mat” (as I call it) and if it was torqued just right, the ankle ligaments or the knee would go!

In the 1970’s, I landed on the side of a “crash mat” under the beam and sprained an ankle for the first time.  I thought we’ve come further than that by now.

I love seeing gymnasts LAND on LANDING mats.