Planning Capstone

My capstone is intriguing to me because it is an issue that I have witness throughout my own competitive career. I was in an intense environment filled with pressure from multiple sources, I witnessed gymnasts feeling the need to look a certain way to please their coaches, teammates, and judges. After leaving the gymnastics community, I wondered how often this occurs. Harsh pressure and eating disorders turnout to be a common issue nationwide for competitive gymnastics facilities. According to USAG, there is a high percentage of gymnasts who have received negative comments about their weight or appearance. Since coaches are the authority figure in an athletes career, this can make them try unhealthy eating habits which lead to poor performance. I am interested in the psychological side of eating disorders, so I will direct most of my questions to the source of their pressure. I know coaches do play a direct role; however, I am interested to see if gymnasts are receiving indirect pressure from these sources. This means that the athlete could be adapting these bad eating habits in order to escape the possibility of any coach, judge, or teammate saying anything about them. NCAA took a survey and stated that 51% of female gymnasts have an eating disorder which is far higher than any other sport (Eating Disorder Hope). This shows that there is a problem which the pressure held on these high athletes. I will also create questions that measure how often they feel pressure from each source: home, school, gym, and friends. I hope that the one on one interviews will shed more light on individual stories that have effected these gymnasts. Below I have added to links where more information can be found on eating disorders and gymnast nutrition.

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