Allison putting personal goals

Gymnast turned golfer by unexpected injury


Sannidhi Arimanda

Coppell High School junior golfer Riley Allison takes a shot while practicing on Oct. 20. Allison has been playing golf since freshman year after an injury from gymnastics and despite the late start, she exudes a real passion for the sport.

Nandini Paidesetty, Staff Writer

Ever since Coppell junior Rylie Allison was 9, she had her mind set on accomplishing one dream. One day, she would be an NCAA gymnast. Allison worked at this goal for hours a day, persisting and training at Texas Dreams.

However, this changed for Allison as the unthinkable happened. Just like any day, Allison began by warming up for a long practice. After running into a front twist, she immediately knew something was wrong. 


She knew something wasn’t right. However, she couldn’t let herself down, so she continued to train. 

“I didn’t really tell the coaches, I just kept going because I wanted to be able to compete during the season,” Allison said.

After a few weeks, the pain became unbearable. After visits to the doctor, it was revealed that she had fractured two low vertebrates and herniated four discs.

“She was always really tough; the sport of gymnastics is so tough and they do tend to hide injuries and everyone was injured at some point,” Rylie’s father John Allison said.

The injury started a new chapter of her life.

After the injury, she was in shock and nervous, but it never stopped her from pursuing something different. Her perseverance allowed her to look past her injury and find something else she could succeed in: golf.

“She’s always upbeat and tries to put a good spin on everything,” Coppell coach Gary Beyer said.

Throughout this whole process, Rylie’s biggest supporter was her dad.

“He was with me the whole time and never let me think that I couldn’t do it and was always motivating me,” Rylie said. “He wanted me to fight and even in the back of his head he knew that it would be okay if [I stopped competing in gymnastics].”

The injury changed her life. Rylie went from constantly moving during five hours practices to barely being able to sit down. From a homeschooled environment to a public school. From gymnastics to golf. Rylie’s family friend, Russ Holden, encouraged her to try golf from a young age. 

When Rylie was about 9,  her father took her to a golf course for the first time. 

“She was hitting dead straight,” Mr. Allison  said. “It wasn’t very far but she was hitting it dead straight, even during her first time picking  up the golf club. I knew there was something in there.”

Mr.Allison’s intuition was correct; Rylie has a gift. 

“You could tell she had talent and the desire [to improve],” Beyer said. 

Rylie had three months between the end of her physical therapy and school golf tryouts. She practiced rigorously. Now, Rylie is on the varsity girls team.

“You have to trust that if you work hard and put your mind to something there is nothing that’s going to tell you that you can’t,” Rylie said.

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