Saturday, February 4, 2012

When "A win is a win" isn't

Yesterday was another big competition for my team. The level 9s competed at noon, and my 2 level 10 that night. In the level 9 session we were the biggest team by far with 8 kids. There is no rule in USA gymnastics to determine the size of a team. And each meet determines their own way of tallying the team score. The most common way is the top 3 scores from each gym. There are advantages and disadvantages to the number of athletes needed to count. The higher the number needed the bigger your team needs to be, but also the deeper in talent your team needs to be. Having to only count 3 athletes should have helped my team a lot as we are so big meant we could drop 5 scores. There were some teams in the competition with only 3 kids which meant they would have to be pretty perfect as a team to do well.

We started off on bars, which I feel is a pretty good event for us to start on. We often start our workouts on bars so any time you can make competition similar to practice it is good. I set up my line up in such a way that I put my most consistent athletes up first building to the best bar routine and if I have girls that struggle with their routines I put them more at the end of the rotation. This is so that their possible miss will not effect athletes after competing after them. With my team this is really important to start off strong and build the momentum. It might sound harsh to say that I know a kid might not make a routine but remember I see these kids every day and know how often they hit routines in practice. It is not often that an athlete does something different at practice than what they do at a meet. 

So bars when about what I thought it would, the kids I thought would hit, the one I hoped would hit and is our best routine if she does didn't, most of those that I knew would fall did, but one kid did do better than I thought she would. I think I might need to do a little more tweaking of the lineup and maybe I can get a little more out of the team. 

Next we went to beam and it was a mess! Our first athlete fell twice within the first 2 skills of her routine and acted like she had never been to a meet before. It was a total collapse. Our next two athletes did the exact same thing! I'm not kidding these kids are monkey see monkey do. It wasn't till our 4th athlete that we had a gymnast even stay on the beam. Unfortunately it was a very rough routine, but the athlete at least fought to stay on the beam. We ended up with 2 more athletes staying on the beam and doing very well, but out of the 7 that we had compete a beam routine, only 3 hitting is not a good %.

Floor was a little better with 6 out of 7 staying on their feet. But our best floor routine fell, and 2 others changed skills in one of their passes. Floor is an event that you should never fall on in my opinion. For me as an athlete is was almost never a worry. Once I had a routine dialed in it was a sure thing in competition and an opportunity for me to show off my power, skill, and dynamics.

Last was vault and for the most part we did well again just not as good as we should have done. Two of my best vaults either did not get credit for the position of their vault, or fell on it. Vault is tough because it is all our nothing and is a painful event. Even a vault completed perfectly can be very painful to land and that is often scary for an athlete. We also almost never train onto a hard surface in practice. As an athlete I never did and I don't like to with my athletes because of how hard it is on their body.

When the meet was all said and done we ended up with a 109.2. An okay score for a level 9 team but not good enough this night, nor will it be at state. We ended up losing to Extreme Lee Summit from Lee Summit, MO. This team is very good and has really come on strong over the last few years. They beat us with only 3 athletes on their level 9 team competing this evening. But because of a technicality we ended up taking home the 1st place banner. Their coach forgot to send in a team entry fee so compete in the team competition. This has happened to me before and is very unfortunate to happen to a great group of kids that did a great job. This is when a win is no a win for me. We told our girls that we won because of it and that as hard as it is to hear, it should not have happened. A team with 3 athletes beating a team with 8 (only 7 competed on 3 of 4 events) should never happen, and they need to think about that and how much they want to win at the end of the season.

Some people would like to look at this meet and think that I am being to hard and need to give the girls credit for the win. Those people don't know what it takes to be the best, and that is what I am paid for. We should have easily been 2 points higher if not more in our team score, and it might take more than that even to win at State.We still have a little time to get everything dialed in, but time is running out. Getting our athletes to understand how fast that day is coming in a tough thing to do with how young they are. It is my job though, and I still think I can get it done this year. I want a state championship level 9 team this year and I am not going to be happy with anything less.

This meet is hosted by World Class Gymnastics and is a fun one every year.

No comments:

Post a Comment