This last year with my gymnastics has been a roller coaster. Mostly everything has been getting better and the only problems are learning how to deal with the success that my gym is having. Since I started at the team we have been steadily increasing in our numbers in the gym, as well as improving our standing gymnastics wise. This season my assistant coach and I were directly working with 20 athletes in the top two levels on our team. Now I know of teams that have more, and one that has a lot more, but not many. And for our gym, it is a lot. Just about every level in our gym this coming season is over full with athletes. I am serious when I say I have 3 openings on my entire team from pre team to level 10...... This was a problem when we first realized it. This Spring we realized that we had no place to put all these new kids we have moving onto our team and that we couldn't keep pumping so many kids onto the team. For the first time ever we actually had to cut the size of our pre team. Gym Centre has just really been doing a great job over the past few years and we are reaping the benefits now.
Some of my stress this year has been with preparing our new level 9s with competing this season. These are very talented young girls who have been dominant throughout their careers, and I for one was really looking forward to working with them. But things did not come so easily for them this season, and there was a lot of frustration from them and my asst. coach and I. What we thought was going to be a year of domination was instead a year of catch up and taking steps back to go forward. I the end all of the girls really pulled themselves up and did a great job at the end of the season. But it was far from where they could have been. I think a lot of it had to do with their naivete in what it would take to be a top level 9, and their belief, or lack there of, in themselves against their competition. I believe 100% that next year will be completely different for them. They are already training better than last year, as well as training skills over what is required of them. In my opinion this creates a feeling of mastery when competing skills easier than what they train.
Most of my level 10s were also very new as in their first year. I had 2 that were veterans, but they both ended up having very difficult seasons and neither ended up at Nationals. Our top level ten really struggled with a lot of issues this season, one being looked over by most of the colleges in the US for a scholarship. She is a great gymnast with high level skills and routines, but for some reason just didn't get on anyone's radar. She worked her butt of talking with lots of school however and earned a walk on spot the The Ohio State University. I am pretty confident that she will get a scholarship in the coming years and I am happy she found a school that she will have great memories of for the rest of her life. For all of my 10s this year, they all struggled with injuries at some point or another. For all of them these injuries led to a change in what was originally planned for them this season, but they all refused to quit or not give it their all. Each and every one of them did more with what they had than I had thought they could. I say every year that these girls continue to surprise me with what they can do. They are a different breed of what I have ever know before coming to St Louis.
Our biggest surprise came from a gymnast who had been injured since I had come to the gym. She is a special type of athlete. A coach I was talking to about her described her as a Ferrari. When you use it they are fast and do amazing things, but they can easily break down and are expensive......
This kid can do things that I have always been amazed by. This season she told me she was going to twist her vault at State during warm ups. She had trained it a bit when she could during training, but no where near what I would have really wanted. Did warmed up one and it was a bit scary but she survived. So she went for it and nailed it! I think even stuck the thing and scored huge! It was crazy. Well she was our only athlete to make it to JO's this year. From that state meet to JO's I think she did maybe 10 of those vaults. It is over a month from State to the National Championships. And at JO's she warmed up horrible. It was the last event and she was getting tired after a 4+ hour meet. The rest of our group were all great vaulters and our athlete was feeling less than par. But with a bit of encouragement from my asst. she did an amazing vault that put her 7th in the country. She ended up hitting all four of her events and getting a medal. It was my best result of an athlete in 11 years I think.
Gymnastics has been great, and there is a lot more going on, with starting a new business www.thecloudboom.com, and my racing team getting bigger and better, life is pretty fun at the moment. More soon.
|The kid over the 8 is mine, she actually tied for 7th with 2 other girls.|