First, I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season! Enjoy the time with your friends and family!
It is official; preseason as we define it is over! I have to say even as an athlete, I enjoyed the competitive season much more than preseason. However, as a coach I respect the process of the preparation immensely. All the strength and conditioning: all the repetitions: everything to prepare for the grueling season, mentally and physically.
I’m proud to report the GymBacks completed the preseason as about as successful as you possibly can! We are stronger; we are faster; and we are ready to compete! We completed the preseason with an intrasquad and it was quite impressive. We had a few freshman mistakes on beam, but otherwise…WOW!
Just to give a glimpse I will provide a short recap. Since we start on bars at our first competition (Jan 5th), we did the same in the intrasquad. Our top 6 competitors went 6 for 6 with outstanding routines. Emily performed her usual outstanding bar routine, as well as Cassie. However, Cassie relearned her double lay, so no one is worried one iota about her not making it! The rest of line-up consists of freshman, some really great freshmen. Amy, Alli, Casey Jo, and Michelle all have outstanding routines. Amy’s highlight, besides her impeccable form, is her giant ½, giant 1/1, reverse hecht. Alli also has outstanding lines and her routine includes giant ½ to yeager, shoot to hand, and a double lay. Casey Jo has the most unique routines with a giant 1/1 to a true delchev, and 1 ½ pirouette to a straddle back handstand, and a half in half out. Michelle is powerful even on bars. She performs a giant ½ to a pike yeager, shoot to hand, and a double Arabian. A few more handstands and I don’t know what Mark would do!
While we had the most errors on beam, the team is making great progress in personal and team confidence. Rachel, Emily, and Cassie provide the experience and stability. All their routines are the same as last season, but now they are the ones providing leadership to the freshman. Michelle, Alli, and Casey Jo look to be in the leading spots for line-up positions. But not far behind are Amy, Sam, and Sarah. Beam is our deepest event. In addition to Rachel, Emily, and Cassie; Alli, Amy, Sam, and Sarah are performing triple flight series. Michelle and Casey Jo have powerful back handspring two foot to a layout step out and a round off to a layout step out, respectively. As always, consistency is the key.
Floor was fabulous for our first time in Barnhill. Six out of seven routines were made all on the hard surface. Michelle, Rachel, Emily, Alex, and Cassie are easily performing two double back routines. Rachel has added a whip to a double pike and we look for Michelle to add a double Arabian sometime beginning to mid season. Casey Jo has the most unique tumbling with a 2 ½, a double tuck, and a 1 ½ twist to an immediate punch front tuck 1/1. Amy and Sam will also be contenders for the floor line-up. The routines are almost up to performance criteria, just a little more work in that area and we will be good to go!
We end our first meet on vault and it should be exciting. Michelle stands out; she is truly amazing on the event. However, Casey Jo, Amy, Sam, Alex, and Cassie are all performing 10.0 vaults that will be impressive to see. Ashly has also been looking good on her layout phelps. Emily has also begun training vault recently and making great progress towards her yurchenko 1/1. It’s nice to have some options and see the potential of this event getting better throughout the season.
The fall has been great. We have been busy with training, school, community service activities, and building our team chemistry. Come see us January 5th, you’ll be impressed with this great group of young women.
We are the GymBacks….Dedicated we will succeed.