Between The Bars

Nov. 4, 2004

The real deal ...

It's mid-season of our pre-season. Mid-terms are upon us. Sleep deprivationis starting to set in. The novelty of the new team is wearing off. Trainingcontinues to get harder. Our team's bodies ebb and flow through aches andpains. Competition season is still a bit too far off to get really excitedabout. Intrasquads are met with a bizarre combination of excitement andanxiety. All in all, it's a weird time of the season.

However ... our team has been awesome! My hat's off to ourstudent-athletes (actually, I don't wear hats, but you get my meaning).They have worked harder and more efficiently than I can ever remember,especially considering the fact that this is the first year in UCLAgymnastics history that we are training in the mornings. We now train from8am - 11:00am. Our team has actually been more energetic these past fiveweeks we've been in school during our training than in the past when wetrained in the afternoons. Go figure.

It's a fun time of the year for us coaches because we are in constantdiscussion trying to figure out the chemistry and dynamics of our new team.It's also great fun for me personally because I'm busy finding floor musicand choreographing routines. I have to say, I'm pushing all of them out oftheir movement comfort zones. I LOVE IT!

A few tidbits of what's happening that's exciting for us:Michelle Selesky has learned a HUGE yurchenko layout full.Lindsey VandenEykel's bars are mesmerising ... literally.Jordan Schwikert twisted her vaults for the first time today ... absolutelybeautiful. It's hard to imagine a vault that is really pretty. Hers is.When I saw her first vault I looked at Tasha, who was on bars. Tasha wasstanding there with a smug look on her face just shaking her head ... shesaid, 'I told you Miss Val... She's amazing.'

All in all, this time of the year could be really difficult. I'm soimpressed with our athletes that they're getting the job done and having agreat time doing it.

Having a great Fall 2004~miss val