Between The Bars

March 7, 2006

It's interesting how the 'loss' of a close competition can stick in your mind even though we scored higher than our season average on three events.

Vault was the best vaulting we've competed this year. Peckett started us off with a rock-solid, planted Yurchenko 1/2. Ari, Jordan, Kate, and Comforte all followed with beautiful vaults and good landings, and Alyssa Kitasoe competed a Yurchenko full for the first time in her gymnastics career, landing beautifully and scoring a 9.725.

Bars were good as well. It was nice having Jordan back in the line-up. She performed a great routine, considering she only started back on bars about a week and a half ago. Unfortunately she under-rotated her dismount a wee bit and put her hands down. Still, our bar sets were good.

Ariana started us off on balance beam. She was off on the two jumps that proceed the 1/1 BHS, but in true Ari fashion, she went agressively into her 1/1 BHS. Usually, her agreessivness works to her advantage; unfortunately it didn't this time. The other three falls we had were simple mental errors. It's not that we need to FIX a lot of things, we just need to kick our mental game in gear.

I feel like I felt in 1998 and 1999, knowing we had great talent but just needing to get them to believe in their ability, training and preparation. Starting in 2000, we had a strong core of competitors who were mentally super-buff; that core of athletes carried us through a lot of consecutive successful seasons. Hopefully, the training we're getting this year will be the start of another great run!

Back to yesterday, I was glad to see our team put beam behind them and finish strong on floor. Peckett came in on floor for the first time this season. She hit a great routine, Ari brought the house down AGAIN. Jalynne competed powerfully, considering she's had a rib out all week. Jordan was flawless. Comforte's double Arabian was sky-high. We changed her double pike to a front double twist to save her ankle. And even though Kate went out of bounds on her double layout, she gave everyone in the stands a spectacular performance in her last floor routine in Pauley.

Congratulations to Kristina for winning the all-around. I don't often mention other teams in my updates because I don't watch most other teams' performances, although I did get to see Liz Tricase's sky-high back-to-back Tkatchevs in her warm-up. She FLIES and received a 10 on bars for an amazing bar set! And congrats to San Jose State for being ranked fourth in our region. They're movin' on up!

About this whole 'win/lose' philosophical issue: It's so disappointing when our team doesn't compete to their potential. It's maddening to lose a meet we could have won. (Even though I often don't define 'winning' by who scores the most points, please don't think that after a meet like we had yesterday I go in the locker room and sing Kumbaya for everyone.) It's frustrating and disheartening, but NEVER deflating.

In talking with Coach Wooden just now, he quoted his favorite American, Abraham Lincoln, as he often does, 'If we magnified our blessings the way we magnify our disappointments, we'd be much happier.' He also chuckled and said, 'It's funny how we feel that blessings are our just due. Disappointments should only happen to other people.' So true!

I want to thank the 28 alumnae that came to our meet. That was an awesome finale to our home season in Pauley.

We're off to LSU in two weeks. We're working hard to bring it all together.

~ miss val