GymTalk: Jackie Fain
Monday, December 2, 2013

Hi Ladies Gym fans, and Happy Thanksgiving from your Centenary Gymnastics team!

The Ladies are enjoying a much needed break from school this week and are all at home or with one of their teammates celebrating the holiday.  While they are not attending classes this week, they are still hitting the books hard because they will only have one week of classes left when they return to campus before their final exams!  Wow, this semester has just flown by.

While the team is at home they are all back at their club gyms working out, pushing to continue improving so we can be ready to start our season on January 10th.  I gave the team a schedule of what would be required while they are at home and each Lady had to make a personal work-out plan, telling me exactly what their work-outs in the gym would be as well as what they would be doing for cardio and conditioning. This gave each one of them the opportunity to plan their individual practices according to what they need the most, giving them some time to focus on their personal goals.

Last week leading up to our holiday break was a hard week for the Ladies.  They really had a push from all their professors trying to finish up exams, papers and presentations; while our pre-season work-outs were hitting a plateau as well, so they were being compelled both in the classroom and in the gym.  We had our last track work-out of the semester on Thursday pushing hard through some tough conditioning, and I know they are happy to be finished with that!  I can tell you we had some tired Ladies come Friday, but they really pressed on and did their best to keep the momentum going. 

We had a nice relaxing team dinner Friday evening, enjoying some down time together once all of their classes were finished.  We worked on some character building as a team and then we set our core covenants for this year’s team.  It was a fun and productive time together as we continue to bond as a team and get to know each other even better.  We ended the night with a little surprise, making sugar cookies and decorating them!

I also started a new incentive for the Ladies, called our “Unsung Hero” of the week.  This award will go to an athlete each week who has gone above and beyond what is asked of them, either in the gym or out.  Someone who is really making a difference for their team or doing something extra for a teammate.  There are always situations in a team environment when someone on the team is giving that little extra and it doesn’t always get noticed.  

This week’s Unsung Hero goes to Ronnie Bear.  Ronnie is one of those athletes who every day comes in and quietly goes about her business without bringing a lot of attention to herself.  She is consistent in her work ethic, always gets her assignments finished, helps her teammates, and has a genuine love for the sport.  Last year Ronnie was plagued by a back injury and was only able to train for about 2 months of the entire year; she now has competitive routines ready on 3 events!  She has continued to get better and better as the semester continues, she is the little engine that could!  Congrats to Ronnie for setting such an incredible example of persistence and determination for her teammates.

We finished the week with an early morning work-out in Saturday (6 A.M.).  Traditionally this Saturday morning work-out has proven to be one of our best work-outs of the semester….wonder if it has anything to do with them being able to leave for home as soon as we are done?  ;>) We had another amazing morning this year as we started our work-out with a surprise inter-squad on bars and beam.  The beginning of our bar line-up did a great job, making our first three routines!  Unfortunately we had a few mistakes at the end of our line-up, but I know those girls are great competitors and will learn from their mistakes. We are replacing 4 bar routines lost from graduation last year, so while we are starting to see improvement, we still have a lot of work to do on this event.

Next we headed to beam. We hit 6 out of 7 routines on beam, which was great for our first real competition set of the year.  We have some beautiful beam sets this year and the competition within our own team to make beam line-up will be tough, which should lead to a really strong beam team as we progress through the season.  Not bad for having only 5 weeks of official practice under our belt.

We finished the morning off with our floor roars making a full set on floor.  We are going to be deep on floor as well this year with some amazing routines coming your way!  We really focused more on vault and our conditioning at the beginning of the pre-season, trying to learn some new vaults.  That is really paying off, but we have just recently shifted our focus a little more towards floor.  But I have been very confident as we get more into season our floor team is really going to shine.

Well that wraps it up for the Ladies this last week!  We wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving with your loved ones.  We are ever so thankful and grateful to each and every one of our supporters and fans, and we will do our best to make you proud of your Ladies gymnastics team this year! Tune in next week for your first gym-talk from your rookies!