GymTalk: Allison Scates
Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hello Centenary Gymnastics fans! I hope you all had a good and safe Thanksgiving full of food, fun, friends, and family.

Gymnasts with General Halstead

Despite being apart for the holiday, the team and I have been very busy in the gym and school. We came back from break with a fire and The in-house competition was not the only big event for the Centenary Ladies awaiting us when we arrived back on campus; on December 2nd we had dinner at Coach Jackie’s house with General Rebecca Halstead.  The team has been reading her book “24/7 The First Person You Must Lead is You” as our text for our class this fall.  We have been doing assignments each week on our readings. The book, which focuses on leadership, is a memoir of Halstead’s experiences with being a woman in the Army world where the odds were against her, as she was in only the second class of women admitted to West Point.  The book has allowed us to see an example of what a good leader is, as General Halstead has accomplished so much in her Army career. As a Brigadier General she was often the person at the top of a chain of command. determination to take advantage of these last few weeks of our fall semester training. On Sunday when we came back we had a long practice which we plowed through with amazing strength. We could tell not a single team member slacked off over break. We were hitting routines and making skill connections. Our biggest break-through was on vault; almost all of our potential twisters have started to land on mats! We have really worked hard on our vault technique this fall and the improvements on the little things are paying off BIG now! I can tell this is going to be a great year for us on that event. Competition is also getting tight on beam; those who did routines on Sunday were sticking and making their routines. We will soon put these routines to the test in a judged intra-squad on December 6th where friends and prospective recruits will be watching.

From her leadership principles we constructed our own definition of leadership, what we find important and how it will help our team meet our goals.  However, many questions remain and the dinner with her was the perfect time to ask these questions. It was an honor to meet the great leader behind the book and see how spunky and full of life she really is. I know my teammates and I had a great time at dinner, discussing leadership, and what we want to do with it as a team. Kellie even literally demonstrated fire; one of our team’s core covenants this year. It was an inspiring night, and more are yet to come!

Read GymTalk next week for an update on how the recruit weekend and the intra-squad went!