You can never fully estimate how people will react to competition nerves until you get the first meet of the season over with. For the Springfield College women’s gymnastics team, we confronted our nerves at our season opener on January 13th in Blake Arena in our annual Tumble for Teal Meet.
Although the team has been working exceptionally hard during intercession with our two-a-day practices, the first meet always seems to creep up a little too quickly. Nonetheless, I was very excited to see how the team would perform and respond to the pressure of our first meet.
We began that day focusing on several team goals we had set earlier that week. First of all, we wanted to have a solid start to the season. Although that seems like an ambiguous goal, we wanted to achieve a team score that was a solid baseline to improve upon, increasing our team score with every consecutive competition. A team score in the low 180’s would have been a good place to start. And we accomplished just that with a 182.85! (not to mention this was the third highest team score among Division III teams in the nation).
We also carried on team goals at this meet that we implement during every season. These include staying in the bubble (focusing on our team and not the competition), “park it” (being able to move on from an event and not letting it affect the rest of the meet), and “hold the rope” (supporting every teammate throughout the meet no matter what happens, and trusting every team member to do the same for us).
To sum up the competition based on our goals; it was a success! Overall, we had a fabulous start to our season, with strong routines on every event. Although there was definitely evidence of some nerves and pressure, the team did very well to keep their composure and stay focused. We definitely have some work to do, but we have shown that we’re ready to compete and have worked hard to prepare for the season and are looking forward to improving.
I would have to say the outstanding accomplishment of the meet was an amazing bar performance! Putting up 7 routines and counting 1 fall was a huge deal and it was the first time in a VERY long time that our bars event score has been higher then vault. In fact, our performance on bars has us currently ranks as the top score in all of Division III. No big deal.
The other events went well, but were also a little shaky, which is to be expected for the first competition. We counted several falls on beam, and lots of landing steps on floor. These weaknesses, however, point the team in the direction we need to focus for our next meet.
Overall, this past weekend was a very solid start for our competition season! We also had successful efforts in increasing awareness and raising funds for research on gynecological cancers. We had a great time working with Team Maureen and the alumna’s family, to make the Tumble for Teal meets a success.
Another highlight was being able to share the meet with some recent alumni who came to watch the meet and were able to interact with the team afterwards.
Thanks so much for everyone who attended the meet and made donations to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. We truly appreciate it!