Inside the Chalk Box: Senior Stephanie Ouellette
Nov. 5, 2013
Written by Senior Stephanie Ouellette:
Although we compete individually, collegiate gymnastics is all about the team's success. On each of the four events, we are given six chances to count the top five scores to add to the overall score of the team. The pressure lies on each of the six individuals on each event to do their best to help the team. Some may wonder how an individual can practice dealing with the pressure of a competition and the pressure from their teammates who are depending on them to do their best. One way we prepare for that is something we call "Team Beam". It is also a chance for us to build camaraderie and team support and a way to practice coping with nerves.
During Team Beam we warm up and compete just like we do at a competition. Of course nothing comes close to the real thing but this helps. On Friday, Oct. 25 we had two groups of Team Beam, a red group and a white group. It's still early in preseason so the idea behind this Team Beam was to give our freshmen a preview of what it feels like to be a part of the lineup as well as give the rest of the team a reminder of the competitive season that lies ahead in just two months. Between now and January we will be doing lots of "Team Beams".
In gymnastics, the dynamics of the lineup are a big factor in how we compete. Each performance is contingent on the routine or routines before it. The lead beam routine and the anchor routine (the last person up) are the two spots that hold the most pressure. The first gymnast up should be able to start the team off with confidence and a well hit routine. In the red group the lead person fell. Freshman Amanda Fillard, did a very good job of following that missed routine by keeping calm and making her routine. It is situations like that, that help strengthen the team. Learning to have confidence in yourself as much as your teammates is essential! The white group had several new beam competitors in the lineup also, and if it were a true meet, neither team would have counted a fall, which is a great start for us!
As pre-season progresses, the "Team Beam's" will become more similar to the lineup that we will most likely be using during season. At this point, having close to half our team able to be a part of the beam lineup is very reassuring. We have so many people who are able to step up to the plate, which helps ease the pressures of the season and strengthen our confidence. Our first team beam was great and we cannot wait to do more!
We love a great crowd, so come cheer us on in the spring! We cannot wait for a great season to begin!