Behind the Scenes: Motivation and Recovery During a Long Season

Motivation and Recovery During a Long Season

Michigan women's gymnastics junior Maureen Moody (East Lansing, Mich./East Lansing) takes us behind the scenes of the rapidly improving U-M gymnastics team and chronicles some of the athletes returning from injury and how the team stays focused and healthy during the long season. All season long, Mo will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the U-M gymnastics program as it marches towards Lincoln, Neb., and the NCAA Championships in April.

During the week of practice leading up to the Michigan Classic competition,we continued to focus on perfecting small details in all our routines. On bars, we paid special attention to handstands and did extra drills in the warmup, like balancing three-second handstands on the high bar. Our vault coach, Shannon Welker, made incentives for sticking landings by putting a point chart on the wall near the vault runway. Each stick in practice earns one point and each stick in competition earns three. I think it has sparked everyone's competitive side and motivated the lineup to finish vault requirements with more quality and efficiency.

Since the competition was held on a Friday, we had three days of practice leading up to the meet instead of four practice days like we had the previous two weekends for Saturday meets. This gave the team a few more days of much appreciated rest and recovery from practice and competition. In addition to days of rest, the team started a nutrition bar regimen to help with recovery. We are fortunate enough tohaveGatorade, Cherry Pharm juice, chocolate milk and vitamin machines to keep our bodies in peak condition for the season. The new nutrition supplements must work because at the competition three girls who had been out with injuries, Trish (Wilson), Kari (Pearce) and Becky (Bernard), came back into lineups. All three girls had outstanding performances and helped the team reach our highest score of the season.

Kari competed on vault and greatly improved our lineup because the vault she competes is from a 10.0 start value. One of our team's goals this year is to have a complete lineup of 10.0 start values before the Big Ten Championships. Becky re-entered the beam lineup and had a solid routine. I am always impressed with her flawless technique and precision. Because of her precision and no-nonsense approach to the event, Kelsey (Knutson) gave Becky the nickname "Becky Business". Trish moved back in the bar lineup and hit a near perfect routine upon her return, scoring a 9.900. I think with these three routines back in our lineups we have great potential to be a very competitive team throughout the rest of the regular season and into the postseason.

This weekendwe will have the opportunity to put ourselves up to the test against Big Ten rival Penn State. They have an average teamscore close to ours, so the competition will be fierce, however, I believe the Wolverines will come out on top!

Until next time, Go Blue!

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