Nov. 21, 2012
Welcome to the Weekly Warmup! Each Thursday during the preseason, MGoBlue.com's Brad Rudner will sit down with a member of the University of Michigan women's gymnastics team to talk about the preseason training, last season's experience, and what lies ahead for the 2013 season.
This week's edition of the Weekly Warmup features senior Brittnee Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty).
Brad: Heading into your senior season, how do you feel?
Brittnee: I actually feel really good. I tried to keep my body and ankles healthy coming into the preseason, and it's going awesome for me so far. I've got my confidence back on uneven bars and balance beam, my main events, and getting better there. I'm also getting it back on vault. I'm definitely feeling great.
Brad: Assistant coaches Scott Sherman and Shannon Welker talked about the intrasquads last week and how the three in-the-gym meets should help get the team molded into mid-season form quicker. In the grand scheme of things, how important are they?
Brittnee: I think they are extremely important. Every time we have one of these, we're able to gain a little more confidence each time, and that's exactly what you need going into the season. They've been great. They're really a tease, though. We all want to go out there and actually start the season.
Brad: Going along with that, why is getting off to a good start in the first month of the season so important?
Brittnee: Because all scores count. All you can do is build from that very first one. If you don't get off to a great start, then there's more pressure on you to be at your absolute best down the stretch. You need to have room for some shaky performances, because it's going to happen. We understand the importance of getting off to a strong start this year and then going from there.
Brad: You got injured down the stretch last season but came back to do an uneven bars routine at regionals. How did last season motivate you individually?
Brittnee: I just want to be there for my team. I know what it's like to be on the outside, and it's not fun. I want to be out there. I really worked on strengthening my ankles this summer. I wanted to get in good physical shape so my ankles can handle it. That was my motivation. I want to be out there for every meet.
Brad: The team has much more depth this season than last year, and there should be plenty of competition in practice. Why is that a good thing?
Brittnee: Anybody can be put in the lineup. It gives us versatility as a team. It's important to get everyone's confidence up, and that's why we're doing these intrasquads. We want to simulate a meet experience and what it's like to be in a lineup. With the depth that we have, everyone needs that. You can feel a little tension but in a good way. Everyone wants a spot in the lineup. It makes us work that much harder.
Sept. 20 - Katie Zurales
Sept. 27 - Stephanie Colbert
Oct. 4 - Annette Miele
Oct. 11 - Austin Sheppard
Oct. 18 - Natalie Beilstein
Oct. 25 - Reema Zakharia
Nov. 1 - Sachi Sugiyama
Nov. 8 - Lindsay Williams
Nov. 15 - Scott Sherman and Shannon Welker