Nov. 29, 2012
Welcome to the Weekly Warmup! Each Thursday during the preseason, MGoBlue.com's Brad Rudner will sit down with each 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 junior Shelby Gies.
Brad: You were one of the captains last season as a sophomore, which is pretty rare. What did you learn about leadership given what the team went through last season?
Shelby: It was a very beneficial experience. Being given that captain role as a sophomore, I think I've grown a lot in terms of my leadership, while being able to help the team more. I've got more confidence in myself. Each day when I come in here, I know what it takes to get in the position that helps the team the most.
Brad: Competing well on the road is important in every sport, but maybe more so in gymnastics, as three road scores count towards your RQS. The team had its best scores last season away from Crisler Center. Why do you think that was?
Shelby: I think it had a whole lot to do with our dynamic. Competing at home, I think there's sometimes a little more pressure to succeed. This year for our home meets, we want to focus on our gymnastics rather than focusing on scores. I think that was part of the problem last year.
Brad: You've primarily been an uneven bars/balance beam specialist in your first two years, but you've looked very comfortable on floor exercise in the three team intrasquads. Talk about your progression in that event.
Shelby: You know, it's something I've been working on ever since high school. I've continually tried to work on my floor routine the last three years with Shannon. Slowly but surely, I think I'm finally there this year, and feel really good about where I'm at with it. It's an exciting step.
Brad: From a year-to-year basis, what sorts of things can you change among your routines?
Shelby: This year, I think, has had the biggest increase in skill level from prior years. I worked really hard over the summer to get new skills in there. I've added a double layout dismount on bars, which has been a work in progress for a little bit. I'm doing a new series on balance beam, and adding three passes on floor. It's exciting to come in each year and increase your skill level to help the team in more areas.
Brad: Five months from now, on April 27, what will we have learned about the 2013 University of Michigan women's gymnastics team?
Shelby: That our summer/offseason commitment was a huge contributor to our success. Overall, our team has taken a huge step there. We're starting earlier, getting in shape earlier, and staying to train during the summer, all of which have helped us regain focus heading into this season. Come April, I think we'll look back on it and think, 'That's why we were successful.'
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
Nov. 21 - Brittnee Martinez
Season tickets now on sale. » Learn about 2016 Michigan women's gymnastics ticket opportunities.