The Future of Cincinnati Gymnastics- Interview with Mary Lee Tracy, Information on Lexie’s Upgrades

In elite gymnastics, just because you were once great, does not mean you are great. This is not only true in the gymnasts themselves, but also with their gyms.

1996 Olympian Amanda Borden went to Cincinnati.

Cincinnati has been a powerhouse in women’s gymnastics for many years producing many gold standard USA gymnasts, including 1996 Olympic gold medallist, Amanda Borden.

Leixe and Amelia both competed at the 2010 Nastia Liukin Supergil Cup

The future of Cincinnati is in safe hands with many talented juniors working up the elite ranks including 2012 Junior National Champion, Lexie Preissman. Lexie will be turning senior in 2013 and is a very eagerly anticipated competitor. She’s strong on all four events and will fit right in with any USA team and will likely pick up a few all around titles while she’s at it! Lexie is the 2012 Jesolo All around Champion, 2010 Super girl Cup Champion and 2011 Junior International Champion.

Amelia (left) And Lexie (right) are two of Cincinnati’s best known elites.

Amelia Hundley is another key Cincinnati member and will be turning senior in2014. She is also one of my favourite junior gymnasts! She’s a member of the 2012 Women’s Junior National team and won the bronze medal on bars at the 2012 VISA championships. She finished 3rd on vault at the 2012 City of Jesolo Trophy and came second on the same event at the 2012 Pacific Rim Championships. I predict we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

As well as many promising junior gymnasts, Cincinnati also has many talented new seniors including Brianna Brown and “Poof” Alexis Beucler to look forward to.

I talked to Cincinnati President and Head Coach Mary Lee Tracy about Lexie and Amelia’s upgrades and the future of Cincinnati Gymnastics.

 

Congratulations on coaching Lexie Preissman to a junior All around Title, how do you feel now she is turning senior?

Lexie and I are both excited for the challenge of moving into the senior division. She is getting ready and training hard to raise her level of difficulty on all four events.

Have you and Lexie set any goals for the next year?

Yes! American Cup, depending on what the Olympians do, qualify to the European meet in the Spring, remain in the top three all arounders at Championships and make the Worlds team!

Any upgrades for us to look forward to?

A second vault with Tsukahara entry, new release moves on bars and two new tumbling passes!

Amelia has another year Junior, Have you set any goals for her?

Yes, she has another year junior and wants to make the European trip and finish in the top three Nationals and is also upgrading every event and is very excited with training!

You have many talented Junior and Senior Gymnasts in your gym; do you ever find it difficult to split your time with them?

No! I have an incredible coaching staff! I just added Courtney McCool in September to Amy Wert and then my level ten staff are also very strong and helpful!

How do you motivate your girls?

I keep them focused on their goals number one then we do alt of games and challenges when the periods of training get a little boring or long.

What’s been your proudest moment as a coach?

Several! Olympics 96 with Amanda and Jayc, Pan American Championships Games with Morgan White, American Cup with Jennie Thompson, Nastia Cup with Amelia and Lexie and Championships this past year.

Is there any new gymnastics coming from Cincinnati you’d like to mention?

“Poof” Alexis Beucler was at Championships this past year, she is coming along and will be a senior this year and there is another group of five hopefuls and I am very excited about them, time will tell!

 

I’ve a great feeling about this Gym for the next four years!

The Quad Awards Part One.

everyone’s doing ‘Awards’ now that the quad and Olympics has officially ended, and i’m aware that I can’t hold a candle to most other bloggers so I decided to do things my own way!

I asked you all on twitter who was YOUR winner in each category. Replies were few (but more than expected!) so here we go!

TEAM OF THE QUAD.

This was a tough one! The USA Olympic team was a front-runner, but so were the 2011 team and the 2010 Russians. 2012 European Championship Romanian team were also contenders as well as the Canadian team at the Olympics.

And the gold medal goes to…

The USA!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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No surprises there! the team that won the Team finals by over five points and each member preformed brilliantly! Well done USA!

 

 

 

Silver medal goes to.. Romania and Canada (It’s a tie. but due to public demand, there will be no tie breakers)

 

Leotard Of The Quad:

This cannot just be another pretty leotard, this is a leotard worn when history was made. Personally, I was rooting for Aliya’s 2010 WC Leo, but not too many of you were on my side with that one!

And the gold medal goes to…

My gosh! It’s a  tie between two Russian Leo’s both from 2012. I’m just going to declare them both winners, All hail Russia!

Russian EF Leo, Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Around Champion Of The Quad

There’s only four contenders for this award. Bridget, Aliya, Jordyn and Gabby. All brilliant in their own way and very successful

And the gold medal goes to.. 

Aliya Mustafina! Amazing, elegant, diva and the brightest star in the quad. 2010 were the glory days.

 

 

 

 

 

And the silver medalist is…

2012 All Around Champion Gabby Douglas

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the Flippin’ Olympic’s twitter where nominations for these awards are taking place! 

 

 

A Journey to a Dream: The Power of Perseverance

Hey everyone! It sure has been awhile since I’ve been here, I’m so sorry for that! Training has been going well though. I have been getting more intense and I’m training at least 5 days per week now, sometimes six. In addition to getting my glide kip I also just got my flyaway! My beam basics (leaps, jumps, turns) have gotten a lot stronger. I have also been working on side somersaults on a line on the floor and also trying to put walkovers on beam as well. I’ve been having some trouble with my wrist so it tends to hold me back at times. I’m finally vaulting well and doing yurchenko timers up onto a resi pit! I hate going forwards so I’m ready to get into that backward motion! 😉 I’ve been tumbling more and working on gaining technique back in my twisting. Overall, things are going pretty well and I finally feel like I’m progressing a bit on bars. All I know is that I wake up every day and give it my all until I can’t go anymore. I never feel like I’ve let myself down when I push myself hard. It gets difficult at times in the gym. This summer has been one of the hottest and with no AC in there, it can be brutal when the humidity is up. Its easy to get fatigued quick but I do my best to fight through.

Aside from training, I just wanted to talk a bit about perseverance. Being (now) 25 years old and only doing gymnastics for about 9 months, I hear it all. Some people believe in me and support my dreams, while others are discouraging. I have sought out several gyms around me for some more focused training, even something as simple as a long four event session once per month just so that I can get more focused coaching and maybe a different point of view. You see, at my gym now, the coach who helps me also coaches the competitive cheer teams and I am mostly on the back burner. I spend a lot of hours teaching myself and learning drills, skills and conditioning from YouTube videos from various coaches. I just want real coaching, I feel like if I had that then I could progress further and really learn how to do things and take my training to the next level.

In reaching out to gyms, I’ve tried different approaches. The first time I went in to talk to the owner and head coach and they LAUGHED in my face. Seriously. Needless to say I walked right back out of there and never looked back. After that incident I decided I would email a coach at a different gym. That one didn’t even respond. A new gym went up nearby that was strictly gymnastics (not cheerleading for once) so I thought I would drop in. They asked me if I was stupid because all of their forms clearly read they only take those aged 7-17. So again, I tried to explain what I was doing and that I was hoping they would be willing to help. After more laughter from not only the owner but also a coach, I left there too. While these people do give me motivation to prove them wrong, it can also be discouraging. It almost feels as though you are back in school and dealing with bullies. I tried to ignore all of these bad experiences and keep training, but I still knew that I needed a serious coach to help me. So I figured I would take another leap of faith, this time with a somewhat well known coach. I wrote an email that just spilled everything I was trying to accomplish and I was honest and shared my dreams with this person. Unfortunately, they are only training elites but were at least nice enough to invite me to their gym and wished me the best of luck on chasing my dream. Finally, someone who was at least kind when letting me down! It was difficult to swallow that one because I was very hopeful, but I can’t help but feel like every thing happens for a reason. At least they listened to my story and didn’t just brush me off like the rest.

Even though many people have laughed at my ambitions and denied helping me reach my goals, I keep fighting. Every single day. Because at the end of the day this isn’t their dream to deny. I am the only person that can say, “I’m done” if I want to be. And I’m not ready to give up. If learning from YouTube videos is what I have to do then so be it. I get up every day and I get in that gym and do whatever it takes to improve and be better than the day before. So please, don’t ever give up your dreams or something you are passionate about because of what other people say. They only want to bring you down simply because you are above them. 🙂

Keep fighting and keep the dream alive. Thank you for always believing in me!

Until next time… Maegan xo

The Gymternet 25th Of June

This will more than likely be my last Gymternet post for a while, because i’m leaving in 3 days to the Gealtacht. (For the non-Irish fans of the blog- a gealtacht is an area usually in the west coast of Ireland where Irish is the spoken language of the people, Irish students usually aged between 14 and 18 go and spend 3 weeks with their friends living in a house in this area to learn the language. It’s good fun and I cannot wait.) I will have limited internet access (Internet for about 2 hours a day) But, I won’t be writing any blog posts myself.

However, my lovely contributors Maegan and Courtney will still be writing here, so the blog won’t be empty while i’m gone!

Anyways, here’s the news from the Gymternet this week.

Mckayla Maroney has been a favorite to make the Olympic team for quite some time now,  but her injury from warm ups on day 2 of Nationals seems to have set her back a lot more than USAG is letting on.  She has to miss a full week of training due to a concussion. The Gymternet is starting to wonder, If Mckayla is not ready for trials, but proves she can be ready for the Olympics, can she petition straight onto the team?

Gym Truth Teller talks about it here: http://gymtruthteller.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/the-curious-case-of-mckayla-maroney/

And here’s Lauren Hopkins ’15 in 15: Mckayla Maroney’  from The Couch Gymnast: http://www.thecouchgymnast.com/?p=6762

Its one week away from the naming of the team and everyone is predicting! Bekah from getagripgymblog.blogspot.com has taken a much closer look at the Trials qualifiers and their execution scores. You’ll be surprised. http://getagripgymblog.blogspot.ie/2012/06/lets-talk-about-execution-baby.html

And here on this blog, I’ve posted some predictions from April, funny to see how everything changed. Although, I’m quite proud of my team! https://flippingolympics.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/olympic-teams-predictions/

Another team prediction from GetAGripGymBlog: Who Takes The 5th Spot? http://www.getagripgymblog.blogspot.ie/2012/06/who-takes-5th-spot-based-on-season.html

The British Championships took place this weekend and FullTwist have results and video from WAG event finals: http://fulltwist.net/british-championships-wag-event-finals/

A report on AA finals at the British championships from the couch gymnast: http://www.thecouchgymnast.com/?p=6764

Now, away from the Seniors and the Olympics for a moment! Triple Twist have an interview with Laurie Hernandez the up and coming USA junior!: http://tripletwistgymblog.blogspot.ie/2012/06/laurie-hernandez-interview.html

 

The New Artistic. A Closer Look At Jordyn And Alyia.

What really annoys me is when people complain about certain gymnasts not being artistic.

What annoys me more is when that person is considered ‘unartistic’ just because they’re not Russian, blonde or long-legged. (insert Nastia)

I know alot of people won’t agree with this, and that’s okay, that’s your opinion, but I think Jordyn Wieber is artistic. She’s no Soviet-era artistic and she may not be able to put her legs behind her ears, but you can’t say her form is fugly. Her form is clean and tight (Something we can’t say for some ‘artistic’ gymnasts cough. Musty cough.) 

Her bars are clean, I mean their not amazing, but she’s not sacrificing form for a higher difficulty, probs to John Geddert for that.

Lets look at Alyia Mustafina now, shall we? I think we’ve all been slacking her Amanar and that awful form on vault since her glory days of 2010. And her triple twist on floor now puts Catliana Ponor’s to shame. But we still all consider her artistic. Why? because she’s a Russian with amazing bars AND DID I MENTION SHE’S A RUSSIAN?

I know, alot of you are reading this right now and thinking I’m crazy for saying Mustys not artistic, but lets face it, if your calling Musty artistic, you better be calling Jordyn ‘I always hit my splits’ Wieber.

But,  a picture tells a thousand words..

Round One: Splits.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, its pretty easy to see who’s are prettier… But, that being said, Jordyn does hit hers, and it’s not like they’re going to give you extra points for going over 180 degrees.

Round Two: Vault Form

 

 

 

 

 

These pictures really speak for themselves, don’t they?  I’ll admit, these photos are from two different stages of the vault (sorry, I couldn’t find much better) but Jordyn’s form stays clean the whole way through, and Alyia’s is bad from the start.

That leaves it 1-1. I’ll let the final round be decided in London.

A Journey to a Dream. Never Give Up Hope

It’s been awhile since I’ve wrote about my training, I had to take a week off because my body truly needed it. Ever since that week I have been back in action and stronger than ever! I’ve been working hard and trying to put in more time and last weekend, it truly paid off for me!

Since the first day I started training back in October I have been working on a glide kip. Of course at first, it was completely with a spot since I had no concept of swinging bars with any technique at all. For months I have worked this skill during every practice (except when I was nursing huge rips of course!) and lately it has been one of my biggest causes of frustration. Every time I would go everyone in the gym would say, “you are RIGHT there!” or, “that was SO close if you would just do (insert any advice on kips) you would make it!” And even with all of that advice and encouragement, I still hadn’t made one. It was aggravating, and eventually Bobby (man that helps me), stepped in to start spotting me again. It made me feel like I was regressing, I just wanted to keep trying by myself because everyone kept telling me how close I was! My bar training that day was not a good one, so I left the gym feeling a bit down and thinking that I would never get my kip.

I came in the next day to train and my body was so sore and tired that nothing was happening, so I listened and decided to take the evening off. Saturday morning I walked into the gym refreshed and determined and there was no place better for me to start my workout than on bars. I put my grips on, chalked up, and took my place in front of the low bar to do as I did every day, go for my glide kip and hope it would be a great day for them. I missed my first one, but I felt like I was closer than ever. My chest got up to the bar and I fought my hardest to get myself over that bar but only ended up hitting my chest against it and coming back to the mat. I thought in my mind, today is the day, I’m making this no matter what. I let my friend Zoe who has been working out with me take a turn so I could think about it. Before I knew it, it was my turn again. I step up to the bar, get focused, and go. I jump up, grab the bar, straddle through to extend, snap my feet to the bar, kip and I MADE IT!!! I FINALLY got myself up and over the bar and boy did I celebrate!! I felt so accomplished and felt so amazing! I was on top of the bar, and the world! Everyone in the gym stopped and stared at me and I did not mind one bit. I jumped down and danced around with Zoe like I had just won the lottery! To me, it felt like I had! After that, everyone wanted to see it, I made some more, missed a few, and finally ended bars on an exceptionally great note!

I wish that I could truly describe the feeling of finally making that kip. I worked tirelessly for months to get this skill. I watched videos of drills, and I tried everything I could every single time I was in that gym. People kept telling me that it was going to be one of the toughest skills I would face at this point but some days that didn’t make a difference to me. In the end, all of the work, determination and dedication paid off because I had finally made a huge step in my early gymnastics journey.

In the few practices since then, my glide kip has gotten stronger and I even made a few that I was able to cast into a back hip circle! Working so hard for that one skill for so long made me realize even more that the hard work will pay off in time. Just when you start to feel like you are getting nowhere you realize how wrong you are. So my advice to you this time is to never give up no matter how long the struggle has been or how hard it may seem. You will be rewarded for your effort!

Here is a video of one of my kips. It’s not the first one unfortunately (you would have loved THAT celebration!), but it is one of the first ones that I thought about casting out of! I hope to have some more videos of my training for you soon. Thank you always for your support!

I hope everyone enjoys watching VISAs this weekend. I am very sad that one of my biggest inspirations has retired, but I am so thankful I was able to witness Shawn’s great career! Chase your dreams and never let the struggles get you down. 🙂

Until next time….

Want to see Maegan’s kip? check it out here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv5lUkgP2NE&feature=g-upl