March 8, 2012
UCLA Gymnastics coaches and team members will be answering your questions every Thursday over the course of the season. To submit questions for future Q&As, CLICK HERE.
OCGymGuy (Orange County): What interaction with judges is permitted in college gymnastics, by athletes and/or coaches, to plead or explain a case during or even after a meet?
Valorie Kondos Field: The only interaction a coach can have with a judge is to check in before the start of each event to make sure that the judge has the same competition order as the coach. It is a deduction to compete out of the order that was submitted. If a substitution needs to be made once the event has started, the coach can inform the judge of the change. Athletes should have no contact with the judge.
Mara (San Francisco): I noticed in the upcoming meet press release that four seniors were mentioned, yet the photo in the ad section shows five. Did Tiffany Hyland retire?
Valorie Kondos Field: Yes, Tiffany Hyland retired. She had hip surgery last year, and has had a rough rehab road back.
Aurelio (Orange): Which girls on the team do you think will be doing all-around by NCAAs? I know Vanessa, Elyse, Sam, Olivia & Mattie are all potentials. It's been really fun to watch your team this year because with so much depth and competition for spots in the lineup, we never know who's actually going to compete (I know sometimes the warmups dictate that as well). Can't wait for your last home meet vs. Oklahoma!
Valorie Kondos Field: I honestly don't know who we'll have in the all-around come Championship season. Our athletes keep getting healthier and better, and consequently our line-up keeps shifting. Our plan is to have Aisha and Sam back in on Floor this weekend, so depending on how they score will determine our floor line-up for Pac-12's. It's a nice problem to have. Be sure to come dressed in BLUE this Sunday for our last home meet!
Ed (Boston): There seems to be a female coach in every NCAA program, and even in almost all JO programs. Do you think it is necessary and/or better for there to be a woman involved as opposed to one or two men?
Valorie Kondos Field: I do feel it is important to have a female on the coaching staff. The most obvious reason is so that the student-athletes have someone that they can relate with and talk to about more personal issues. Another reason is to help protect males coaches from possibly getting too involved in a student-athlete's personal issues. Our male coaches are extremely cautious about discussing anything with a student-athlete that could make the student-athlete feel uncomfortable and/or be misconstrued as harassment. Besides, let's face it ... there is quite a bit of truth to the whole Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus discussion.
Logan (Los Angeles): What was that funky move during Vanessa's floor, a spider walking up her arm? Did you come up with that, Miss Val, or her?
Valorie Kondos Field: It's actually a spider walking "down" her arm. =) I don't exactly remember where that came from. Amy, Vanessa and I were playing around with the initial choreography, and that movement just came out when we interpreted the music. Actually, it wasn't me ... it was either Vanessa or Amy. I love it. I love quirky simply signature moves that people will remember once the routine is finished.