Jan. 12, 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.
What kind of support from UCLA students would you like to see at meets?
Valorie Kondos Field: We would love for students to become so familiar with our meets that they start a "Gymnastics Culture" like the student body has with football and basketball. We have a lot of student support at our meets, now we just need to harness all of their energy into Powerful Bruin Den Synergy to become our "7th man". This season, they can start by showing up in their favorite Super Action Hero attire!
Ellette Fan (San Francisco, CA): Will Ellette be in the lineup on floor or beam? Also with so much travel each season does UCLA do anything to reduce their carbon footprint?
Valorie Kondos Field: YES, we are hoping that Ellette competes on floor and beam soon. She is scheduled to go exhibition on bars this weekend. Her beam routine is ready to go except for the dismount, and floor is about a month away. She is a beautiful gymnast - great line, beautiful dance and powerful! She's also a lot of fun to coach. She's a bit quirky but definitely in a good way. Carbon footprint? We don't have a Carbon footprint. Remember ... we're Super Action Heroes ... we transport everywhere we go. ;)
Julie (Grenada Hills): Last week, John posed a question about pacing where he implied that peaking at the end of the season might cost the team some fans. I just wanted to respond by saying that as a fan, I care much more about how UCLA does in the post-season that what happens during the regular season. There are many things that make me a fan of UCLA gymnastics, but one of them is knowing that the team can contend for a Championship, rather than that peaking too early.
Valorie Kondos Field: I agree with you, which is why peaking at the right time will always be our primary goal. I don't mind losing meets during the regular season when we've been beaten by a better team. However, It's never OK to lose meets because we made unnecessary mistakes. We went to Georgia one year and lost to them by 3 points, but we felt great about the meet because we had NO depth and went in and hit 24 for 24 routines. We did the best we could do that night and felt really good even though we got slaughtered score-wise.
Liam (Manchester, England): I LOVED the routine previews but there were some comments about them being too sexy. Where is the line between sexy and trashy?
Valorie Kondos Field: What's the saying? - One person's trash is another person's treasure. The line between sexy and trashy is about personal perspective. It's never my goal for our athletes to appear "trashy". If I get too many comments about certain choreography, I'll usually change it because my opinion is just one of many.
Ryan (Philadelphia, PA): With the rash of assaults by coaches in the news, it seems that you must have dealt with this in the past. Do you have advice for athlete-victims?
Valorie Kondos Field: Yes, talk with a professional and get sound advice as to how to deal with it personally and how to pursue legal action if that's what you feel is warranted. Too often victims will not talk to anyone because they are ashamed; that's where a Professional can make all the difference in their lives.