Ask The Bruin Gymnastics Team - Mar. 15, 2012
March 15, 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.
Bill (San Francisco): Why do most athletes do the same vault? Do you think the rules should encourage more skills diversity? Why not let the girls compete two vaults?
Jennifer (Burlington): Val, you had a fan mention passing down Kim Hamilton's floor routine to someone, and you asked him who to put it on. Please give it to VANESSA!
Jess (Irvine, CA): Ohhhhh, as long as we are talking about reviving routines, I put my vote in for Alison Stoner's 1999 freshman floor routine. If Mattie did that omg!
Andrea (Boston): What would you say is the hardest skill for you to teach?
Some skills are easy to teach to some athletes and harder to teach to others. Finding the proper skill selection for an athlete is always key to their success. The hardest skill for me to master in teaching is a hop full (Monique De La Torre's skill on bars). It is one of those skills that I have tried to teach on several occasions to several athletes. I watch videos, quiz other coaches who teach the skill well, and ask my athletes to guide me through what they feel, see and think. I am determined to be able to teach the skill by the end of my coaching career, if not sooner! So, maybe start looking for that skill in future Bruin routines.
Paul (LA): Question for Randy: What are some of your favorite bars routines from the past--college or international? Do you bring anything you've seen in those to the Bruins routines?
Other athletes that come to mind are:
Those above mentioned were NCAA champions during my last time at UCLA, but there have been so many that I have coached who have made such an impact in this sport.
Doni Thompson was one of those athletes that I could give an idea to and she would try it. So incredibly talented and such a strong competitor on bars for UCLA. I actually taught her a skill that she competed in her junior year that was really nothing more than an easy transition that I had competed back in my competitive days on high bar - a full twist after her Tkatchev.
Lena Degteva was often overlooked on bars, but she worked so hard, and by her senior year finished in the top 3 at NCAA's.
As far as non-Bruins, I would have to say that Courtney Kupets (Georgia) was an amazing bars worker and won two NCAA titles on the event. She did so many releases in her bar routine her senior year that she made it look like she was simply playing.
Secondly, I am very thankful for the invention of YouTube. I love to watch anything and everything with regards to the sport of gymnastics. I have actually watched several videos from the 80's to try to bring back the "old school" skills. It would have been very fitting to be able to do that this season since it was a "throwback" year competing in the Wooden Center's Collins Court. I feel like I can never stop learning, reinventing or becoming a better coach with every athlete.
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