Thursday, 10 January 2013

NCAA gymnastics in not-elite shocker

So, it's elite gymnastics dry season. Naturally enough, people turn to watching what NCAA gymnastics has in store, particularly as it features many familiar faces. And yet, far too many people go in expecting a carbon copy of US Nationals and throw a fit when it's not what they get. It drives me MENTAL.

 'Eww that choreo is the WORST'

'Why are they all doing such easy vaults'

'It's disgusting that they are doing sexy moves in their routines. That's not what gymnastics is about'

'Why are they all using such horrible modern music'

'How in the hell did that get a 10'

'I'm sick of seeing such easy floor routines, they should be more difficult'

'What is with that exaggerated stick, I've never seen that before'.

NCAA tends to have far better choreography than elite, as a whole. The girls work much more and focus a lot more on their choreography. Sure, they use more er, 'mature' moves sometimes, and often use popular songs. Why on earth not? They are 18 and above, and their job on floor is to draw the crowd in and get them going- as well as of course, get a good score for their team. The girls play to their strengths on floor, instead of looking awkward trying to conform to a style that is clearly not theirs, which has quite often been the case in elite.

Well yes, because they can get 10's for well performed Yurchenko fulls. People just do not see that these girls are older and therefore more prone to injuries from hard landings, and that they do not train near as much as when they were elite. Because, they are like, studying for degrees and stuff? That means they have assignments, and lectures, and actual lives. Now if you want to see a whole lot of amanars and risky vaults, then rewatch Olympics and Worlds.

It got a 10 for the same reason that excellent elite routines in the past got 10's- even with visible errors like leg seperation, shuffles and hops on landings. The range of scores for excellent routines is narrow, so if a gymnast goes above and beyond, then a 10 is reasonable to expect.

Yeah, I for one really want more ACL and Achilles injuries, so bring on the piked double arabians and double doubles please! People do do double layouts and arabians on floor, I kind of wish they wouldn't..

Ha, it's fresh from the old elite days. I kind of love it, it's very endearing and really just shows how happy they are for themselves AND the team.

The best thing about NCAA is the team spirit. The way the girls are surrounded after a routine, the way they mimic floor choreography, just everything. They are there to win and be successful, but having a lot of fun along the way. Of course they are not going to place themselves at risk for the minority who wish to see difficult moves beyond the reach of the gymnast. If you can't get over it, then stop watching it and stop bitching about it.

This refuses to embed, but it's Lloimincia Hall's brand new floor routine. I'll let her have the last word. Is she stomping all over the grave of beautifully graceful floor routines? Yes she is. But how anyone could watch this and not smile is beyond me. It's everything NCAA gymnastics stands for- sassy, sparkly, fun, enthusiastic, crowd pleasing and above all- suited to the gymnast, who could not be anymore thrilled to be out there doing her thing if she tried. Wonderful to watch.

Lloimincia is AWESOME
Who I am looking out for this year: (bearing in mind I am only watching free meets at a reasonable timezone so haven't been exposed to everyone yet)

Danusia Francis
Peng Peng Lee
Vanessa Zamarippa
Lichelle Wong
Olivia Courtney
Sophina DeJesus
Mattie Larson
Bridget Sloan
Lauren Beers
Lloimincia Hall
Keeley Kmieciak
Kytra Hunter
Marissa King
Alyssa Click 

1 comment:

  1. Let us not forget that the majority of the girls in the NCAA were never elites.