I was honored to compete again at the 2016 maroon and gold intersquad at Aspire on December 9th. Last year Scott Barclay came up with a scoring scheme for alumni where we were to be given an extra .2 points times the number of years since we graduated on each event. I did not hit any event last year so even with the extra points I was not close to winning.
In the summer my family and I moved back to the Phoenix area and I’ve spent 1-2 hours in the gym almost once a week for the past few months. I’ve also been more disciplined about my conditioning at home, keeping a written log to stay on track.
This year I was planning to win at least pommel horse with a three-point handicap (0.2 points * 15 years since graduation). I showed my hand a bit early, however, when I posted a video of my pommel horse routine on Facebook last month (last year I had 4 falls on that event, but not anymore).
After I saw my first score I realized that I was not given a blanket 3 extra points (probably because I would have taken away some of the validity of the competition with pumped up scores). I appreciate that because I only want to win if I am scored just like everyone else. On each event I was about a point from third place and 2 points from winning. That gives me hope for next year. 🙂
Last year I had major falls on every event, so this year I spent a good amount of time focusing on landings, handstands, and endurance. I will continue that focus, as well as modify my routines as needed to meet all the special requirements. That means a new dismount on pommel horse and rings and another skill or two on pommel horse and parallel bars.
Also I will be focusing on leg conditioning in the next few weeks since I sprained my right thumb after my parallel bar routine. I made the rookie mistake of putting my hands back to catch myself when I fell. I had to quickly put my thumb back into it’s socket and I’m still barely using it so I will be spending more time on landings this year for safety reasons as well as to improve my scores. I hope to compete Floor next year, so the focus on legs will be good for me.