Athlete Superlatives - Coaching Style!

9:41 PM Arabian Punch Front 2 Comments

The Olympic Games were exciting! There was so much good gymnastics and so much fun on the gymternet :) I decided to do things a little differently with my Olympic recap. Here, I'm pretending that I owned a gym and these are the athletes that I'd want on staff. I realize this gym would probably have to be the size of 3 gyms, have lots of interested young ladies, and have an endless budget. Here's what I came up with for Arabian Punch Front Gym.

National Team Athletes
Vaulting Coach - Maroney
Duh. McKayla Maroney finally stuck her Amanar. What more could you want in a vaulting coach?

Uneven Bars Coach - the podium, Aliya Mustafina, He Kexin, Beth Tweddle
I think I'd want the entire podium in. If I had to pick just one athlete, I think it would be Aliya since she combines what I love about bars. He Kexin has the lovely body line and angles throughout everything and would come with an extensive background in Chinese pirouetting techniques. Beth Tweddle would provide some killer exercises for shoulder strength and flexibility while also teaching the athletes every release known to woman gymnastics-kind. Aliya Mustafina would be the perfect blend of the two and could teach Shaposhnikova's (the low to high bar transition) as well as dismounts where you randomly throw a half twist like no one's watching (am I the only one who gets shocked EVERY time she does that last half turn... then sticks it?!)

Beam Coach - Catalina Ponor
Queen of the beam! Pretty soon, we'd have little princesses of the beam all over the place. I think an athlete taught by Catalina Ponor would be physically unable to fall off the beam!

Beam Choreographer - Ksenia Afanasyeva
I think with other athletes like Inhsina, Dementyeva, Komova, Mustafina, and Grishina, I had forgotten that Knesia Afanasyeva could do balance beam. While her beam may not be the most difficult in the world, it was definitely the most beautiful. Afanasyeva did more than take a step back or pose, she probably had the most fluid movements of anyone in the beam final. For that, I want her on my team.

Floor Coach - Aly Raisman, Sandra Izbasa
These coaches were probably the hardest to decide. Aly Raisman has the most amazing first pass on floor and I would love for her to teach other athletes how to get the most height on their skills and to complete their twists fully. What she lacks in dance, her co-coach will help out with. Sandra Izbasa has matured a lot in the last 4 years. Even though she fell during finals, there was a different air and maturity around her. Her leaps are sensational and her turns are strong (and Romanian). I think, together, they'd create some pretty dynamic gymnasts. I originally had Viktoria Komova on here but I wasn't sold on her floor performance. Her 2012 AA FX was the best floor of her life but it makes me wonder what was going on for all the other floor routines we've seen her do. She could come and do clinics once a month.

Floor Choreographer - Huang Qiushuang
Adriana Pop has done quite a bit of work this year choreographing routines for China, reworking routines for Romania, and even fixed up a few things for some Australian athletes. I think it takes a moment for the gymnast to make the moves their own and I think Huang Qiushuang did an excellent job. She was the most fluid in her movements and connected the best with the music. I know there are other athletes that could be picked, like Sandra Izbasa, Ponor, or Komova. But, there's something about the way that Huang Qiushuang took the choreography and made it her own that made me fall in love with her. That's a skill I would want my athletes to have.

Asst Floor - Anastasia Grishina


The end.

Conditioning - Jordyn Wieber
Only Jordyn Wieber can save the things she saves. I'm still amazed and I want all athletes to fight like she does.

Younger Athletes
Vault/Sports Med - Brittany Rogers, Giulia Steingruber
After injuries, Brittany Rogers finally made it to the Olympics representing Team Canada. Canada finished in a historic 5th place and Brittany competed successfully in the vault event finals. I feel like she would be perfect to teach the younger gymnasts since she has pretty good technique herself, will want to teach the best to avoid injuries, and will help the athletes get through them should they arise. Giulia Steingruber is a sentimental favorite. I think she had the best chance of a medal but she fell in the qualification round. Steingruber is still an excellent vaulter and I think she has one of the best Rudi's in the world, 2nd to only Alicia Sacramone. She has high difficulty too. Between these two athletes, I have faith that some strong vaulters who do more than just Yurchenko vaults would be produced.

Uneven Bars - Kyla Ross and Gabby Douglas
The reason these girls aren't with the older girls is really because they didn't medal. In my opinion, their not as fluid as the Russians or Chinese but still have an immense capacity to swing bars and each would provide something to be built. Gabby Douglas would produce so many athletes with high flying, jaw dropping release moves. No more catching the bar with your hips below the bar under Mama Douglas' watchful eye. Kyla Ross will make bail to handstands the new pak salto. Something about the way she stretches before letting go of the high bar makes me think her bail is the prettiest thing on bars. You know what else she'll teach the young ones? Stick your landings!

Balance Beam - Vasiliki Millousi, Elisabetta Preziosa

Just imagine the lovely choreography that will be instilled in the athletes at a young age. And no, artistry doesn't equal flexibility, but being flexible certainly doesn't hurt! I also think the athletes these 2 make will have some different combinations and not your typical routines.


Floor Exercise - Victoria Moors, Rebecca Tunney
I think Tori's floor routine is amazing. Her tumbling is no easy feat and she also has a way of connecting with her music that isn't the traditional Russian ballet way. Tori has a great ability to connect with the crowd, emote with the music, and match her movement in the choreography to the rise and fall within the music. This is a great quality to have at a young age! I also think Tunney has a great ear for music. Her choreography may not be the best but she does well with what she has. Along with Moors, Tunney has some high and amazing tumbling passes. These would be some exciting and age appropriate floor routines!

Assistant Head Coach - Diana Bulimar
Diana Bulimar has been the quiet hero for Romania. My heart is still broken that she was taken out of balance beam event finals for Larisa Iordache who fell within the first 10 seconds of her routine. I think Didi would want to make sure that every athlete is pushed her hardest and tries her best so that, if she makes it, she is given the chance to shine and the opportunity won't be taken from her. You need a coach that will be devoted to her athletes and I think Didi would be perfect.

What are your thoughts?


  1. So thoughtful! I'd want to train at that gym.

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