July 3, 2014
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By Jack Rossi
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Amidst the fury of offseason workouts and competitions, the University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team is finding time to host their annual summer camp by bringing in young gymnasts from around the country.
The camp, which ended yesterday, was led and organized by Doni Thompson, the owner of Eyas Gymnastics and wife of current men’s head coach JD Reive. After Reive was hired by the university in 2010, Thompson and Reive brought the model they found successful while in Stanford over to Iowa and started the Eyas gym, which runs out of the Iowa Fieldhouse, while also reinventing the Iowa summer camp by focusing on the fundamentals of the sport.
“We run a technically based gymnastics camp. We teach a good foundation and a good root to propagate good gymnastics,” Thompson said. “The more their basics deteriorate, then the more dangerous the sport becomes.
“We want to formulate a camp for kids to come and have something they can take immediately back to their gym at home and can improve on and work on for their upcoming season.”
The gym was opened up to accommodate the large number of gymnasts this year and the camp is continuing to see growth after taking a year of in 2013.
“We did really well this year. We didn’t run it last year because JD and I wanted to pull it back, reinvent it, and get a good following with the team doing well these past few years,” Thompson said. “It really helped bring interest back to the camp and the program.”
The camp brought in a few gymnasts currently on the roster to act as coaches. Many Hawkeyes got a shot to pass their knowledge on and believe that coaching has made their attention to detail even greater now that they have critiqued others.
“I think that when it comes to teaching other kids their basics, it makes me think about my basics. [On the trampolines] I knew exactly what I did wrong and used that to point it out to them and show where I was wrong,” Springett said.
Next stop, the U.S Qualifiers in Colorado Springs, Colorado where Reive will bring four gymnasts in hopes of making the cut for the P&G Championships in August.