Jan. 21, 2016
Read the January issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPad/iPhone app!
Download your Hawk Talk Monthly iOS app
Download your Hawk Talk Monthly android app
Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
24 Hawkeyes to Watch
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team returns to action inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m. (CT) to host Big Ten foe No. 25 Ohio State. With the Big Ten matchup on the horizon, the GymHawks are focusing on the little things to be successful.
“The most important thing that we have talked to them about is that consistency wins,” said UI head coach Larissa Libby. “So the most important thing is for us to be consistent in everything — training, the message, the philosophy. So going crazy right now because we had a few falls that we didn’t anticipate is not in the plan.
“We need to stay on course; those things will work themselves out. But we are identifying the places where things went wrong, outside of falls. We are looking to the spots that we didn’t feel good about, where we were a little distracted. Those are the things that need to be identified so next time we can fix those things. To be honest it is a lot more of the non-gymnastics things than it is the gymnastics. So that is where our focus is now.”
With the mental game plan outlined, the next step for the Hawkeyes is to focus on competitive practice.
“The focus gymnastically for this weekend is paying attention to what your skills feel like in practice so they transfer over into competition,” said Libby. “We are making a lot of mistakes that we don’t make in practice. Not the falls, but short handstands, the wobbles, the details that are done very well in practice that are not transferring over. Just having a little more attention to what is happening there. Where is the glitch, and why aren’t those skills transferring? That is our biggest problem; we are making multiple little mistakes. The big mistakes aren’t the ones that are hurting us. I think physically, they are better off than we thought.”
With four meets under their belt, including a pair of dual meet victories over Northern Illinois and Michigan State, the GymHawks are finally finding a rhythm when it comes to training and competing.
“We are finally back on a normal schedule,” said Libby. “They are back to school; they are back to a normal training schedule. So everything is starting to fall back into place. I think the hardest thing during the holidays is not having a regular schedule. While we try to hold to that during breaks, it is hard because you don’t have the same rigor around you. You are not moving all the time, walking across campus; you’re not on the same schedule. While at first I think it may be a bit tiresome, I think in the end it will be beneficial to go back to that schedule.”
While their goals extend throughout the season, the GymHawks are taking it step-by-step.
“We have been trying to take it one meet at a time,” said Libby. “We don’t want them to move forward and we don’t want them to look behind. We just want them to stay in the moment, the right here and right now. That is all that matters.”
Saturday’s meet against Ohio State is Black & Gold Night. Fans in attendance are encouraged to wear black and gold to support the Hawkeyes. Beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, fans will be able to purchase hot dogs for only $1 during Hot Dog Happy Hour. There will also be a Hawks Nest Tailgate, which allows UI Students with a valid student ID to enjoy a free Taco Bar. Kids Zone will be available for young Hawkeye fans prior to the meet.