Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ones to Watch 2009

International Gymnast is doing an ongoing feature about international juniors turning senior in 2009.

Britt Greeley, Chantelle Turnbull, Karina Brooks and Kirsty Gully are the named Aussies. Contributors to this blog might notice their videos on show.

I don't mind constructive criticism but... reading the piece, some of it made me feel like they were making generalisations about the gymnasts' skills and respective repertoires based only on hasty YouTube viewing sessions (and assuming that the way that did that skill at that particular competition is the way they always do it) rather than gaining an idea of the athlete's capability as a whole through other means. Let's face it, the Britt I saw on Saturday (despite not doing full routines) looked eleven times more confident, self-assured and comfortable than the one we saw at the AYOF. And she didn't have the same floor routine as PAC, this one is much better!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Kirsty Gully still training? Where does she train?

Anonymous said...

Yeh, like saying that Chantelle is inconsistent when she has only competed twice in the last year and only 1 videoed routine is available to watch out of all those routines she did!

Anonymous said...

Regarding a single Saturday morning practice versus real competitions ..... competition is the ONLY place it counts! Let's face it, that's how and where we judge all gymnasts - no matter where they're from. It's not enough to look good in practice - gymnasts must also be able to perform the skills under pressure in the big competitions. Ditto for any athlete or sportsperson.

Geelong was easily the best footy team in 2008 - easily by a country mile. But they stuffed it up in the game that really mattered - the Grand Final. They've done that before and knowing (and loving) them, they'll do it again. The reality is that they won't be remembered for being the gun team of 2008 - they simply didn't do the job when it mattered most.

Mez, I love your loyalty to the Aussie gym girls and the fact that you're very parochial. But, um, *ahem* would you give the same benefit of the doubt to the Romanian girls or a certain Italian gymnast?? :-) *hee*

Wolfie.

Mez said...

I'm not saying that training is the sole indicator of their capabilities. And I'm not saying these girls are flawless.

But... I was surprised they pretty much let the gym world know about these international up-and-comers without getting grab quotes from coaches, or finding out what skills the gymnasts are actually working on for the new year.

They mentioned Britt dismounting beam with a layout. That can't be usual for her, they must know that. Certainly not for someone with senior international aspirations, surely they would realise as such. Did they need to highlight "amplified" imprecision of Chantelle Turnbull? Furthermore, why did they profile Kirsty Gully if they think she might not end up "what Australia is looking for"?

I just... I think it's one thing to excite the community about up-and-comers. It's another thing to nitpick before the community has seen them properly. "Oh yes, I remember hearing about this girl. I think we can look forward to a good vault... but I hear she's not much to hang around for come beam".


I think the example that comes to mind is Hollie Dykes. When we first heard whispers in the wings about her coming on the scene, we heard all about a technically-proficient superstar, not an inconsistent waif...

Anonymous said...

Sure, but most of the hype for Hollie came from Peggy and the like - not so much from international commentators and spectators. And in any case, the over-hype probably put too much pressure on the poor girl. I'm still gutted by her retirement. One day I might get over it - I live in hope. :-(

Our girls are lucky in a sense. They have you broadcasting their potential - no matter what the comp scores reveal. If they do well in practice, you tell us (and I thank you for that). That's great - I love being informed - but the rest of the world probably won't take any notice of our talent until those great practice routines morph into oonsistent comp routines.

Makes you think that some other non-Aussie elite gymnasts could do with a Mez looking after their interests too. Aussie gym is lucky to have you, Mez.

Wolfie.

Mez said...

Ok, so mentioning the training thing kinda blurred my argument a little. I think what my primary point boiled down to was that I don't expect these girls to be bubble-wrapped and shielded from negativity or critique all the time. That's the nature of the sport.

But I feel it's a little counter-productive to introduce these girls, who are currently standing in the shadows of Olympic and world championships team members, to the world (who may or may not have heard of them/seen them) as the potential new leaders of their country's elite squads and then tack on a, "buuuuuuuuut watch out for these little niggles in their performances and hey, this one here may not end up making it in the first place!".

mistysakura said...

*shrug* There are only so many videos of the new crop of seniors. If IG isn't allowed to make a judgment by these "hasty" sessions, they can't make a judgment at all. I can't blame them, really. I feel that including the potential weaknesses of the new seniors gives us a more complete picture than just citing their strengths. Sure, these gymnasts should be given the benefit of the doubt, especially considering their lack of experience. They could all develop into great gymnasts. But everyone knows that. I doubt that anyone would actually write off any of these gymnasts based on how they look right now. I think that IG's evaluations were fair and needed no airbrushing (the comment about Britt dismounting with a layout aside; that's just kinda stupid).

And it would be nice for IG to get quotes from the girls' coaches and find out what skills they're working on, but considering the scope of this project, it seems unrealistic. This series of articles will cover every single country with new seniors. Surely we can't expect them to contact every single coach of a new senior in every country for interviews, especially with their deadlines? They're even covering Argentina...

The comment about Kirsty Gully is pessimistic, but it's true that we've pretty much got beam and floor covered. It's not a personal putdown, and I'd expect comments of the sort in any analysis of new seniors, say, in the USA.

Anonymous said...

IG have put up parts 2 and 3 which cover up to Romania.
If they are going to do an anlysis they should make sure it is indepth - this is a major magazine we are taking about and they should get more information than just a few you tube videos -

Anonymous said...

With much regret,Chantelle Turnbull has advised that she has ended gym.“Due to injury and timing and toget to where she would need to be to be on top" She leaves as an awesome Gymnast who will be missed. I really hope she can get ontop of her injuries and make an awsome come back.!!! Love you Tel