KEEPING TEAM HEALTHY
We carefully monitor the number of contacts with
the floor and hard surfaces. We use our pits for
virtually all landings and always err on the conservative side when signs of injury begin.
A good strength and conditioning program. Fitness is the key to being competitive while maintaining health. Varied workout requirements and
routine composition based on the condition of
athletes …. Having a talented trainer (Tom Iriye)
who develops our injury prevention programs.
We try to incorporate softer landings and drills
whenever possible. Also, we have a tremendous
training staff that won the Collegiate Training
Staff of the Year award, presented by the
Southeast Athletic Trainers Association.
We expect our athletes to manage their fitness
level as a “professional” adult athlete would. We
have a nutritionist … We encourage cardio workouts … and we do A LOT of rehab-type conditioning daily. We also [try to] minimize risk by reducing mistakes and falls in daily training.
We cycle our athletes with light, medium and
hard weeks. We place a strong emphasis on conditioning and fitness. Having 17 gymnasts provides much needed depth and is a luxury. Many
athletes should see action throughout the year,
giving opportunities for rest when needed.
We don’t talk about it. We are proactive in our
athletes’ training and monitor them. We test for
deficiencies and work on those weaknesses. You
can do everything correctly and still have
injuries. We combat that by working hard, conditioning hard and utilizing a safe environment.
Early and consistent attention to conditioning
and strength training. Train with a plan and with
short term and long term always in the forefront.
Our trainer, Jenn Cappuzzo, takes a primary role
through injury preventative rehab. As coaches,
we plan our conditioning and workouts to safely
advance the athletes toward competition. The
athletes are also responsible for being rested,
fueled and focused. Communication is key!
We focus on all aspects of the student-athlete’s
life … to make sure she is happy and healthy in
and out of the gym. We have one of the nation’s
top medical staffs … who work tirelessly [so]
our ladies do everything possible to make sure
their bodies will thrive throughout the season.
We’ve had great success using an annual peri-odized training plan that permits us to cycle our
athletes in and out of difficult training periods.
We believe it helps us stay healthy and peak at
the appropriate times.
We work closely with our trainers, and our
strength and conditioning staff; look at each
athlete’s needs on an individual basis;
strengthen any weaknesses, and do what we
can on a preventative basis.
Our state-of-the-art facility gives us the opportunity to train on softer surfaces and have less
wear and tear on our bodies. We, as coaches,
are also very careful not to overtrain or put athletes in situations that risk injury.
KEEPING WORKOUTS FRESH
We mix up our workouts with team-oriented goals, and
some “game-like” formats that meet our criteria for productivity. We use “pressure sets” and intrasquads to
determine the course of some workouts.
Change the structure and requirements of the workout as
often as possible. Create an upbeat environment with
music, games, challenges, etc. Give the athletes input
into the process.
Definitely a challenge. Once travel starts, there isn’t as
much training time, so it is key to define a goal for each
competition. We are also trying to cut down on the number of competitions we have, hoping that this keeps us
fresh for the end of the season.
We really don’t have much of a problem with this. First,
Chris Waller is the most energized person in the gym
every day. He has a great way of keeping training fresh,
competitive and fun. Second, we coaches are always
discussing new ways to keep training fresh, motivating
When the team needs a boost, it helps to get out of the
gym and play other sports (mini-golf, dodge ball, volleyball). We do lots of team-building activities and team
challenges, to see how well the team works together.
Finally, we bring in other teams to watch and cheer.
Having a great men’s team in the gym also helps!
I think athletes know we have a long season and are
prepared for it. They have trained like this year-round
for their entire lives. We just try to be flexible in workouts by mixing things up with variety. Gymnasts ultimately know it’s a numbers game, and they know what
they need to do to train most efficiently.
Variety in assignments. Try to challenge the team with
workout loads that they can achieve; some days are
easy, other days NOT SO EASY.
Variety is the spice of life. We attempt to “spice up” practices by using different motivations. Athletes take turns
choosing the “Word of the Week,” which creates a theme.
(e.g., synergy, attitude). Workouts become more motivating
when they are team-related and involve a variety of assignments. We also use video and goal-setting to motivate.
Each team is unique in its makeup, even teams that are
[mostly the] same from the year before. While our basic
philosophy remains the same, how we measure success
and the general path to that success remains the same,
the specifics of how we keep things fresh and exciting in
the gym changes year to year and often week to week.
Our training plan allows for periods of recovery. We also
plan a team retreat every year. Our athletes are a tight-knit
group, and do things outside the gym to bond together and
build greater team unity. Last year, during our interterm
break, the team went snow tubing and had a blast. These
kinds of things carry over into the gym….
We do a lot of team building throughout the fall.
Throughout the pre-season we like to give them different
team challenges and individual challenges each week.
We try to change things up in practice, play creative
games, etc., while getting work done. Athletes don’t
mind working if they are having fun!
not a cheerleading event, as has been suggested
by some at other levels of gymnastics. It is well-executed, high-level gymnastics that falls somewhere between J.O. nationals and the elite level.
a unique opportunity to continue your education
while enjoying the camaraderie of shared athletic
goals. Team atmosphere with the support of fellow
students, administration and fans. Challenging, yet
fun. Allows different types of gymnasts from a variety of backgrounds an opportunity to enjoy success.
a wonderful opportunity for gymnasts to compete at
a very high level while still having fun with the
sport … and allowing them to be a part of a close-knit family.
all about performance, team and
the most entertaining two hours you can spend
with your family on a Friday night … the best kept
secret … better than football!
exciting. It’s exciting for the performers, and it’s
exciting for the fans. From a spectator appeal,
gymnastics is one of the most exciting sports to
watch. Here at Nebraska, we do everything we can
to make it fan-friendly.
a combination of power and grace. It represents
the ‘total’ student-athlete: academics, athletics,
community and team.
an amazing experience. Most of our ladies compete
[as club gymnasts] in relative obscurity. Collegiate
gymnastics gives them a chance to gain a tremendous education and helps them grown and mature
as individuals [and] also gives them an opportunity
to compete in front of 11,000-plus fans per meet.
the crown jewel of women’s athletics. The athleticism these athletes demonstrate combined with
the artistry and maturity in the collegiate women’s
performances make our sport such a thing of
exciting, rewarding, challenging, and with each
new season we will be taught incredible life lessons
that will shape our future.
some of the best gymnastics performed other than
the Olympic Games. Our athletes are competing at
the highest level skill-wise, but bring so much
more to the sport from an artistry standpoint.
JEFF SIPSEY ( 5)