by: Cassi Barbanente, Level 10 from Palmers Gymnastics
I had the opportunity to attend JO National Team camp this past week. It was held at Flip Fest in Tennessee. I went going in with an open mind, ready and excited to learn from all the coaches.
Today at camp we had two sessions of training that incorporated each event. We focused a lot on the basics and breaking our skills down to smaller components making them easier to perfect. We worked on over exaggerating movements through all the drills so when you perform the skills the corrections would be easier to execute. Personally, this coaching style was a huge benefit to me and helped me improve most on vault. One of my favorite things about today was the 30 minute dance session with Mrs. Tammy Biggs who coached us with our floor and beam artistry. She emphasized how each of us can use our own individual style to show off our routines and deliver a good performance. Aside from the awesome training, one of my favorite things about this camp is probably the actual environment. It’s full of trees and has stone paths guiding us from our cabins to the gym. Today, we got a lot of free time between workouts to spend relaxing, exploring, and meeting everyone here. Day one is done and was awesome…really looking forward to day 2!
Day 2- Wednesday September 12, 2018
Today at camp a lot of us were kind of sore. This made our warm ups extremely important. We worked a lot on our bigger skills and trying to perfect them to the best of our ability. I really enjoyed working with the coaches and receiving corrections that really helped me clean up my skills, especially on bars. At the end of practice, we did some dance and movement with Mr. Thomas. This was so much fun allowed us to be creative. During break between practice, a lot us decided to work on some school work, considering we’re missing a lot of the week because of camp. Most of us were able to get lots done before the next practice. Finally at night there was a bonfire and s’mores. I’m pretty sure this was the highlight of just about everyone’s day. Spending time with all the girls is so much fun!
Day 3- Thursday 13th, 2018
Today was the last day at camp. We only had half a day but the amount of work we got done at practice was just as much, if not more than the other days. We got a lot of freedom on what to work on at each event today. Overall, this experience has been one of a kind. Spending time in the cabins with the girls has helped me get to know some great people. I have definitely made some amazing new friends that I wouldn’t have been able to do without this opportunity. The coaches at this camp are all one of a kind and gave a ton of helpful corrections that have made me into a better gymnast in such a short time. I enjoyed working with all of the talented girls around me and am so thankful for this awesome experience!
I got so much out of this experience at camp. I learned new techniques on vault and beam that I would have never known without going. I received some new coaching that has helped me become a better gymnast on each and every event. I even formed some really great friendships with the amazing gymnasts around me. Training with the best of the best, gymnasts and coaching wise, has been an unforgettable experience unlike anything I’ve done before.