Florida USAG Level 6 State Meet Recap

On March 31, 2023, Jossalyn wrapped up her first season as an optional level gymnast. Her age group was in the second session (3:00pm) of the day and she started on vault. Here are her stats:

Level 6 State Meet Scores:

  • Vault: 9.325 – 7T
  • Bars: 9.100 – 7
  • Beam: 9.250 – 10
  • Floor: 9.025 – 13
  • AA: 36.700 – 10th

Meet Week Preparation

The week leading up to the meet is always weird. I have learned that Joss wants to have a good practice every day, but also wants to have an “off” practice to get the nerves out. While she wants an “off” practice, she doesn’t actually want to go through that practice because it challenges her confidence in her skills. Luckily, or unluckily, Monday was a little off and Tuesday was good. After learning from the previous meet that getting in an extra practice the day before a meet does not always help her, she opted to focus on making Wednesday the last day of practice so she could have Thursday to build the anticipation. Instead of Thursday practice, we focused on family time, board games, homework, and packing.

Travel Day and Meet Day

Travel day and meet day happened to be the same day. I don’t usually like to travel and have Joss compete in the same day, but sometimes it just has to work out that way. Friday morning, big sister and baby sister were off to school by 7:30am. After that, I braided hair, packed up the car and we were on our way by 8:45am. We arrived in Wesley Chapel just after 12:30pm and decided to have lunch at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. Cheddar’s is known to be quick and has several menu items Joss likes. While we ate lunch we brought a board game, Upwords, and played one round to try and keep Joss distracted. After lunch, Joss changed into her competition leotard and warmups and with it came a big smile, indicating she was super excited and ready to compete. After she changed, we headed over to the Wiregrass Sports Complex for the meet.

Florida USAG Level 6 Meet

Joss hates starting on vault and several of the meets this season have started on vault. She feels like she gets tired by then end and just can’t quite give enough on her floor routine. This meet was no exception. When we reviewed her rotation, she saw there were two girls whom she had competed with at the last meet and was grateful to see familiar faces during the meet. On the way to the meet, we reflected on her first season, when she competed Level 1 and what she remembered about her coaches. She reflected on coach “J,” who was one of the favorites. In the craziest of moments, Coach J happened to be at the current meet, having coached in the session before., She saw Joss’s name on the rotation sheets and came over to see Joss. As a mom, it was a sweet moment. For Joss, she said she didn’t know how to act because she couldn’t believe she was seeing Coach J.

Vault. Joss competed a half-on for vault. During open warmup, she had plenty of space to stretch and run. During event warmup, Joss’s first vault pass was a run and then a jump up from the springboard to the vault. I could tell her steps were off. She believed the measurement was off because when she went to vault, she started running on the foot she always starts on, but when she got to the vault, her last step was not on the foot she normally vaults from. So, she did not vault. She recounted her steps, and her warmup passes were good. Her two competition passes were clean and I saw some smiles after the second vault.

Bars. Bars was a bit of a mess as two male coaches were trying to figure out the best strategy to warmup and minimize changing the height of the bars. They had the gymnasts line up by height, tallest to shortest, and they warmed up in that order. While this seems like a logical way to approach warming up, it also meant that the girls were out of order to compete, and some had a much shorter waiting time, and some waited longer. I feel like this change, and the arguing of the two men, threw off all the gymnasts a bit, because all the gymnasts in the rotation had pretty rough warmup passes. Joss was no exception. Her first pass was very rough, missing her sole circle to high bar, which forced her to jump backwards off the low bar. The next pass was clean and conservative. Her third pass was the strongest of all her bar routines. When her rotation competed, she was almost last, and she tried to keep herself distracted and warm doing press handstands and walking around. Her competition routine was clean, but she did not get the height in her casts/circling that she had hoped for.

Beam. The infamous beam. Beam is both her favorite event and has been her arch nemesis the last two meets. In Texas, she fell off beam twice during her routine. In her last meet, her left hand slid while in handstand, forcing her to come down sideways and off the beam (like the level 3 dismount). She was dumbfounded momentarily as she has never had anything like that happen during a beam routine competition (ever). As she was warming up beam, I could see the memories of the last two meets catching up to her and her mind started to play games with her. Her coaches had her do a beam routine on a line on the floor and then she practiced her confidence walk (a mental training tactic used to disrupt negative thoughts). Joss’s beam routine ended up being beautiful. She wobbled a few times and when she stepped to the back of the beam for her dismount, her left heel came off the back of the beam, but she saved it. She took a step on her landing. She said that because she did not have her back handspring ready to compete, she knew her score would not be as high.

Floor. Last event of the day and last event of the season. Joss had longer to warm up than expected. With it being the last event, it seemed like there a lot of floor routines to finish up before Joss and her rotation warmed up and competed. Her warmup went smooth, including her front pass, back pass, and leaps. Then, she heard her floor music, Sir Duke. Turns out another girl in her rotation picked the same floor music and the same rendition. I think messed with her head just a little bit. On the front pass of her routine, Joss said her leotard moved, exposing a little bit of her booty cheek. She said she tried to concentrate on the rest of her routine, but her leotard drove her nuts! Overall, her routine was good and was glad her coaches made some modifications throughout the season.

Awards and Post Meet

Awards were extra special because the graduating seniors were in the same session. Each senior was recognized along with their plans after high school and pictures were taken. Just before awards, One of Joss’s teammates arrived and joined Joss during awards. And, Joss’s coaches got her a special treat, cotton candy, which Joss enjoyed thoroughly over the next two days. After awards we went to dinner at Bahama Breeze with Joss’s teammate and family.

Travel Day: Homebound

We headed home the next morning. It was indeed a very short trip, but we were ready to get home to family and enjoy the rest of the weekend (at least I was).

Notes and Miscellaneous

  • This was Joss’s first meet competing alone, without any teammates. There were some lonely moments, but it gave her time to focus on what she needed to do to compete,
  • Joss did not start first on any events and this bummed her out. Over the last several season she had often started first, and
  • We purchased chalk blocks from Amazon just in case she needed one and forgot to grab one from the gym. This proved handy because she needed one for this meet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: