Archive for October, 2013

Fadwa Speaks

October 29, 2013

Coach Rick posts a link to an interview of Fadwa Mohamed by WoGymnastike. In some respects, it’s puzzling:

Gigi: The Produnova is an incredibly dangerous vault, have you ever been afraid of attempting it.

Fadwa: I was never scared of doing it. Its not dangerous for someone who has a body like mine.

Why does she think her body type is the main factor in what makes this vault dangerous or not?

Personally, I think WoGymnastike did a really good job of grilling Fadwa about that vault. That’s what everyone wants to know about, that’s for sure.

Like Coach Rick, I’m really not fond of seeing people crash their way into a final. He wants to see vault landing deductions double. Others favor lowering the start value of the vault or downgrading it similar to the way twisting vaults are downgraded for lack of twist.

I don’t think the vault deductions should be doubled because that puts the event even further out of line with the other events. Some people have a problem with doubling the deductions because that would severely hurt people’s chances to recover from an error. I don’t care about that. Medalists should be the gymnasts that hit their routines. People like Maroney shouldn’t be able to fall on half their skills and still win a medal.

I don’t think lowering the start value would do anything to fix the problem. It would still be the hardest vault in the code with a huge scoring advantage. I also don’t agree with giving skills bogus values in general. The skill should be rated what it’s worth.

Downgrading the vault is an option that makes a lot of sense. It’s in line with what they do with other skills that aren’t complete. Also, these WAG gymnasts that are chucking the double front basically are just doing a single front while trying to sneak in another flip. It’s a lot different from someone like this dude, Marius Berbecar. This guy competed a double front in the vault final for 2013 worlds. His landing was a bit peculiar. Although he fully extended his legs for the landing, he ended up bending into a deep squat, almost touching the butt to the matt. That was clearly a double front with a bad landing. Unlike what these ladies are doing. For them it’s straight to the butt.

I’d like to see two things happen. First, I want to see the feet first rule redefined to mean that the gymnast has to show at least momentary support on the feet. Secondly, instead of giving a zero to the vault, which judges seem reluctant to do unless nobody’s safety is actually in danger, maybe vault could have special requirements like the other events. I don’t know how many special requirements there could be for vault. Last time I checked the other events had five at .5 each for a total of 2.5. Let’s say each vault has one special requirement, to land feet first. If not, that’s 2.5 points off the score, plus the fall, plus the other deductions.

So Pena’s 14.9 for her Produnova in Qualifying at 2013 Worlds which would have become a 12.4. I can hear the Pena fans crying now but that’s a proper score for a crash, if you ask me.

10,000 Rule debunked (again)

October 11, 2013

How come every time somebody “debunks” the 10,000 hour rule, they use being good enough to play in the NBA as an example of what it means to be expert.  Being the very best at something and being an “expert” are not the same thing.  There are an unlimited number of spots in the expert catagory.  There are a limited number of spots when you talk about being the very best at anything.  It’s so ridiculous that people can’t seem to get this straight.  I really believe it’s because they just don’t want to.  There are a lot of people out there who did put that 10,000 hours of directed training in and got really good BUT they didn’t get the record deal, or they didnt’ get into medical school, or they didn’t get into the NBA.  Hey, they’re not the very best, but are you really trying to tell me they’re not experts at what they do?  That makes no sense. 

Coach Rick quotes Epstein:

Epstein quoted:

… for an American man aged between 20 and 40, standing between 6ft and 6ft2in the chances of playing professionally in the NBA are five in a million. If he’s 6ft2in to 6ft4in there is a still-distant 20 in a million chance. But if he’s 6ft10in to 7ft, the odds shorten to 32,000 in a million. And if he stands 7ft, there is a one-in-six chance he will currently be playing in the NBA. …

And goes on to say himself:

Height is far more important than number of hours trained in that sport.

LOL!!  Here we go again with the example of the 7 footers getting into the NBA.  Guess they must be “experts” since they got into the NBA.  Think again Epstein.  It’s a well known phenomenon that those 7 footers don’t always play the game that well.  They actually might not be experts.   Maybe they might’ve been if their training had had the proper direction.  That’s another thing that some people ignore about the 10,000 hour rule.  The training is supposed to be directed properly.  You can’t just train any old way for 10,000 hours and expect to become an expert. 

And as far as height being far more important in basketball:  Height may be important to the people who pick the teams, but it isn’t important in determining who is and who isn’t an expert at playing the game.  Just because somebody is not selected to play in the NBA doesn’t mean they aren’t an expert.   



From Fug to Fourth (IN THE WORLD!!!)

October 11, 2013

Remember Simone Biles’ first year as a junior elite when she had the fugliest bar routine ever?  The bar routine that made you go, “WTF, is this seriously a US elite?  Are we sure she’s not from Sri Lanka?”  Ok, it was actually way better than anything we’ve ever seen from a gymnast from Sri Lanka, but it was really, really bad for a US gymnast.  Honestly, it was mostly those nasty half turns.  Her feet flopped and crossed madly on every single one.  With like five half turns in the routine, it was a hot, fugly mess.

Fast forward to friggin’ fourth in the bar final (of the world)!  Day-um!  I don’t really care who wasn’t there.  For somebody, ANYBODY to turn that fug all the way around to fourth in the world?  That’s awesome.  It actually makes me think there’s hope for someone like Skinner. 

Let’s just hope all that time at camp rubbing elbows with Kyla’s coaches have made an impression on Simone’s coaches.  Sixteen is like a danger zone for elite gymnasts.  So many hit sixteen and the next thing you know, they’re injured.  I have to wonder if Kyla’s coaches knew she was in the danger zone and, after the Olympics, made adjustments to keep her healthy.  While all over the gymternet, people who apparently have not been watching too many 16 year old elites get injured for too many years bitched and bitched about Kyla’s lack of upgrades, I held my breath hoping it was a sign Kyla’s coaches actually had a plan.  I still don’t know if they had a plan but if they did, I hope it’s a plan that I hope more coaches, including Simone’s, catch onto and start using.   

Coach Rick posted:

Some feel Simone should have won that Vault final in Antwerp.

Really?  People think Simone should’ve won with crossed feet on her Amanar and a lower value on her second vault.  What?  Speaking of Simone’s crossed feet, I think they are getting much better.  She actually has one foot perfectly pointed on her Amanar but since the other one is fully clubbed and hooked around the first foot, it makes her legs look a lot more crossed than they are.   


Does Shang Chunsong Need Excuses?

October 11, 2013

Shang Chunsong is the newest teeny Chinese gymnast that people are suspicious of. Of course, that also makes her the newest teeny Chinese gymnast to have age defenders coming out of the woodwork in support of. I’ve even read a claim that Shang is small because her family was poor and she was malnourished. Is that really true?

I thought Shang went to the gymnastics sports school for her county at age six or seven. I’ve read that children train at these schools and are away from their families for weeks at a time. The school would’ve been responsible for feeding her and if the family paid tuition, wouldn’t it cover food? It would make no sense for them to let her train if she didn’t have enough food to fuel that training. There’s no reason for Shang to be any more malnourished than any other Chinese gymnast.

Anyway, without any sort of evidence to say she’s an age cheater – or malnourished – I think it’s fine to say she’s just small. Because honestly, some people really are just small.