Does It Really Matter?
So far this year I have judged and worked meets in three states. These first six weeks of competition have been typically exciting, fun, and full of enthusiastic new comers and seasoned athletes. Most of the meet formats have been modified traditional (warm up/compete). I really like this format because it expedites the meet and in my opinion gives the athletes time to concentrate on warming up one event at a time.
Recently I saw a young and seemingly talented compulsory athlete lose it on the competitive floor. She forgot part of her routine and rather than listen to her coach who stepped in to give her verbal instruction, she got mad, stomped off the floor and when the coach reminded her to salute, she again displayed what most considered an unsportsmanlike attitude. IT MATTERS!
I have seen an array of mismatched undergarments this year. It is distracting and could result in penalty. IT MATTERS!
I have noticed many athletes standing in my view during the playing of our National Anthem behaving disrespectfully. There is no penalty, but there is pause for thought. IT MATTERS!
I have seen a majority of coaches instructing their athletes on meet etiquette and sportsmanship. IT MATTERS!
During the times I have announced awards, I have seen second place athletes shake the hand of the first place athletes with a smile. IT MATTERS!
I have seen a number of coaches' pitch in to set bars and move mats at vault. IT MATTERS!
I have seen meet directors go beyond the requirements of hosting a meet to make sure the competitive experience was a positive one. IT MATTERS!
I have witnessed dozens of judges smiling and trying to put our gymnastics community at ease. IT MATTERS!
To quote the sign that endured over a ten year period at one of the Universities in my state, EVERYTHING MATTERS, EVERYTHING COUNTS! Everything we do, say and teach matters. As coaches, our mind set is reflected in those we coach. As judges, the way we view athletes and the competitive process is reflected on the floor. IT MATTERS!
We are a relatively small group of people who have an extremely important job. Although sometimes it is a thankless job, most of the time it is an extremely rewarding one. IT MATTERS!