TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — As the season winds down for the Cougar gymnastics squad, everyone is a little beat up, everyone is tired but everyone is ready for the next challenge that lies ahead. Assistant coach Dawn Cattermole discussed what the team will experience over the days leading up to BYU’s meet in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
“Today we’ll have a full workout,” Cattermole said Wednesday. “And then we’ll travel all day tomorrow and then Friday we only get 20-minute rotations on each station. When you travel to an away meet, you don’t know how bouncy their bars are, how their basketball floors are and so you only get those 20-minute rotations to get used to their equipment. So right now we are just doing a lot of repetitions so that when we get there the girls are just worried about the equipment and not their moves.”
At this point of the year, the one thing they don’t have to worry about is team chemistry.
“They mesh well together,” Cattermole said. “And they didn’t have to wait until the end of the year to do that. They support each other, and it’s a really good team atmosphere for us.”
Redshirt sophomore Megan Bain is returning from a major injury and adds experience and depth to this years team.
“I completely ruptured my Achilles tendon,” Bain said. “It was about a year ago, in the third meet of the season. It was Jan. 27 or so, not that I’ve counted the days forever. I can do everything now, I just can’t do a lot of numbers or hard landings, so in that aspect I’m not 100 percent. But I feel very lucky to compete, it’s been a lot better than last year.”
Bain is not alone in her journey through injury, according to head coach Brad Cattermole, and it’s one that he believes will strengthen her going forward in life.
“The injury rate (for gymnastics) is 100 percent,” Cattermole said. “Every player out there has been hurt at some point, and everyone has had to come back from an injury. They’ve all had disappointments because they gave the best they had and it just wasn’t good enough, but they’ve also had some of the greatest joyful experiences as well. As they go through life, they are all tougher because of gymnastics.”
Transitioning from an individual mindset to a team one is something that head coach Cattermole feels very strongly about.
“It’s an interesting thing, in high school they all went through club which is kind of like high school football,” Cattermole said. “That was how they all got to college and it was an individual event. If they went to a national competition or a big meet it was because they did well individually regardless if their team did well. When you get to college, nobody really cares who won meets. You want to go to regionals and nationals as a team. In college everyone wants to know how the team did. How did Utah do, how did BYU do, how did Alabama do or how did UCLA do. Nobody cares how Sally Sue did, they want to know how the university did or how the team did. There’s almost more pressure on them now in college because if you blow it, you blow it for your team or your school, not just for yourself.”
Saturday’s regional championship will get under way at 6 p.m. CDT and will be streamed live online. A link is available on byucougars.com on the gymnastics homepage.