Mary had her third tumbling meet of the season on Saturday.
We got up super early in order to make it to Farmington by 7:50am.
We were running late, and it was a bit stressful, but we walked in the door minutes before she was supposed to be out on the floor.
I found my seat, and waited, and waited, and waited.
I was sitting by the mom of another tumbler on Mary's team, and mentioned that it seemed to be running really behind. She them reminded me that Mary is now competing in the 12 year old group.
I had looked at the wrong schedule! Mary didn't compete until 9:30. Go me.
We thought she would be done with both events by 9:30, but in reality, she would not be done until 2:00.
So we killed some time.
|cute shirt she got at the meet, it says, "this is my handstand shirt."|
Mary has worked really hard the past few weeks to clean up the little things she stumbled on the past two weeks. They were not big things, but they prevented her from getting on the podium. This week, with everything fixed, she was really excited to see how well she could fly. She was looking great!
I was excited for her too. I knew that she had a great shot of getting in the top 3, which was very normal for her last season. She needs scores like that in order to qualify for Nationals.
She had floor first.
Her first pass was beautiful, but she started her last of 7 flips on the red line, so her last flip was not counted! This was all due to her not starting her pass back just a few feet. She was trying to make her back hand springs longer and prettier (which she did), but in return, she landed further back than normal.
I could see it in her face that she new it, and she was very discouraged.
Her second pass was flawless. She nailed the landing and everything. That got a grin out of her.
My heart hurt for her. She did her passes perfectly, but just one little mishap, that had nothing to do with her form, or her height, or her execution, killed her score.
She ended up taking 5th out of 11 girls.
We checked the score sheet afterward, and without landing in the red, Mary would have taken first place!
With trampoline and double mini, the judges can judge on height as well as everything else. Some judges give huge points and huge deductions for height. Others do it for form.
The judges at these meet were very focused on height. These bigger girls can get huge height on the double mini with just one jump. The smaller girls just can't match that.
Mary's form was perfect, and she only took one step on the landing of her first pass, and stuck the second.
Because she was not as high, she came in 6th out of 12.
When judges are more focused on form, Mary almost always is in the top 3.
Mary was pretty quiet in the car on the way home, and my heart ached for her.
This was her third meet in a row where she did awesome, but one dumb little thing got in the way of her scores.
She had an amazing season last year, and her confidence was high. She was on the podium at every single meet, won Regionals, and placed 11th out of 56 in Nationals.
This season has been very different. She is just as good, and is improving every meet, but in these upper levels, the tiniest little thing can just kill your score. She is now in the upper levels.
Unfortunately for Mary, these tiny things keep happening.
She is learning a lot though. Every athlete will have a season of learning, growing, and becoming stronger. OR, they can let the season make them upset, bitter, and wanting to give up. Mary has chosen the first choice.
I have watched Mary to see how she wants to handle this, and I have been so proud of her as she lets herself feel bad for a minute, but then immediately focuses on what went wrong, what she can do to fix it, and sets her eyes on the next meet.
I don't say much to her either way. I am very proud of her when she has success, and I am very proud of the way she handles it when she has disappointments. I let her know this each time, and then I just try to listen. It is really hard as a mother to know exactly what to say. I just love her, support her, and make sure that tumbling is always fun for her. If she is not having fun, she doesn't need to do it anymore.
I am very proud of her as an athlete with how she handles the success and the disappointments.
She is an amazing athlete, and her tumbling is incredible. I have no doubt that this glitch in the road is just a glitch.
I just pray that sooner than later she can get everything aligned just right at a meet, just how she can and is able to, and blow it out of the water!
She is quickly learning that the sport is not just about the sport. It never is.