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Chellsie Memmel Beam 2011 Circle of Stars Invitational

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Chellsie Memmel Vault 2011 Circle of Stars Invitational

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Thanks to Gymnastike for posting these videos!  I haven’t seen a video of her bars yet… but it sounds like her bar routine was very basic for her (according to her interview), as she has just gotten started back on that event.  On beam she threw a similar routine to the one she did at the 2009 nationals, but I thought this one looked slightly better and had a stronger double pike dismount.  She showed most of her mid-level skills (switch leap to back tuck, illusion, punch front, back handspring layout, front aerial, side aerial, double pike) and hit them all solidly.  On vault her Yurchenko full is fairly nice and looks about like it used to.

She’s not in top shape yet physically, but I really admire her for getting out there and competing even when she’s not at her best yet.  It takes a lot of confidence to do that, not only to hit routines in competition without a lot of numbers under her belt but also to be willing to go out there and compete in front of an audience (not to mention an online audience!) before looking her best.  I wish a lot of other elite gymnasts would follow suit.  Most of the time it takes forever for a gymnast to be willing to go back out in competition during a comeback, and half the time they drop out with an injury, lack of preparedness, or simply concern about how they will look.  But Chellsie’s never been one to drop out of a meet.

Interviews with Chellsie Memmel and Andy Memmel

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From listening to the interviews with both her and her dad, you can tell that neither one of them is wanting to make a big deal about her comeback just yet.  Her dad in particular seems slightly annoyed during this interview, not even cracking a smile –  almost as if he doesn’t want a whole lot of expectations building up right now.  And although Chellsie hints at future plans (wanting to be “ready for championships”), you can also sense she wants this to be about her enjoying it and not about media attention.  That’s so refreshing to see.

One of the most interesting parts of her interview was definitely her describing her current training regimen, which consists of just 3 ½ days of actual gymnastics skills and lots of cardio and conditioning done on the days in between.  What a novel and brilliant idea!!!  I love it.  So many elite gymnasts are overtrained from a skill standpoint – even right up until the very morning of a competition – and it’s so refreshing to see a gymnast of Chellsie’s experience and maturity recognize the need to rest her body after each and every day of skill training and to focus much more on getting her body into shape.  I particularly loved her comment toward the end…”I don’t think Marta would approve of my training plan yet.”  Hilarious.  Marta probably would not approve of her current training plan, but that doesn’t make it wrong.  I think there’s something to be said for a few less numbers and few more days of rest for even the younger elite gymnasts today.  If this training plan continues to work, perhaps we all could learn a lot from this type of thinking