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Does hard work ever trump talent

coachp

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I remember the exact day she came into our gym. She was about 6 and her parents told us she was in some type of tops program. So I put her in a group with our stellar little ones. It didn’t take but a few minutes to figure out that this was not the case and the info we got was just lost between the language barrier between her parents and I. :) So put her in a pre team group and brought her up! she was always the kid who worked hard but things were never easy for her. Injuries were common and well ... gymnastics is just hard for most. She was always that kid who took extra turns on 3 events but hated that beam! It was not uncommon for her to go weeks on beam without throwing a series and it was not uncommon for me to have to mediate between her and the beam coach . The struggle was real with this one. Nevertheless she had a special bond with everyone around her including myself . She wasn’t the best but she was/is one of the best teammates on our team. As with many of the kids on team I gave her a nickname and she is affectionately known as YO. Fast forward several years to the summer after her level 8 season. Yo traveled back to her home land for an extended vacation and ended up breaking her tibia on vault while training at a local gym. I remember getting the call and hearing that surgery was in order. They had to pin the bone back together under the knee . Her patella tendon actually fractured her tibia off when she tried to stop on a vault approach. Our thoughts were , well that’s a strange place for a fracture and she is probably will retire. You see Yo was the kid who had to be in the gym , missing gym meant a sharp decline in her gymnastics ability . Unbelievably not only did she come back but ended up competing that year , which I didn’t even think was possible. This season she earned her right to go level 9 on three events . I am sure you can guess which event she wasn’t ready on. She struggled with her new vault , bar release and you guessed it , beam for most of the season. In fact it wasn’t until her fourth meet that she could compete beam. She just would not do her series ! Nope nada ain’t gonna happen. But her determination eventually became stronger than her fear and her numbers started to go up. Yo was doing okay , State went well and we were all super proud of her. Regionals was a different story , she had a few falls and ended up in 9th place . The errors were consistent with workout so it wasn’t alarming. Well she got lucky and region 2 had an extra spot for her at nationals! Typically in our region you fall your out the end. But Yo got a rare opportunity and qualified to regionals in 9th spot. I would love to say that the last 4 weeks went great but struggles were Dailey . I finally pulled the pirouette out after the Pak and taught her a switch kip on the 11th hour so she could make it through a bar routine . She inserted her last tenth of bonus on highbar as well because, we were not showing up to nationals with anything less. Today was Yo day to compete at westerns . That little girl who almost didn’t make level 9 , who wasn’t even supposed to be there , put together 4 solid events and took 1st place AA.... Congrats Marii Yonimoto (aka YO) We are beyond impressed.
 

sce

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Thanks you for sharing this coachp. Such an inspiring story. Congrats to this young lady,
 
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CLgym

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Congrats to you and your gymnast! Perfect timing for me to read this too. As I watch my hard-working (but not naturally talented) 10-year old tackle level 8 skills... slowly.... it is helpful to be reminded that success comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes when you least expect it!
 

amiandjim

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Congrats to you and your gymnast! Perfect timing for me to read this too. As I watch my hard-working (but not naturally talented) 10-year old tackle level 8 skills... slowly.... it is helpful to be reminded that success comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes when you least expect it!
As the mother of a sorta talented but fearful 10 year-old soon to be level 6, I would submit that your kiddo IS talented to be a level 8 at 10 years old!!
 

Greatlakesmom

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What an amazing story! My jaw literally dropped when I read the last few sentences. My DD sitting next to me asked what was up so I shared the story with her. Congratulations!!
 
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LJL07

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Jan 27, 2014
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Congrats to you and your gymnast! Perfect timing for me to read this too. As I watch my hard-working (but not naturally talented) 10-year old tackle level 8 skills... slowly.... it is helpful to be reminded that success comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes when you least expect it!
A 10 year old level 8 is not exactly what I would call moving slowly so there must be some natural talent there!
Love stories like this, and I think in the end the sticktoit-iveness will often trump talent without the perseverance.
 

Seeker

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Super big congrats to both Yo and her coaches!
 

profmom

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CoachP, thank you for being patient with her on beam and intervening when necessary. Sooooo many coaches and programs would have lost this determined young woman at around L7. And you now have the privilege of knowing exactly what would have been missed.
 

lovofu

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I remember the exact day she came into our gym. She was about 6 and her parents told us she was in some type of tops program. So I put her in a group with our stellar little ones. It didn’t take but a few minutes to figure out that this was not the case and the info we got was just lost between the language barrier between her parents and I. :) So put her in a pre team group and brought her up! she was always the kid who worked hard but things were never easy for her. Injuries were common and well ... gymnastics is just hard for most. She was always that kid who took extra turns on 3 events but hated that beam! It was not uncommon for her to go weeks on beam without throwing a series and it was not uncommon for me to have to mediate between her and the beam coach . The struggle was real with this one. Nevertheless she had a special bond with everyone around her including myself . She wasn’t the best but she was/is one of the best teammates on our team. As with many of the kids on team I gave her a nickname and she is affectionately known as YO. Fast forward several years to the summer after her level 8 season. Yo traveled back to her home land for an extended vacation and ended up breaking her tibia on vault while training at a local gym. I remember getting the call and hearing that surgery was in order. They had to pin the bone back together under the knee . Her patella tendon actually fractured her tibia off when she tried to stop on a vault approach. Our thoughts were , well that’s a strange place for a fracture and she is probably will retire. You see Yo was the kid who had to be in the gym , missing gym meant a sharp decline in her gymnastics ability . Unbelievably not only did she come back but ended up competing that year , which I didn’t even think was possible. This season she earned her right to go level 9 on three events . I am sure you can guess which event she wasn’t ready on. She struggled with her new vault , bar release and you guessed it , beam for most of the season. In fact it wasn’t until her fourth meet that she could compete beam. She just would not do her series ! Nope nada ain’t gonna happen. But her determination eventually became stronger than her fear and her numbers started to go up. Yo was doing okay , State went well and we were all super proud of her. Regionals was a different story , she had a few falls and ended up in 9th place . The errors were consistent with workout so it wasn’t alarming. Well she got lucky and region 2 had an extra spot for her at nationals! Typically in our region you fall your out the end. But Yo got a rare opportunity and qualified to regionals in 9th spot. I would love to say that the last 4 weeks went great but struggles were Dailey . I finally pulled the pirouette out after the Pak and taught her a switch kip on the 11th hour so she could make it through a bar routine . She inserted her last tenth of bonus on highbar as well because, we were not showing up to nationals with anything less. Today was Yo day to compete at westerns . That little girl who almost didn’t make level 9 , who wasn’t even supposed to be there , put together 4 solid events and took 1st place AA.... Congrats Marii Yonimoto (aka YO) We are beyond impressed.
LOVE LOVE this! I always say, someday you will put it all together and magic!!!
 
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CLgym

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@amiandjim and @LJL07 — Not L8 yet! And between fears (beam) and power issues (vault), may not be L8 for quite some time. Which is why I appreciated this post so much....

That being said, your point is well taken (sorry if I came off badly); there is definitely natural talent on one event. The other three events really do not come easily though. In fact, first gym wouldn’t even consider her for JO (bluntly told me she didn’t have the talent to be successful in JO long term). I guess my perspective might be shaped somewhat by this past experience....

Congrats again @coachp !!
 
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Gymx2

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@amiandjim and @LJL07 — Not L8 yet! And between fears (beam) and power issues (vault), may not be L8 for quite some time. Which is why I appreciated this post so much....

That being said, your point is well taken (sorry if I came off badly); there is definitely natural talent on one event. The other three events really do not come easily though. In fact, first gym wouldn’t even consider her for JO (bluntly told me she didn’t have the talent to be successful in JO long term). I guess my perspective might be shaped somewhat by this past experience....

Congrats again @coachp !!
I still sort of have it in my head that DD doesn't really belong because her old gym didn't want her on JO initially. :(
 
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Flyaway

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SO amazing and SO inspiring for gymnasts like my dd. Thank you for sharing and congratulations!
 

TumbleTimes4

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Loved reading this. I have a hard working but not naturally talented gymnast, and this is a wonderful reminder that hard work and preserverance in adversity will eventually pay off, even if it’s not in the form of medals.
 

LJL07

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@amiandjim and @LJL07 — Not L8 yet! And between fears (beam) and power issues (vault), may not be L8 for quite some time. Which is why I appreciated this post so much....

That being said, your point is well taken (sorry if I came off badly); there is definitely natural talent on one event. The other three events really do not come easily though. In fact, first gym wouldn’t even consider her for JO (bluntly told me she didn’t have the talent to be successful in JO long term). I guess my perspective might be shaped somewhat by this past experience....

Congrats again @coachp !!
No, you didn’t come off badly! Level 8 is hard! My daughter just lived through it. Lol! That’s the great thing about this story!! You just never know. I wish coaches wouldn’t make pronouncements at age 6 as to who will make it to level 10. You just never know! There are so many instances of hotshot 7 year olds who are pushed and pushed til they crater at 9 or 10. It’s so nice to hear about the ones who maybe were not on the tops diamond team but stuck with it and had success!
 

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