For some high school athletes, college athletics is the next step in their athletic career. However, being the best at your sport doesn’t automatically get you a one-way ticket into the college of your choice.
Being a college athlete is different than club sports or even high school sports. College is more intense and team oriented but also fun. It’s a chance for you to grow and learn not only as an athlete but also as a person.
You need to buy in to the culture and be all in all the time.
For some programs who have twenty plus girls on their team it’s hard to convince everyone to buy in and be all in. For coach Bauman, it is a priority to connect to each of his athletes and figure out how they work as gymnast.
“That’s coaching,” coach Bauman said. “It’s the enigma that is coaching and developing the relationship.”
For the Southern Utah Gymnastics team the idea of college gymnastics is based around a family atmosphere. Coach Bauman has developed a coaching style around a winning team mentality.
Coming off of last season the Flippin’ Birds finished second in the conference and fourth at the regional championship. For some teams this could be great, but for the Flippin’ Birds and coach Bauman this wasn’t acceptable.
“We strive and set our goals to not only win conference, but to also make nationals and anything less than that is unacceptable,” said Autumn Jorgensen, a senior leader for the Flippin’ Birds.
After last year’s season the team wanted to change their mindset for 2020. Throughout their summer workouts and preseason workouts the Birds worked hard and brought drive and determination to the gym.
“We are unfinished,” said Madison Loomis, a senior team captain. “We haven’t achieved the goals and expectations that we set for ourselves and this year that’s not going to happen.”
With the seniors and juniors entering their last few years of their gymnastics career they feel as if they have something to prove for themselves.
“We work so hard in the preseason that not getting a conference ring is frustrating,” said Madison McBride, another senior lead captain. “We owe it to ourselves to go out and let our gymnastics do the talking. This team is capable of surprising people.”
The now-seasoned collegiate athletes of the sophomore class have more confidence in their gymnastics abilities and are setting higher expectations for themselves.
As the upperclassmen expect more from themselves, the freshman class are following in their footsteps in making great strides for the team.
The upperclassmen for the Flippin Birds include Madison McBride, Madison Loomis, Autumn Jorgensen, Becky Thompson, Megan Mcbride and Morgan Alfaro. These Birds have led their team in the gym with a positive yet competitive environment, pushing everyone to expect nothing less than their best.
Big things are expected from the 2019-2020 team. The Flippin’ Birds have set their goals and expectations for themselves and won’t stop at anything to achieve them.
Story by Morgan Alfaro
Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics