Utah Gymnastics Ready To Get Back To Work

Jan 25, 2024, 5:27 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Red Rocks had a bit of a hiatus after competing in two quad-meets in three days two weeks ago- now the team is ready to get back into the thick of things.

Head coach Carly Dockendorf said the break was great after getting their first three meets of the season out of the way quickly and that those practices were used to iron out small deductions on routines.

Now full attention is on Pac-12 competition starting with the Arizona State Gym Devils Friday night.

What The Break Looked Like For The Red Rocks

Dockendorf said the break came at a good time for the team despite being early in the season due to the intensity of competition in the first two weeks of the season.

“I think it was good for them,” Dockendorf said. “It was a big couple of weekends and so I think to have a small break- even though it was early in the season, I actually think it timed up quite well for us.”

That doesn’t mean the Red Rocks totally forgot about gymnastics for a few days, however. Dockendorf noted work was put in to try a clean some small things up that will hopefully make a big impact on scores.

“We got our first three meets out of the way to just get out there and compete again and test the waters a little bit,” Dockendorf said. “We’ve really used our last couple of days of practice to start ironing out some of the small .05 deductions that everybody still has a little bit of. To us, that is kind of the next step we need to take. It’s not just about going out and just doing the routine. It’s about doing it with a little better execution, a little more focus on the landings and so we really emphasized that.”

Part of accomplishing that goal is also tied in with continuing to develop the belief from top to bottom of the team that they are capable of performing beautiful routines every competition. Dockendorf says they see it all the time in the gym, but the next step will be seeing it consistently on the competition mat.

“I think a lot of it is deep self-belief,” Dockendorf said. “I think the routines we see in here are the best of the best. I mean, they are just incredible, and their consistency is incredible. To continue to develop their belief that they can do that in the competition arena, I think that is kind of our next step to elevating our scores.”

Red Rocks Row The Boat

Part of the effort to instill more confidence in the Red Rocks has come from a concept they have termed “Rowing the Boat“. The idea is based off of a book the team has read together about overcoming adversity- something they know and understand very well at this point.

“Row the Boat talks a lot about adversity,” Dockendorf said. “If you read it- it’s just a short 100-page book, but it’s all about adapting to challenging situations and how to keep rowing and moving forward. In the fall we did a really interesting team discussion session where we had all of the girls write down the top three things that will hold us back from being our very best this year and everything they wrote was on the human development side. Confidence, distractions- just anything we control on that side. Taking their feedback and then thinking about what we could do as a staff to help grow and develop that- that’s where it came from. We’re doing the work in the gym with the gymnastics, but we came up with doing maybe a book club idea of how to help develop them as people and how to help them work through some adversity that we have faced.”


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Dockendorf says the effort from everyone to participate has been great to watch and that it’s helping to bring them closer together as they continue to navigate through the college gymnastics season.

“It’s been really cool,” Dockendorf said. “We’ve been meeting on Mondays and each class talks about a certain chapter and the team has been incredibly engaged, inciteful, and I just think it’s important to talk about some of that stuff. It’s uncharted territory for all of us.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Gymnastics Ready To Get Back To Work