Setting goals is very common — it’s something that everyone does. Achieving those goals — that’s a little less common. Achieving those goals much earlier than expected — that’s extremely rare. The Seattle Pacific gymnastics team did just that when they broke the 193-point mark in the third meet of their season at Royal Brougham.
They tried all year last season to reach that point.
“I think that it’s a huge confidence booster for the team,” sophomore Rain Sullivan said. “Our goal last year was to reach 193. Now that we have already made that, we can grow and go above 193.”
The team posted a 193.425 score during its meet last Friday in a losing effort against the University of Washington, who only outscored them by .500 with 193.925.
“It’s great,” senior Kai Tindall said. “This is exactly where we want to be. It speaks volume to the amount of work we have been doing.”
The Falcons and the Huskies are familiar with each other since they meet twice a year, despite the fact that SPU is a Division-II school while UW is Division-I. That still doesn’t mean there isn’t a little bit of heat between the two squads.
“I think that there’s a friendly rivalry,” said head coach Laural Tindall, a former Husky. “Maybe a little bit more of a rivalry because of the close score. They have always been so far above us.”
The close competition was sparked by outstanding performances on the vault and floor exercise, which once again scored about 48 points in each of those events.
“Personally, I think vault and floor both run on adrenaline,” Sullivan said. “You have everyone cheering for you and you’re getting pumped up. You have extra power and support, and you can really use that going forward.”
On the floor on Friday, the Falcons never scored below a 9.650, and the performance was highlighted by Kai Tindall’s 9.825, which was good enough for second overall, only missing the first place spot by .050 points.
“When we are confident in our routine, we look good,” Kai Tindall said. “Choreography makes a difference. We have some of the best.”
However, week after week, the Falcons have been struggling with the beam — an event that gymnasts will often admit is an extreme mental battle.
“Beam is always a challenging event,” junior Cara Lord said. “[The coaches] talked to the team about what they can do to be more confident.”
One technique that the gymnasts try to do to help prepare for this event is to visualize their perfect routine in their mind before setting a foot on the beam.
“It does a lot to help themselves see them doing it perfectly,” Laural Tindall said. “It puts them where they want to be.”
The gymnasts themselves believe that getting into the correct mindset is the most important part of the event.
“Being in that mental state is the key to it,” Kai Tindall said. “We only had two falls [on Friday]. We are really stepping up our mental game.”
Despite the lows they team had during the meet, they had a record-setting performance, something that the team is immensely proud of and sees as a huge confidence booster going forward.
“It makes us feel confident,” Lord said. “We know we can perform like we do in practice. We need to take this and make bigger and better goals.”
The coaching staff hopes to take this performance to their meet on Friday at Air Force and set some new records.
“We need to go down to Air Force and go in with the same confidence,” Laural Tindall said. “We need to do the exact same thing on Friday.”