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MCSMaria's Guide to Balance Beam: DON'T PANIC

The beam has been a source of contention for many teams in the NCAA. 

Over the past few weeks, I have seen many beam meltdowns.  Most recently, UCLA melted down on beam at their meet at Cal. In response I have decided that there should be a cardinal rule for balance beam every NCAA team (every gymnast ever really) must follow: “DON’T PANIC.” If you're familiar with Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, then you'll know the book in the title has the words "DON'T PANIC" on it's cover.

I feel like this is a perfect rule to adopt for beam (but the answer to this is not 42). What seems to be a pattern is that a team will see a fall on beam, which puts pressure on the next girls in the line-up to hit their routines. The pressure manifests itself in wobbles and terrified “deer in headlight” looks from the athletes in the line-up. Small wobbles turn into big falls. It's still early enough in the season to correct this beam problem.  

Utah managed to overcome the issue of not having Kari Lee and had a very solid beam set, very little panicking occured. They covered her position in the all-around with equally talented all-arounders and they'll keep going on. Georgia had issues on beam for several weeks but also managed to overcome them at Kentucky. It certainly wasn't perfect, but no one needs to be perfect four weeks into a 12 plus week season. Unless you're Florida and tens are handed out like candy. LSU has had two weeks in a row of counting beam falls. Maybe they need this guide, or they just need to have the words "DON'T PANIC" flashing on the scoreboard during their beam rotations. Or perhaps they need to put Lexie Priessman back in the beam line-up. They are capable of hitting beam without falls being counted, they did it in their season opener. But, it's far better to be dealing with beam meltdowns now then in the post-season. 

I've already written a full recap of this week in NCAA that you can read at The Couch Gymnast. So I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time rehashing the same information here. I will say I was incredibly impressed by Washington. Putting up a season high of 196.175 at Metroplex. They are a wonderfully talented team. Allison Northey is their all-around star and she is so consistent and she's a joy to watch.

I've been doing my best to gather clips of routines into one playlist on YouTube. You can watch this week's routine playlist down below.

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