Grace did well in her first team meet in February (at the Dalmatian Classic), but was very tough on herself, believing she could have done better. We told her that she did fine (which she did), but that if she was disappointed, she should use that as fuel to do better next time. Which she did. She practiced hard, did extra work at home, and focused on beating her own scores at the second meet.
In the four events, she came in second on vault (9.1), second on beam (9.1), third on floor (9.0), and didn't place in bars (but still had a personal best score, 8.9, for her young career...). Her scores were remarkably consistent. All four events were personal bests for her, and her consistency, with no bad events, was good enough for third place overall in her class (36.1). Proud mom and dad. And more importantly, she was proud of herself.
|3rd place, overall|
And then the rest of the day became dog, dog and more dog (as detailed previously).
Her third and final meet of the spring season will be in a couple of weeks, and it will be at the same gym. Our advice to her is the same as last time - compete against yourself, do your best, and whatever happens happens. Root for your friends and teammates, be happy when they do well, and if you do well enough to get some more awards, well, that's fine too, but it's not the most important part.
Grace hasn't been a big athlete thus far, but I am very happy that she has begun to take her gymnastics seriously. It's a good experience to be part of a team, she has made a bunch of good friends, and she is learning the meaning of hard work. In addition to whatever other practicing she may do, Excel team practices are two nights a week, 7pm to 9pm, and they work the kids very hard. On school nights. Which is great for her. Difficult things come from hard work. And she's working hard.