Monday, August 24, 2009

Blogged earlier about Cait's gym schedule and how heavy that was. Well, that schedule just got heavier as the coaches upped the ante with her!

She has been pulled out of the other Level 2 gymnasts group to train with the core school team. She will no longer be training with the other P2 girls, but will now train with the older girls - the P4s, P5s who are at a higher level. The coach feels that she picks things up very fast, thinks on her feet and can do more. Coach Sao was explaining in Mandarin and my Mandarin is never very good so I gathered that the gist of this is due to 'succession planning'. As the older girls 'retire', one or two of the younger girls who demonstrate greater potential will be pushed up to the next level and given more intensive training. These are the potential medallists so they will be training harder and longer hours than the others.

So now, Cait's training schedule looks like this:

Monday: 2pm to 6pm

Tuesday: 2pm to 6pm

Wednesday: 2pm to 6pm

Thursday: Berries class from 4pm to 5.45pm

Friday: 6pm to 9pm

Saturday: 9am to 12.30pm

Sunday: 4pm to 8pm (used to be 4pm to 6pm)

Looking at the schedule, she's clearly already training six days a week, and at longer hours too. Ballet is clearly no longer in the picture now. Coach says she is very good for someone who was 'spotted' only at end P1. She had skipped Level 1 gym and jumped straight into Level 2 'fresh' without prior training and now, less than a year later, will be training with the other bigger girls. They are pushing hard for next year's C Div Inter-Schools Artistic Gymnastics competition. Coach thinks that by Feb/March next year, with this intense coaching, Cait would be ready to take on at least one event. CHIJ Pri had won some medals this year and so I guess the heat is on for the medals to keep coming in!

Coach thinks she can do it because she seems like a bright girl. Mr Lim told us yesterday: To do well in gym, you need this (points to his head!) because when you are up there, you need to think about and remember many things - where your legs are, how pointed are they, the pose, the routine etc. And when you're swinging around on the bars, that can't be easy!

KH is perturbed at the intensity of training but also proud of her for coming this far. We've sat her down and talked about all the implications. The longer training hours mean she would be more tired and this would be hard on her physically. She knows this already.

On Saturday while picking her up after gym, the teacher-in-charge came down to the car with Cait. I was not there but KH said the teacher was reassuring him that Cait was alright, speaking in Mandarin, that she was crying a bit because she felt giddy after several rounds of handstands but, she "did very well in gym, she's the best in the group!" Cait said she cried because she had "a very bad headache" because she worked too hard in gym.

We were also concerned that with the intense training, she would hardly have time to work academically. We've also told her in no uncertain terms that while we support gym, her grades cannot flag. If they do, we will take her out of gym or cut down on training. She's got to find a way to balance both. To which she nodded soberly and perked up saying: "I have one hour before gym starts. I can do my homework then or if daddy has work for me, I can bring the assessment books to school and do it then!"

Well, I'm proud that she can think like this. I think she has the discipline to do this. But I know it will be hard for her at times, challenging too. As KH sighed to me this morning, even if her grades flag, how to take her out of gym? It will demoralise her so much that her grades will slip even further!

I guess we'll just have to watch her carefully, not only in terms of her school work but her health, make sure she eats well (she eats like a horse now actually - lots of food, loving the carbs, the fruits and the greens!) and that she gets enough rest and R&R time.


mummyof3 said...

Wow!! Way to go Cait!

I can feel your pride and the niggly worry and doubt as well. Hope it all goes well for you all.

The Chengs said...

Wah, that's alot of time spent in training!

Rita said...

That looks a lot like Gillian's training schedule. She trains to 7 pm on 3 weekdays and from 10 am to 7 pm on the weekends.

I think, for Cait, with such intensive training she will go very far, even as far as the National Squad.

At P2, you can afford to be a bit more relaxed as far as her study is concerned. At P5, Gillian has to be a lot more skillful in her juggling act with PSLE looming so close by.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's crazy. I cant imagine what the national squad's schedule is like. Ds is training for TKD 3x/wk, 2hrs, and I'm complaining.

She sounds like a natural in gym tho'.

Yvonne C.