It's all mental
An athlete who feels he has to win or is expected to win will feel a lot more pressure than one who wants to win. Gymnastics is a sport where the athletes train the whole year and literally have ONE chance to become a champion. This team has high expectations due to the fact we have won the last two titles and are currently ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten. We are also hosting the meet, and all these factors can create a lot of additional pressure for these athletes. Our team has done a lot of preparation to address these mental challenges. If our guys can relax and enjoy the competition, they should do what they need to do in order to win again.
Just the numbers
Our pommel horse and high bar have the potential to be one of the best in the country. These are also the two events where you generally see the most falls. Pommel horse is the one event a gymnast spends his entire routine on top of the apparatus in constant motion. It can be truly exhausting. High bar is the only event where the athlete releases the equipment, does a variety of flips and twists, and then catches the bar again. If the athlete is off just slightly, he can fall up to 15 feet to the mat. If we have a good showing on these two high-risk events as well as perform consistently on the other four events, we can win our third consecutive championship.
Don't be fooled by a hit routine. Have you ever watched a routine that looked perfect, but the score was a lot lower than others? It is because some athlete's scores start from a much higher point than others. The harder the routine is, the more it is worth. Usually coaches will put the more difficult routines later in the lineup because of the routines' potential to score higher. Keep an eye out for this "start value" that will be posted on the judges' table right after the routine is finished. This will give you an idea of the athletes' highest potential score.