Saturday, October 29, 2011

10 Insiders' Opinions of Camp and Marta's System

The premise of the feature was to find out what the coaches, gymnasts and USA Gymnastics staff really think about the National Team Training camp. Of course, no one would say their true feelings if their names were released along with their opinions so each respondent was promised anonymity. 

All of these are straight out of the mouths of Elite Gymnasts, Coaches and Other Staff Members. Answers have only been edited for spelling, grammar and to ensure anonymity. 

“I think the results speak for themselves. The camps serve a very valuable purpose and are instrumental to the success of the USA program.”

“I look forward to the training camps and so do my athletes. It is an incredible learning environment and it is where we bond as a team.”

“All good. [The person I coach with and I] are both supportive of the camps and their obvious results. The ‘rumors’ are so hyperbolic.” 

“I definitely feel the camps are beneficial. Without them, I don't think the U.S. Would be as great at gymnastics as we are today. The trainer that is there does a very good job with helping everybody stay healthy.”

“I feel like the gymnasts getting injured is not because of Marta or her Training Camps, but because of the gymnasts own destiny. Plus that's the name of the game sadly, it's keeping your body healthy, and training very hard at the same time. I wouldn't blame anybody because that's just mean.”

“Of course the sport of gymnastics will always have injuries and all of coaches and athletes are aware of this. The US team is by far one of the strictest, if not the strictest team, out of all the countries, which can take a tough toll on all of the gymnasts bodies during a big competition time. Not only physically, but the mental aspect of it is what is exhausting. With Marta's system, it is extremely tough, but that's what it takes to be the best athlete and the best team in the World. Being prepared physically and mentally to become the best that you are capable of being. Having the confidence of knowing you've pushed through the worst of workouts and can still make your routines, you're mentally prepared for the routine at a competition. The training camps are intense, but if you don’t train and practice with that intensity, how can one feel fully prepared and confident going into a competition with any circumstances that may come about. People got injured, but it didn't matter because every girl on the Worlds team was prepared in every even that they trained. It's the nature of our sport to have injuries. We train and compete on broken bones, torn muscles, or ligaments, but its all the hard work and dedication that we've put into it Every single day, that makes no one want to give up when you're finally reaching your life long dream and goal. The National Team Training Camps and Marta's system is brutal but I know it's her ways and opinion on reaching success and it has proven to do so. She tries to do what's best for the team and USA always ends up on top, regardless of injuries.”

"Well, I think that having two selection camps was probably not necessary. Maybe one would have been better. ...  But it was definitely interesting hearing Martha say that having the mock competitions at the camps helped decide whether or not to put Gabby Douglas on the team, and she clearly benefited from that. I mean I don't have an answer to what would be better, but I feel like there has to be other options. ... Most people tend to do better when they're enjoying what they're doing. Why not make them a little more fun and semi-enjoyable? It's still possible to work hard and get things accomplished in that setting. I mean, that may not be the answer either but that's just my take on it. At least that's my personal preference.
I will add though, that obviously something worked, since we just won Gold even after losing  Alicia two days before and the other injuries and circumstances." 

“From all my experience, it's no one's fault anyone gets injured. Its the nature of the sport and sure there are smarter ways to train and less smart ways to train but everyone has a personal coach who ultimately makes their training decisions and knows their body. It just stinks that the human body isn’t made to with stand the numbers and training required to succeed at that level. Its brutal but its what it takes and we are all so willing to do it!!”

“I don't think it has to do with training camps, or Martha. I think it just has to do with the numbers you put in your body and what you do when you train at home. At the training camps your body does get sore but it's just because you try different things. Injuries just happen sometimes.”

“Personally I don’t think has anything to do with Marta and the training camps I think sometimes injuries just happen. It may be because of all the hard hits you take while training at home. Even though we do have many camps I know that does make our bodies hurt a little, but not a ton, at least not for me.”

So what I understand from these responses: Camps are a necessary evil of being an elite. They help the team as a whole, but the girls often leave sore.

This can also be found on the International Gymnast Forum here.


  1. Interesting. Interesting they are lying through their teeth LMAO.

  2. This post is the biggest crock of bullshit I've ever read. Stop making shit up and posting it to this blog in order to seem important. No one associated with USAG in their right mind would agree to talk candidly with a nutjob like you and we all know it. Stop pretending to be some kind of insider. It's pathetic and kind of creepy.

  3. I can post screenshots of emails & Facebook messages if it means that much to you. If my blog offends you in anyway, feel free not to read it.