Q&A with men's gymnastics head coach JD Reive


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With the men’s gymnastics team coming off its most successful finish in more than a decade, The Daily Iowan sat down with head coach JD Reive to talk about the team’s recent success as well as expectations for the upcoming season.

Reive is in his fourth year as the head coach, and he has sparked a resurgence. His background includes a stint at Stanford in which he won the National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2009 along with a national championship that same year.

Daily Iowan: Last year, you finished fifth nationally; how are you translating that success to this year?

Reive: That success has been translated directly into work ethic. The big thing from last year was their seeing what they put in and what they got as a result and how much more that we need to do to continue to have the same success and then get a higher finish this year.

DI: What goals do you have for this year?

Reive: Personally, I want to be top 3. I want to be top three in the Big Ten. If we are able to accomplish that, we will absolutely put ourselves in position to be top three in the NCAA championships. It’s a lofty goal for us, but it is something that we can accomplish.

DI: Since you arrived here four years ago, how has the atmosphere changed in the gym?

Reive: This has been the theme of everything that I have been doing. It’s been attitude and environment. So, everything is about culture with what we do. It is 180 degrees different than what it was when I first got here.

It’s been a tremendous amount of energy, work, and tireless energy on my part to get them to understand what it means to train like an elite gymnast, what it means to train like as an NCAA champion, what it means to represent an Athletics Department that continues to support men’s gymnastics and gives us our resources that we need to be great.

Once that got through, which just started to come to fruition last season at the end, we’re now seeing that play into training, and hopefully, we all get to see that play out over the course of the season.

DI: You put the gymnasts through a very rigorous practice schedule and routine. How have they responded to it?

Reive: They’re tired. They are doing well with it, though. It’s very, very hard and these are legitimate student-athletes in every aspect of it. I hold them to very high standards with their academics, and they work equally as hard in [the gym]. They understand it, and that’s been the most crucial part of it. It’s been learning how it works and why it works. Some of that comes from them learning to follow, somewhat blindly, and trust me that I understand what I am doing. They get that point now. We’ve matured at a place where we do work together, they accept what they need to do to be good at our sport.

DI: What are your expectations for the Black and Gold intrdsquad meet Dec. 8?

Reive: The big thing is seeing them change from practice. What we’re struggling with in practice right now, I want to see that same thing. It is very important for our sport that what they do in the gym is what they do in the weekends.

This is the first one, we’re going to throw nerves, Carver, crowd, music, noise, and everything else that goes into a meet. Get them out in front of a judge, and that’s the big thing. To get the exposure, get the experience and get the freshmen out there. Once they settle in, I want to see the same rhythm and body language that I see in the gym. If we can get to that place, then we have gotten what we want out of the intrasquad meet.

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