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McGrath and Alberhasky seek to lead gymnastics into the season

BY JACK ROSSI | DECEMBER 05, 2013 5:00 AM

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Redshirt senior Matt McGrath and redshirt junior Lance Alberhasky are prepared to lead Iowa into its upcoming season.

The process of selecting a team captain is quite simple; the team, coaches, and training staff all vote on who they think is most worthy of the position and who has showed the most leadership among the gymnasts. McGrath and Alberhasky gladly accepted.

“We make sure that everybody is always on task every day, setting goals for the season and making sure everyone is working toward those goals and really just set a good mood for the gym,” McGrath said.

This is not McGrath’s first season as team captain. He was selected his junior year but an injury hindered his progress. He worked hard at rehab, McGrath said, and that impressed teammates.

“I worked pretty hard in the gym [after the injury], and the guys saw that pretty often,” he said. “I go around, and talk to people, and see if they are feeling good.”

Being one of the older guys in the gym makes the decision a bit easier for everybody. The team believes that each captain has his own thing that he brings to the role of captain.

“I think Lance is more of the vocal one, and I would say [McGrath] is more of the older presence and a lead-by-example type of captain,” sophomore Jack Boyle said.

 Iowa City native Alberhasky has long looked up to Iowa gymnastics and is excited about the opportunity to lead.

“I would always go to the gymnastics meets when I was younger, and I would look up to the guys,” he said. “I always wanted to be one of them, so I definitely think it’s a dream come true to be where I am at.

“The past couple of years, I have slowly gotten into the role [of team captain]. Last year, I really did a good job of motivating everybody and leading by example. So I would say this year, because I am also one of the older guys on the team, it was kind of an easy transition for me.”

Motivating the team seems to be the key aspect of the job. With the amount of work the team does together, the job of motivating becomes more essential as the team gets tired and as the year moves along.

“It’s definitely hard to push people sometimes. Especially if you don’t know if they have an injury or not. You don’t want to push them through it,” McGrath said. “I really think that’s the hardest thing, keeping them motivated in that sense and not getting too down on an injury.”

“I think it’s getting everybody on the same page,” Alberhasky said. “Sometime you have ideas that people conflict with, they don’t think that’s right, but we really think it out, and I think it out with [McGrath] about what is best for the team.

“So, in that case when someone says he doesn’t want to do something, you have to stand up and say no this is the way we are going to do it and it’s best for the team,” he said.

A benefit of having two captains can really take some of the load, especially when one of the captains is busy or has a bad day.

“You have somebody else to rely on and somebody to get ideas from,” Alberhasky said. “If one of us is slacking, then the other can pick the other up and keep the team going.”


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