Men’s gymnastics is rolling under the helm of JD Reive


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When Iowa men’s gymnastics coach JD Reive came to Iowa four years ago, he began his tenure on one principle: trust.

“We trust him with our minds, we trust him with our bodies, and we trust him with our training,” redshirt junior Cyrus Dobre-Mofid said. “Our confidence is at an all-time high, and we have the coaches’ training to thank for that.”

The athletes are sold on intensive training into peak physical fitness for nine months of the year to compete for the remaining three.

Reive credits the planning process and periodization of training for where the program stands today. Although there is a disproportionate amount of training that goes into competing, Reive compared it to handling school — taking things one chapter at a time.

“This way, they understand what they need to do, and I can kind of guide them along and make sure they’re in shape and where they need to be,” he said.

The road to success was not going to be a short and easy one, and no gymnast knows this as well as redshirt senior Lance Alberhasky.

“I’m from Iowa City but was hesitant to come to Iowa; I questioned the stability of the program,” he said. “JD made sure right away that everyone was on the same page, and I knew he was a guy who knew how to win.”

As a team captain, Alberhasky is responsible for holding teammates to the standard that the coach has set.

“The athletes understand that if they work hard now, the results aren’t going to show tomorrow,” Reive said. “It’s going to show three months from tomorrow.”

After a rough first two seasons, the program finished fifth as a team nationally in 2013 and eighth last season.

“It was a long process; the first couple of years were rough,” Alberhasky said. “But we’ve gotten better every year, and everyone’s bought into what we’re trying to do.”

In his fourth season as head coach, virtually all of the players on the roster are Reive’s recruits — including five freshmen poised to continue the program’s momentum.

It’s his team now, and his athletes are buying into the mindset that has rejuvenated the program.

“I’ve tried to redefine what men’s gymnastics needs to be at Iowa,” he said. “Even when there wasn’t success those first couple of years, you have to learn to act like champion before you can be that person. It’s amazing how quickly the body follows when the mind sets a goal.”

Aside from mental toughness, one of the changes Reive has made is in conditioning, where he has put an emphasis on warming up and cooling down surrounding events and intense workouts.

For Dobre-Mofid, Reive’s effectiveness as a coach comes from his motivation, communication, and cooperation between him and the gymnasts.

“All this training is the just journey to the destination,” Dobre-Mofid said. “The coaches are the generals, and we are their soldiers. We have to trust them with the mission they have for us.”

Follow @CharlsGreen on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa men’s gymnastics team.

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