The Daily Iowan

Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

during+the+Iowa%2FIllinois+men%27s+gymnastics+meet+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+3%2C+2018.+The+Fighting+Illini+defeated+the+Hawkeyes%2C+404.700-401.850%2C+to+lose+their+home+opener.+%28Lily+Smith%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

during the Iowa/Illinois men's gymnastics meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. The Fighting Illini defeated the Hawkeyes, 404.700-401.850, to lose their home opener. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

during the Iowa/Illinois men's gymnastics meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. The Fighting Illini defeated the Hawkeyes, 404.700-401.850, to lose their home opener. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Lily

during the Iowa/Illinois men's gymnastics meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. The Fighting Illini defeated the Hawkeyes, 404.700-401.850, to lose their home opener. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Lily

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Lily

during the Iowa/Illinois men's gymnastics meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. The Fighting Illini defeated the Hawkeyes, 404.700-401.850, to lose their home opener. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Taylor McNitt, [email protected]

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






When competition ramps up, classroom life can be difficult for student-athletes to manage. Does that give the men’s gymnastics team an excuse to put their studies on the backburner? Not for men’s gymnastics head coach JD Reive.

“My expectation of them is that they will absolutely prioritize those things and that they’re managing it,” he said. “I get very, very upset when we’re not doing it properly or they’re not prioritizing it properly. We literally talk about it daily.”

This intense attitude toward academic success is what explains Reive’s long record of academic honors earned by his gymnasts.

Iowa, in recent years, has been among the top 10 academic teams recognized by the College Gymnastics Association.

“Quite honestly, my philosophy in why I chose to go into coaching is that mind and body are inherent to just growing and learning and evolving in ways we don’t quite understand,” Reive said. “For me, it’s as important as what we do for the sport. If I’m doing one-half or the other, then I feel like I’m totally failing my student-athletes. The academics is a priority because it means that their life is in order, they have control over their mind and emotional intelligence. All of those things translate to great performance, and we’re a sport that’s about performance.”

This stress on balance has fueled the gymnasts’ academic success and accolades. In the last three years alone, 16 Academic All-Big Ten awards have decorated the team. In the past four years, 29 All-America Scholar awards have been earned by Reive’s Hawkeyes.

For the athletes, this can be a real trick when their sport is so time-demanding.

“It’s all about getting into a rhythm,” senior Elijah Parsells said. “I find that if I keep the same schedule week-to-week, it makes getting my work done a lot easier. When you start traveling, it becomes a lot more difficult because you have to reschedule things. The three, four days before you leave is a lot more packed, so you have to be proactive and do things before they come up to make sure you don’t get behind.”

The expectation is ingrained in the athletes by this point in their lives. As long as they can establish what works best for them, albeit after adjusting to being away from home, the “student” part of student-athlete shouldn’t be too much of a strain.

“Academics are definitely very critical,” said senior Mark Springett, a two-time recipient of both Academic All-Big Ten and All-America Scholar awards. “We’ve grown up doing both gymnastics and academics, and you have to figure out the balance between the two … If you’re not performing academically, then that’s just kind of an extra stressor. If you’re not stressed out about a paper, then you’re probably not going to be stressed out in the gym too much.”

Comments

comments

Navigate Left
  • Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

    Men's gymnastics

    Men’s gymnastics goes beyond the numbers

  • Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

    Men's gymnastics

    Consistency is key for Iowa men’s gymnastics

  • Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

    Men's gymnastics

    Former Hawkeye gymnast named to Canadian National Team

  • Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

    Men's gymnastics

    Gymnastics fall short, but five performed well

  • Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

    Men's gymnastics

    Iowa gymnastics falls short

  • Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

    Men's gymnastics

    Postseason competition ramps up for Iowa gymnastics

  • Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

    Men's gymnastics

    College life vs. freshman athlete

  • Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

    Men's gymnastics

    Gymnasts set to go out, do it again 

  • Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

    Men's gymnastics

    It’s all in the mindset for University of Iowa gymnastics

  • Men’s Gymnastics Talks Academics

    Men's gymnastics

    Iowa gymnastics has shown up like a dark horse

Navigate Right