Men’s gymnastics goes beyond the numbers

The Iowa men's gymnastics team is not letting scores or rankings define it this upcoming season, instead it is looking towards leadership to build success.

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Men’s gymnastics goes beyond the numbers

Bennet Huang performs on the horizontal bar during men's gymnastics Iowa vs. Penn State and Arizona State on Mar. 3, 2018 at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

Bennet Huang performs on the horizontal bar during men's gymnastics Iowa vs. Penn State and Arizona State on Mar. 3, 2018 at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

Katie Goodale

Bennet Huang performs on the horizontal bar during men's gymnastics Iowa vs. Penn State and Arizona State on Mar. 3, 2018 at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

Katie Goodale

Katie Goodale

Bennet Huang performs on the horizontal bar during men's gymnastics Iowa vs. Penn State and Arizona State on Mar. 3, 2018 at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

Jess Westendorf, Sports Reporter

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Gymnastics is a sport that strives for perfection. Gymnasts are individually judged on each routine on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a perfect score.

Hitting a perfect score is hard and rare, but the drive for perfection can have an effect on a gymnast and the team.

The Iowa men’s gymnastics team is working toward not just proving that it is enough but also handling the pressure that comes with being judged.

“We are a subjective sport, we are judged based on our performances, and that plays into everything else that they are trying to accomplish,” head coach JD Reive said. “So we have to be that much better than everyone else when we go out there, and that is a challenge for these guys.”

RELATED: Consistency is key for Iowa men’s gymnastics

Throughout the season, teams are ranked and defined by a number, and Reive said the team has to handle how the media portray the squad’s ranking.

This challenge is one that he and the squad are ready to take on with leadership, unity, and confidence.

“Expectation and confidence are very much the same for us,” he said. “We are always the underdog, always the team where they say, ‘Well, they could be good,’ and we want to change that, and it rubs off on these guys.”

Although it might be a challenge that is right in front of the team, gymnasts are not letting it get the best of them.

“Honestly, I try not to think about that too much about the judging,” sophomore Bennet Huang said. “I feel like if you have trained hard enough, and if you’ve put in the time and effort, then it will obviously change, but I think it will be consistent with how you perform.”

The Hawkeyes will continue to use leadership to its advantage with its captains.

Senior captain Jake Brodarzon focuses on helping the younger members of the team adjust and settle into the environment.

“As a leader, along with a lot of the upperclassmen who have stepped into that role, we want to show the underclassmen how to [adjust],” he said. “Take your time before your turns, things like make sure you are saluting, make sure you are letting people know when you get those corrections back so that way you can get better instead of just trying to get through it.”

Rather than letting the pressure to be perfect overtake emotions, the team strives toward having an understanding of what needs to be done and how to do it the correct way to bring success.

Gymnasts have worked together and shown support to ensure that they can perform and know that they have a support system.

“It’s definitely been good,” Huang said. “We have been pushing really hard, and it’s great to see everyone having each other’s back. We have also been pushing to handle difficulty and consistency at the same time, and I think it is going really well.”