By Josh Weinfuss
The Nastia Liukin Cup will be old hat for Caitlin Atkinson.
While most of her competitors are learning how to perform on a podium for the first time, with TV cameras staring them in the face, Atkinson will be focused on her next move.
The main difference from this meet to other, she said, is the warm-up.
At regular Level 10 meets, gymnasts get to warm up on each apparatus before competing on it. At the Nastia Liukin Cup, they have to warm-up on all of them before the meet starts.
“You cant use all your energy before because it’s longer and you have to really be confident in what you’re doing,” Atkinson said. “You warm up and then you wait a little while and then you compete in what you’re doing. So knowing what you’re doing really helps.”
The difference in competing on a podium compared to a regular floor is noticeable, Atkinson added. But, to succeed, it’s all about self control.
“The floor is a little bit more bouncy so I have to hold back my power a little bit,” she said. “Same with vault. The runway is a little more springy, so I have to control myself more. Beam and bars are about the same.”
Having competed on podium before at the Visa Championships and the Classic, Atkinson knows what’s coming her way. To her, it’s definitely an advantage.
“I think it can be because I’ve learned how to adapt before,” Atkinson said. “I understand what I have to do if I’m too powerful.I’ve learned before how to adapt to it.”