How I Feel About My Beat

In terms of how I define my beat, I want it to be more than meets the eye.  So much of the coverage on UGA gymnastics is about wins and losses or when the next home meet is, nothing more.  I want to go beyond what everyone already knows and dig a little deeper into what all goes into the gymnastics program at UGA.

One of the main areas I am interested in covering is the transition into the new coaching staff.  This is a compelling story because after Coach Yoculan’s retirement in 2009, her successor, Jay Clark, was named the head coach and was fired after only his third season.  Therefore, new head coach Durante is the first complete coaching change the UGA gymnastics program has seen since 1983 when Yoculan was hired.  UGA gymnastics is one of, if not the most well known and respected collegiate gymnastics programs in the country thanks to the leadership of Coach Yoculan.  Hiring a brand new coach who has never been a part of this program is going to bring great change, whether it be good or bad, it’s going to be different.  I think this area will be of interest not only to UGA gymnastics fans, but to people who follow collegiate gymnastics all over the country.  Because UGA gymnastics is such a renowned, well-known program, gymnastics fans are curious as to how the team and the program in general are adapting to change after 30 years of consistency.

For this particular story, I want to talk with people on the inside of UGA gymnastics such as Coach Durante and her staff and maybe even some of the gymnasts.  I know they won’t necessarily be honest about negative changes with the new staff, they could provide could leads to other sources who could give a more honest, both good and bad, approach.  One of the main people I want to meet with and get ideas for other stories is Dana Kling.  He was my AP Literature teacher in high school and when he’s not teaching, he’s an NCCA gymnastics judge.  I feel like talking to and getting ideas from him would be useful while coming from a different angle.  His position is a lot different from the typical people who are interviewed for these stories, such as coaches and athletic directors, and could potentially give me a perspective on a story that readers haven’t heard before


One comment

  1. Definitely good stuff here, Jess. A key secondary set of questions is going to be, how is the sport changing? What are these kids and college gymnasts generally dealing with? Find some blogs and people who cover the sport closely and look for issues, like injury rates, rules changes, whether the sport is growing (for a while it was on the decline in participation #s), etc.

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