Former Rutgers Gymnast Danielle D’Elia Looks to Help Program As New Assistant Coach
Rutgers gymnastics promoted former volunteer coach and gymnast Danielle D’Elia to assistant coach for the 2014-2015 season. D’Elia was a former All-Conference gymnast for the Scarlet Knights during her tenure as a student-athlete at Rutgers University.
“It’s awesome. I loved it here. I am proud to say I went here. It’s such an honor to be a coach and be able to represent Rutgers,” said D’Elia.
D’Elia will be in charge of floor exercise choreography, balance beam, conditions and recruiting, along with other general office duties.
“I never really had to do the office work when I was volunteering,” said D’Elia. “Now I am on the opposite side. I have to go behind the scenes,” she continued.
When D’Elia was a student-athlete for the Scarlet Knights she was named EAGL Second Team All-Floor Exercise. She also recorded 9.9000 marks on both floor exercise and uneven bars during her career.
Last year, she took on the volunteer assistant coach role during her senior season. Moving from athlete to coach was no challenge for her last season.
“The girls are respectful of me,” D’Elia said. “The girls are more open with me because I was their teammate, but we do a good job at keeping a border because I am their coach not their teammate anymore,” she continued.
D’Elia plans on using the fact that she was a gymnast at Rutgers and was teammates with some of the girls to her coaching advantage.
“Being a Rutgers gymnast I have a little more insight on where the girls are coming from,” she said. ‘I know their problem areas from being a gymnast with them and I am able to relate to them,” D’Elia continued.
Being able to relate to your athletes is important for coaching because it’ll make coaching certain girls much easier.
The gymnastics season will begin in September. Right now there are summer practices for the girls who will be entering the Big Ten this season as well.
These practices are not mandatory, but D’Elia is working on getting some coaching tasks done before September that way not only will she be prepared, but she can help the girls continue improving.
‘We are moving in the same direction as last season,” said D’Elia. “We made huge strides, last year was an amazing year and we are going to excel from the point we were at,” she continued.
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