You’re not going to get too many miscues from Halli Briscoe on the uneven bars.
Briscoe, a junior on the Oregon State gymnastics team, has her routine down to a T. She has been consistent all season. Despite one slip up that resulted in a 9.200 at Arizona, Briscoe has scored a 9.825 in six meets and matched her career high of 9.875 twice.
As a sophomore, Briscoe did not have a score lower than a 9.800 in the five meets she was a member of the regular bars lineup. She had a 9.875 against BYU and a 9.850 in a three-team meet at Sacramento State. She scored a 9.825 at the Pac-12 championships and a 9.850 at the NCAA Raleigh Regional.
“I’ve been doing this routine since I got here,” Briscoe said. “I used to have a little more complex routine back in (Junior Olympics) but this is a routine that I knew I could do consistently and really clean every week, so we thought this was one of the better routines that I could perform.”
Needless to say, the Beavers can rely on Briscoe to come through with a solid score.
OSU assistant coach Brian Amato, who works with the athletes on bars, said Briscoe’s technique caught his eye when he was recruiting her.
“She comes from a really good background, has really good basics and technique, so we knew that once we figured out the right routine for her, the right combination of skills and difficulty that she would be able to do it really consistently and really clean,” Amato said. “We’re just kind of seeing the result of a lot of previous training, but then figuring out how to make that work in a college setting.”
Briscoe competed solely in exhibitions as a freshman and was able to put in the work during that time to gain consistency.
“She always has had a ton of ability on bars, but like a lot of freshmen coming in, competing consistently every week was an issue,” Amato said. “She had some injury stuff that carried over from her career prior that she was managing and trying to get on top of with the training staff.
“If you go from competing a couple times a year to 12 or 13 weeks in a row, the challenges to be able to accomplish that are pretty big.”
When Briscoe arrived at OSU, she had a tendency to be very hard on herself when she made mistakes during practice. Amato was able to help her work through the issue.
“When I got here I was someone who, when I made a mistake, I was really hard on myself and a lot of times that didn’t help me, it actually hurt me,” Briscoe said. “So he was able to get me to kind of just focus on what I did wrong and how to fix it instead of being mad at myself and going backwards when I made a mistake instead of learning from it.”
Now that Briscoe has her technique down and is able to perform the skills at a high level, she focuses on her mental approach to competition.
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She reminds herself that she is striving to help her teammates with a strong performance.
“That just kind of helps me with my mindset before routines is to know that I’m doing it for somebody else,” Briscoe said. “And then just to kind of get myself in the zone I always do the same mental routine before I go up. So I go through the same things in my head, I do the same little hand motions and stuff before every bar routine and once I do that I feel like I’m in the zone and I’m completely ready and nothing’s going to stop me from what I need to do.”
While in high school in Dallas, Texas, Briscoe was not really looking closely at college. Her immediate plan was to pursue elite gymnastics.
When that didn’t work out and she changed the track to college gymnastics, Briscoe was drawn to Oregon State.
She liked the College of Business, along with the gymnastics program.
Briscoe was interested in non-profit businesses and traveled to Ghana to check out a care center.
“But since being here I actually got the opportunity to start up a couple companies, so I’m also into product development and app development, stuff like that,” she said.
Briscoe is also looking at expanding her role on the gymnastics team.
Although her bars routine is a 10.00 start value, she wants to add a few advanced moves so she has a shot at even higher scores on a regular basis.
And she might add an event or two.
She began the year working on the beam but jammed her finger.
"Once I did that I kind of backed off beam a little bit because I was needed more for bars than I was for beam,” she said. “But I would like to add beam back in next year and potentially vault, too.”