Published on April 16th, 2014 | by Kim Conley
Team USA Day 1: Let the Training Begin
Hello readers! My name is Sam Smith and this is my second year on Team USA’s All Girl team. I still can’t believe I was chosen to represent the United States and my sport at the 2014 ICU World Cheerleading Championships! It’s going to be a tough journey from now until we hit that floor in Disney’s HP Field House, but it will be worth it!
I feel like time is moving so fast; just a few days ago I competed at NCA College Nationals with Oklahoma State’s All Girl and Group Stunt teams. Our All Girl team did amazing and hit two near perfect routines, which was our overall goal. I was so proud to finish in second place! It was really hard realizing that this journey with such an incredible group of girls had ended. This was also my first year competing in the Group Stunt competition, and I was pretty excited to show everyone what my group had been working on all year. We hit our routine and ended up winning! As fast as I could blink, Nationals had come and gone and it was time to switch my focus to Team USA!
On Sunday morning, all of the Team USA members that had competed at NCA College Nationals got on a bus and headed for Orlando. When we arrived we received our practice clothes, filled out paperwork and waited for our physicals. Once we were all cleared to practice, it was go time!
Being surrounded by so much talent is incredible. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be on the same team as cheerleaders from across the country and from so many different cheerleading backgrounds. One thing I love about cheerleading at this level is that you get to meet lifelong friends from all over the world.
Trying to sleep that night was difficult because all I could think about was practice the next morning. Waking up and realizing that I was about to start day 1 of training for Team USA was a dream in itself.
We started our first practice by introducing ourselves, and then it was down to business! We played around with the elite stunts, pyramids, baskets and tumbling that our amazing coaches, Tony Nash and Savanna Sibley, had envisioned for our jam-packed routine. Tony and Savanna do an awesome job of meshing the different styles of cheerleading between NCA and UCA to form one routine that compliments both brands.
During our second practice, we started learning our routine and by the end of the day, we already knew half of it! It’s crazy to think about how much we learned in one day, but having such talented teammates and great coaches makes doing so a breeze. It’s safe to say I am already sore, but I can’t wait to see how much more we accomplish tomorrow!
A wall currently separates us from the Coed team, so I haven’t seen much of what they are doing but have heard great things. I’m sure that everyone’s jaws will be on the floor watching both routines that Team USA will perform this year!
Check back for more updates from the USA All Girl and Coed teams as we prepare for the ICU World Cheerleading Championships! GO USA!