Published on April 18th, 2014 | by Kim Conley

Team USA Day 4: Everything’s Coming Together

I think I have, for a small millisecond, forgotten about how sore I am because I can’t stop thinking about how amazing our practice was today! This team has only been together for four days, but it feels like we have been a team all year! You can have all of the talent in the world, but if your team doesn’t work together, you won’t get very far. It’s safe to say that Team USA All Girl works very well together!

Each and every person is working so hard and it is showing! Having such intense 7-8 hour practice days is difficult in the beginning, but our bodies are finally starting to get used to it. It isn’t that practices are getting easier (definitely not getting easier), but we are getting stronger, both mentally and physically.

usa pyramidEach practice we add more elements to prepare for the full out routine. Today’s task was running thirds full out. The first third is the most difficult portion of my routine, so I am thankful it is first! We did each third three times and they all went very well. Our team is starting to get more confident every time we run the routine and it’s becoming more and more fun!

I love having Savanna as a coach because she is very good at helping the top girls gain more confidence in the air. She is also a top girl and gives us great advice. It’s nice knowing that she was once in our spot, so she knows exactly what we are going through. Savanna reminds us to push ourselves as much as we can, which is something our team has really taken to heart. For example, if our coaches ask us to do stunts and pyramids, it is highly likely that a bunch of us will also throw our tumbling passes or other aspects of the routine that weren’t required during that specific run through. This is an attribute of our team that I love and think will go a long way in makings us successful.

After running the routine in thirds, we were able to watch ourselves on TV. I am a visual learner, so this helped me see the little things that needed to be fixed. Besides pointing out what we could do better, watching our routine also let us see which parts looked great! Tony reassured us that we are ahead of schedule but reminded us how important it is to keep going forward without taking steps backwards. I am so happy with where we are right now and am looking forward to our next challenge as a team – running full out tomorrow with limited tumbling!

I talked to some rookies on the team, curious about their first experiences with Team USA. Kaitlyn Kellam explained that the training has been difficult but also rewarding, and she showed me some gnarly bruises as proof her hard work! She thinks it’s awesome that people from different cheer programs all over the country have an opportunity to come together and be on the same team, and I couldn’t agree more! I also talked to Cheyenne Felts, another first year. She said that she didn’t know a team could bond so well in such a short amount of time, and she has already made a lot of new friends in the process! She told me how she’s adjusting to new coaching techniques and said that she’s obtained new skills that she’s never competed with before. Like all of us, she cant wait for the competition!

I am so honored that I’m able to represent our country doing the thing I am most passionate about, but I’m even more thankful I get to do so with all of the incredible ladies of liberty that make up Team USA All Girl!

-Sam Smith

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About the Author

Managing Editor of American Cheerleader Magazine. Former cheerleader at The Ohio State University and UCA Staffer.

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