The 2013-14 Mizzou Gymnastics exhibition contest against Lindenwood University is only weeks away, as Tigers fans will soon have their first glimpse of this season's squad.
Over the past few months, head coach Shannon Welker and his staff have heightened the intensity at practices inside the Tiger Performance Complex (TPC). A handful of inter-squad meets between the Mizzou gymnasts has helped simulate the game day atmosphere that they will see this year at the Hearnes Center.
The continued hard work at the TPC has the Tigers primed for a successful season, as they prepare for their second year in the competitive Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Since the team began their off-season practices and conditioning this fall, Welker has been pleased with the progression he has seen from the Mizzou gymnasts.
"Every week we see significant progress in skill development, execution and mental toughness," said Welker. "The strides this team has made, and will continue to make have been impressive."
Assistant Coach Casey Jo Magee, has also noticed the hard work and dedication from the Tigers student-athletes so far this off-season.
"The girls have been pushing themselves on a daily basis to improve, and it has really shown so far," said Magee. "They are making big strides in preparing for the upcoming season, and although we still have some work to do before our exhibition meet against Lindenwood, I know we will get there. They have good attitudes and are committed to reaching the goals we set before the year began, so it is a fun atmosphere to be around."
This season marks the first year in Columbia for each member of the Mizzou Gymnastics coaching staff. As a group, the staff has laid out expectations and goals for their student-athletes for the upcoming season.
Welker in particular, has stressed the idea of creating a "championship culture" around the Mizzou Gymnastics program.
"We look for and expect our team to transfer the confidence and energy with which they train into competition settings," said Welker. "These ladies are very prepared, and we know they can 110-percent when the spotlights are on them!"
On Sunday, Dec. 8 against Lindenwood, Tigers gymnastics fans will finally get to see first-hand this year's collection of gymnasts. Magee notes that this group of girls will bring a new sense of excitement and energy to the Hearnes Center each meet.
"We want to show the fans a motivated and energetic group of Tigers!" said Magee. "We want to give the crowd a reason to get involved, and to get them on their feet and be loud!"