Sydney Snead hit play on her phone and “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls came over the speakers in the gymnastics practice facility at Stegeman Coliseum.
Snead said the team had let her control the practice music on Tuesday, even though it wasn’t her turn.
It was the senior’s last practice of her career. It was also the GymDogs' last practice of the season and their last chance to tighten things up before heading to Fort Worth, Texas, for the NCAA National Championship on Friday and Saturday.
The GymDogs hosted an open practice on Tuesday, and the practice floor was lined with fans of all ages getting an inside look at the GymDogs before their final post-season meet.
“Today’s going to be a nice, fun day to keep them moving, focus on the details [and] get out,” head coach Courtney Kupets Carter said before Tuesday’s practice.
Kupets Carter said that bars and beam were the focus of the team’s final practice. Instead of their typical end of week intrasquad, Kupets Carter had the team do “parts,” “pieces” and “halves” of their routines. Breaking down routines in this way allowed the gymnasts to focus on small details and presentation in their final practice.
Kupets Carter and members of the GymDogs team agreed that allowing fans into the practice environment built energy for the team as they prepared to leave for Nationals.
“It’s just kind of fun to have that interaction before we head off,” Snead said. “I think it definitely pumps us up. It kind of motivates us.”
The GymDogs will take the floor in Fort Worth tonight at 7 p.m. The GymDogs will be focused on getting what they call “their win,” which for them, means doing the best they can and not being rattled by other teams.
“I always say, ‘Stay on auto-pilot, do your normal, and just be confident and have fun,’” Snead said.
These are Snead’s words of advice to her teammates as she heads into her last ever NCAA National Championship with a goal of placing in the top three.
For Snead, keeping “normal” means being invested in one another, staying in their “Georgia bubble” or “G-unit” and having confidence when stepping up to an event.
“For us, I think it’s just about staying in our little bubble,” sophomore Marissa Oakley said. “Not worrying about what other teams are doing or not worrying about scores. Just really going out there, controlling what we can control and doing our gymnastics.”