New MU Gymnastics Head Coach Brings New Mindset

5 years 10 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, December 17 2013 Dec 17, 2013 Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1:44:00 PM CST December 17, 2013 in Sports
By: Camille Hayes, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter

COLUMBIA - Shannon Welker is in his first year of coaching the Mizzou gymnastics team. He comes to the program with hopes to improve not only the team's gymnastics, but their mindset as well.

Welker is preaching the message of "championship culture" to the team, who struggled last year due to multiple season-ending injuries.

The message is something Welker has witnessed in all of his years of coaching at various programs around the nation.

"I've been lucky enough to work at some pretty successful programs and with some very successful athletes in the past, and these are things I've noticed that make them great athletes," he said.

Welker said championship culture applies to all areas of life, not just in athletics. But to keep the girls on top of their game while they are at practice, Welker emphasizes quality over quantity of the work put in.

Veterans of the team are noticing the change in the environment. Senior Cat Aliceaacosta suffered a torn ACL during this pre-season, which means she won't be able to compete for the tigers this year. But she sees a difference even though she can't physically practice with the team the way she used to.

"I think all of our mindsets have changed for the better," Aliceaacosta said. "We know what we want to accomplish this year."

Aliceaacosta said the team is mentally stronger and hard-working than in years previous.

The team hopes the new championship culture will lead them to a successful second season of being in the Southeastern Conference.

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