Much like some other LSU women’s teams, the gymnastics team has adopted practices and mantras illustrated in Jon Gordon’s book “The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team” as an aid to staying fresh throughout the season as the mythical bus pulls up to various stops.
Next stop? Shreveport.
In a final tune-up before next weekend’s Southeastern Conference Championships, the No. 3 Tigers travel to the Gold Dome where Centenary and No. 30 New Hampshire await for a tri-meet Friday at 7 p.m.
“It’s another stepping stone in our process,” said senior Lloimincia Hall. “Kind of the last stepping stone in our process before SECs.”
Hall is fresh off the sixth perfect 10 of her career on floor, performed in front of a program record 13,179 in the PMAC in a senior night victory against Minnesota.
Now transitioning to the 3,000-seat Gold Dome, the onus is on the Tigers themselves to carry over the PMAC’s liveliness and rely on another one of D-D Breaux’s inventions — the purple zone.
“We’ve been to a lot of arenas that haven’t had a crowd close to ours,” said senior all-arounder Rheagan Courville. “You just have to create an energy within yourself and stay in your own purple zone, like we call it. We really feed off each other’s energy and excitement and we create our own momentum.
“We make their crowd our own no matter how many they have there.”
Battling a nagging hip injury, Courville didn’t compete in the all-around as a precautionary measure in LSU’s program record-setting 198.375 score against Minnesota. She didn’t compete in the “pounding” events — floor and beam — but notched a 10.0 on vault and a 9.925 on bars.
No matter where Courville competes tonight, the goals don’t change, no matter how minute and technical they may be.
“Can we stick our landings, can we hit our handstands, can we do those things on the road,” Breaux said. “Can we do them as well as we did them at Alabama when the pressure was on, at Auburn when the pressure was on?
“It’s about going on the road, practicing, again going on the road and becoming more consistent.”
Hall stood on top of the podium before the meet against Minnesota as public address announcer Mike Smith ran down her long list of accolades and her family waited down below. Tears streamed down her face and the emotion got the best of her.
After she finished her floor routine and the perfect 10 flashed, it came again. She and the four other seniors took the center of the mat to receive applause from the record crowd.
It was an emotional day for all, one Hall still beamed about Monday afternoon. But as far as she’s concerned, it’s a thing of the past.
“We were able to show, yes, it was an emotional moment but when the lights came on, it was time to compete,” Hall said. “And as you can see with the 198, we really didn’t let that too much faze us.
“Come SECs, there’s no more practice. It’s time to get busy.”