April 14, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
Alabama football head coach Nick Saban took time out of his spring practice schedule to congratulate the 2014 SEC and NCAA Regional Champion Crimson Tide gymnastics team Monday afternoon.
Saban, who also spoke with the gymnastics team prior to their trips to the 2011, 2012 and 2013 NCAA Championships, emphasized that the key to the gymnasts' continued success was staying within themselves.
"The culmination of what you've worked for all year is about to happen," Saban said. "The most important thing is be where your feet are - stay focused on what you need to focus on in that moment so that you have the best chance to succeed."
The coach of the Tide's 2009, 2011 and 2012 BCS Football Championship teams, Saban commended the gymnasts for winning UA's eighth Southeastern Conference title last month. He also congratulated the team for qualifying for this week's national championships by winning its NCAA-best 29th regional title.
"You have to focus on the moment that you are in, whatever you're doing today, whatever you're doing right now to prepare yourself, so that you have the best chance to be successful and take advantage of the opportunity that you have," Saban said. "And it is an opportunity, so it should be a fun thing. You've created an opportunity for yourself and you should embrace the moment."
The Tide will travel to nearby Birmingham, site of this year's NCAA Championships, on Wednesday and will go through practice day in Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center on Thursday and will be in semifinal session No. 2 on Friday, starting at 7 p.m. CT. Winner of two of the last three NCAA Championships, Alabama will be competing for its seventh national title overall in the BJCC where it won the 2014 SEC Championship earlier this season.
Tickets for the 2014 NCAA Championships are available at www.gymnasticschamps.com. Fans can keep up with the Tide via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube by following BamaGymnastics.