Gophersports.com caught up with Gopher gymnast freshman, Manchester, Conn. native, Shaun Herzog about what he's most looking forward to this coming season both on and off the competition floor.
How did you get into gymnastics?
I got into gymnastics when I was 5-years-old. My parents decided to buy my brother and I a trampoline for our backyard. My mother would watch me on it as I taught myself a backflip. After she saw my talents for flipping, she asked if I wanted to try gymnastics classes. Ever since my first class, I loved it and continued to get better and better.
Did you play any other sports growing up?
I played soccer for 3 years when I was around 6, basketball for a couple years and baseball throughout my whole childhood.
Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?
I chose the University of Minnesota because I knew I wanted to venture from home (Connecticut) and after being recruited and taking my official visit, the gymnastics team welcomed me so well. I felt at home here and connected with everyone. Also, a couple of my former club teammates came here, so it was nice to know they would be here with me.
Have you chosen a major or leaning towards a specific area of study?
I'm currently undecided, but I'm interested in learning more about sports management.
What do you like to do in your free time when you're not training in the gym?
Anything to keep me active - I like to go on hikes, go swimming when the weather is nice and go skiing or snowboarding in the winter. I can't sit down for too long, my body needs to be active.
What are you most looking forward to as a UMN gymnast?
I'm looking forward to getting closer with the team as a whole but also to compete next to them. I can't wait to show the team and fans what I'm capable of doing.
Who was your athletic role model growing up?
My role model growing up would be Jake Dalton. I used to watch him compete as a junior gymnast and seeing him become such a great gymnast since then motivates me to be better. He's a very inspirational person that makes me want to push harder with everything I do in the gym.
What's your favorite part about gymnastics? Do you have a favorite apparatus?
My favorite thing about gymnastics would be catching a new release move on high bar. Letting go of the bar and being able to connect, gives me an adrenaline rush that doesn't compare to anything else - High bar is my favorite event.
What type of music most pumps you up for competition?
Electric music pumps me up the most, but so does upbeat rap songs. It gets me focused and pumped up to compete for the day.
Do you have any pre-competition rituals or superstitions?
Not necessarily, but I try to eat pasta the nigh before a competition so I'm able to have more energy for the competition.
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