Over the past two seasons, A’Miracal Phillips has become a vault specialist for the Tigers, bringing power and height to the event every Friday night. The Enterprise, Ala., product is looking to add more to her junior season and has been working hard to get there this summer.
Q: How tough is it in balancing schoolwork (biomedical sciences) and athletics?
A: Honestly, pretty hard, but we have so many resources that makes it a lot easier. We have the SADC (Student Athlete Development Center) with tutors that help us and mentors that make sure we are on top of everything. Our coaches do stay on our behinds about everything as well.
Q: What type of career do you plan on pursuing after Auburn?
A: I plan on going to dental school and becoming an orthodontist.
Q: What interested you in pursuing to be an orthodontist?
A: I had braces when I was younger and seeing the clients come in and out to get their braces on and get their braces off, they were like two totally different people and it makes them so happy.
Q: What was your mindset coming into last season after injuring your foot the year before?
A: It was super tough, but I knew I had to get over any kind of fear and just go for it. It wasn’t that bad because I had my teammates supporting me.
Q: Are there any new styles or routines that you are working on for the upcoming season?
A: Yes. I am working on a new vault. I will be adding an extra twist, so hopefully I won’t be as scared to do it or think about my foot that much. I have never done it before but I think it will make me have more confidence in my foot. I was scared a little bit throughout the season but I think facing a different way, landing a different way, will make me more confident.
Q: What’s it like being one of just a few Alabama natives on the team?
A: It’s fun. I like being kind of close to home. It’s different for the other girls because they’re not able to go home as much but it’s a lot of fun being friends with girls all over the place.
Q: What is the story behind your name?
A: My mom was in a car accident before I was born. My brother got to name me and he was only 10 years old, so it was all on him.
Q: What were some reasons you chose Auburn over other schools that recruited you?
A: Definitely the environment. I love the family vibe. I meshed with all the girls when I met them and I didn’t want to be too far away from home. I like the traditions that are at Auburn.
Q: What does it take for Auburn to get back on track to competing on a national level again?
A: Right now, we’re in the gym working really hard over the summer, where some teams kind of just take a break and chill. We’re definitely stepping up and grinding to get back to where we were. A lot of the upperclassmen are working on upgrades. I am learning a new vault and trying to upgrade floors so that I can be in the floor lineup. Our freshmen came in and they have a really good mindset and they’re ready to win.
Q: What are your personal goals for the season?
A: I want to be in the vault lineup. I want to make it into the floor lineup and help the team in those two areas because I feel that those two areas are my biggest strengths.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of gymnastics?
A: In the summer when I go home, I like to go to the lake and water ski. Other than that, I don’t really get to do much but catch up on sleep. Sleep is a hobby of mine.
Q: What are some things that the Auburn Family does not know about you?
A: An example, I could walk into Wellness (The Wellness Kitchen) or SADC and the lady at the front desk knows my name. Being around all the athletes, we kind of know each other. Having so many people support you, it makes you feel like you’re close to home like a family.
Q: What is your go-to pre-meet music?
A: I’m known for old school music. They just get me going.
Q: What do you enjoy most about Auburn? (team and university)
A: I love that everyone is so close to each other and just being able to talk to anyone and get help from anyone with all the resources available. It’s super nice to have a chill vibe and not be afraid to open up to people.