Haley Scaman is a 2016 graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She was a staple in the vault, bars and floor lineups in her time as a Sooner and was a two-time national team champion. A star for the Sooners, Scaman scored five perfect 10s in her career between vault and floor, setting the program record for 10s scored by a Sooner until Maggie Nichols arrived. She was a first-team All-American on both vault and floor for three of her four seasons and was a second-team All-American on floor her senior season. She was named the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Year in 2013, and in 2015 she was the South Central Region Gymnast of the Year. She was also a finalist for the AAI Award. Lately, she has been enjoying life as an event planner while also pursuing her passion in the dental field.
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.
College Gym News: What has your life been like post-graduation?
Haley Scaman: It is definitely fun! I don’t have to watch what I eat as closely as before. Staying in peak competition shape is no longer my priority, although I always do enjoy healthy eating. I have more freedom in my schedule now. But the downfall is that I don’t have as much structure as I’ve been accustomed to, so sometimes I get bored and don’t know what to do with myself.
CGN: You were a member of Oklahoma’s first national championship winning gymnastics team. What did that moment feel like?
HS: It was incredible. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment. I remember watching the scores back and forth between OU and Florida and thinking it had to be a dream. I still get chills when I think back to our vault lineup—everyone drilling their landings left and right. It was such a special feeling.
CGN: You graduated with a degree in business. What aspect of business interested you and how have you used that in your post-graduation work?
HS: I knew there would always be a need for it. I actually wanted to go in a different direction with my degree, but in the end it would have been too difficult along with gymnastics. Right now I am an events manager, and I am loving it!
CGN: Recently you decided to go back to school for dental hygiene. What interested you about a career as a hygienist?
HS: While in school at OU I explored the options of becoming an orthodontist or dentist, but I knew it would be difficult with gymnastics training and traveling. I was always interested in working in that field, so now I’m applying to dental hygiene programs. If I enjoy it, I may continue my studies to become a dentist.
CGN: What are your goals for the future? What kind of role do you see yourself in?
HS: To finish a dental hygiene program, secure a job in that field and also start a small event planning business. I also want to do a lot more traveling!
CGN: Do you see yourself returning to gymnastics in a non-athletic role?
HS: I don’t think so. As much as I love the sport, I am glad to be removed from it. I still enjoy watching and cheering on my teammates, but I don’t think coaching or owning a gym is the right fit for me.
CGN: What do you miss most about Oklahoma itself and gymnastics as a whole?
HS: I miss the camaraderie amongst all of the student-athletes and the architecture of the buildings. Naturally, I miss my teammates the most, though. They are what made OU home and that was the best part about it. The bonds and relationships you form are special.
What I miss most about gymnastics is being in peak shape and not having a choice to work out or not. I love the feeling of completing a killer preseason workout. It sounds crazy, but it makes you feel like Superman when you’re done! I also miss the feeling of nailing a routine and your teammates running up to you, arms flying, ready to give you a hug.
CGN: How have your gymnastics experiences impacted your life? Are there any skills you learned that have been beneficial in your life or career?
HS: Time management and organization are two of the main skills gymnastics taught me. I also believe gymnastics instills discipline and drive in you from a young age. Those are skills that will benefit you the rest of your life.
CGN: If you could give advice to your past self, what would you tell her?
HS: It is just gymnastics! Sometimes you get so caught up in the sport or a certain skill, and you think it is the end of the world if something goes wrong or doesn’t go the way you want it to. But when you take a step back, you realize it is just a sport and there are bigger problems out there. Gymnastics was a big part of my young life but a much bigger part is yet to come.
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Article by Tara Graeve