Flipping Under Pressure

Gymnasts at CV are under a lot of pressure dealing with their practice schedule and after-school activities


Katherine King

As sophomore Meghan Winston mounts the bar, she hits her connection and is above horizontal, guaranteeing a 10.00 start value. She attends a meet at Castle Rock Chameleon Gymnastics and ends with a great score. “Sometimes I get nervous but the excitement always kicks in the second a hand touches the apparatus,” Winston says.

     Gymnasts often love what they do, but many would agree that gymnastics is a sport that students have to put a lot of time and effort into. Students use time for homework and afterschool activities to go to practice. Sophomore Meghan Winston explains how she with all the pressure she is under. 

     “We practice Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays each for four hours,” Winston said. 

     Doing gymnastics for 12 hours a week takes up a significant amount of time, so the time gymnasts have for homework and normal high school events goes down. 

     “Normally I would have to leave practice early or skip practice to go to a football game,” Winston said. 

     They choose whether football games or working hard in the gym is more important. Gymnasts often put much time into their sport and without commitment, it is hard to get better. Sometimes that comes with sacrifices. 

     “I like to take time for myself on weekends and get homework done as soon as I can,” said Winston. 

     The big question is how they deal with the pressure of competing while having school and an after-school job. Being part of a team comes with many roles and responsibilities and bonding with your coaches and team is very important. 

     “If we have a good team that works together it makes everything easier and more fun,” Winston said. 

     Gymnastics is hard on people’s bodies but it really is about your mental state as well. 

     “If you have supportive teammates and coaches, it helps the mental part of gymnastics a lot,” Winston said.

     Overall, taking time for herself, the support of her teammates and coaches and keeping a good schedule keeps her stress level manageable.