Girls gymnastics ‘trust the process’ this season

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Margeaux Rice '22 split jumps into the air in warmups

Charlotte McLaughlin, Reporter

As the new season approaches, the girls gymnastics team’s motto for the year is “trust the process,” which means they will be working together to build from last year and truly grow as gymnasts and teammates, varsity girls gymnastics head coach Darragh McDermott said.

“Our focus is on progress and personal growth this year,” McDermott said. “We want a team that performs consistently and confidently. The girls individually and as a team are always looking for ways to progress their skills to contribute to the team score. The key to a successful season is goal setting and taking the proper steps to achieve each goal.”

The girls’ first meet was Nov. 27 at the Hinsdale South invitational.

“So far I’m seeing so many positives with this group of girls,” assistant varsity coach Elizabeth Pawelko said. “We’re all really excited about what they will be able to accomplish this season.”

The coaches are constantly making changes to their program based on their research and feedback from the athletes, they said. They have a new conditioning program this year to help improve strength and flexibility and lead to new skill acquisition and confidence, McDermott said.

“This year we are focusing on our warm up and conditioning,” Nicole Brom ‘21 said. “Our coaches have really put a lot of thought [into] these key areas. We understand that warm ups and conditioning are the beginning steps of the process that will lead to our success this season.”

Injuries are very common in gymnastics, so the girls need to make sure that they are staying healthy by warming up and conditioning properly, Pawelko said.

“Something that always plays a big part in our success is staying healthy during the entire season,” she said. “We have to make sure strength and conditioning is a focus as well as proper rest so that injuries don’t occur and if they do occur we can bounce back quickly.”

Another important focus for the girls this season is to develop confidence in themselves, McDermott said.

“The girls’ biggest endeavor so far is self-confidence,” she said. “Each gymnast has the fundamentals to complete their skills, but they hold back due to not believing they will be successful with it.”

McDermott believes that the team’s strength this year will be their comradery and ability to motivate one another.

“Whether a teammate is successful or struggles on an event, the team shows a strong level of support and encouragement,” she said. “The leadership from the athletes is one of the many strengths that will help our team this upcoming season.”

Along with leadership, the unity between the girls was also a huge asset to the team last year, Brom said.

“One of our biggest strengths last year was the unity of our team,” she said. “During practices and competitions we were always cheering each other on and we felt comfortable enough to be ourselves with each other. Having a tight knit team gives us the confidence to try new skills.”

After all of their off-season work and improvements since the season prior, the girls are excited to compete, McDermott said.

“I think that our focus on overall wellness and team-first attitudes will prove to be the foundation for success in competition,” she said.

The girls also have another big goal in mind—to make it to state.

“Making it to state as a team would be amazing,” Brom said. “That has been our goal for the past few years. We are very motivated to improve upon last year’s performance, and [we] are excited to welcome our newest team members who are equally motivated.”