FHS Gymnastics Is Getting Ready for a Great Season!

FHS Gymnastics Is Getting Ready for a Great Season!

Olivia Reagan, Writer

Believe it or not, the fall sports season will soon be coming to a close, even though it seems to have just started. With the close of one season comes the start of a new season and winter sports like gymnastics have already started preparing for theirs. 

For many sports, off-season is a time for athletes to rest and recover from their season. However, gymnastics is different because gymnasts cannot take breaks from their training.

Head Coach of Franklin High School’s Gymnastics Team, Paula Lupien, said: “Gymnastics is the type of sport that you kind of have to do year-round because you can’t take time off and then expect to have the same type of level of skills… if a girl is doing a high elevated skill, she can’t take three to six months off and then expect to come back into the gym and throw it after a week of practice.”

In gymnastics, “working memory” of skills is incredibly important. “working memory” is the ability of the brain to remember information after it is taken in. 

It allows gymnasts to remember how to perform certain skills and it helps their bodies remember the right way to move in order to complete these skills. With too long of a break, such as the full off-season, gymnasts can forget how to perform the skills that they were once able to do. 

Gymnastics also requires athletes to have a tremendous amount of strength, endurance, and flexibility. During a break, these can be lost or weakened.  To prevent this from happening to the team, Franklin Gymnastics holds off-season practices twice a week at All Around Gymnastics Academy in Plainville, MA. 

At these practices, team members continue to work on skills and conditioning. While Coach Paula facilitates these practices, they are solely driven by the gymnasts so they can practice the skills they need to work on.

Off-season practices are not mandatory, but most of the team attend them to prepare for the season. 

Sophomore team member, Kate Rudolph, says: “If you only go to one [practice] then you will not be able to keep your skills up because even though you can do them, execution is a very important part so going to more practices will help with that.”

Many gymnasts work year long, participating in club gymnastics during the off-season in addition to their school team. Club gymnasts practice year-round and compete once a month from Sept. to May. Private clubs, such as Flipside Gymnastics in Medway, allow their girls to compete for the private club once a month and compete for the High School team during the winter sports season. 

Preparing for their upcoming season is not easy work for the gymnast or the coach. Gymnasts prepare by working on the skills they need for their routines this year. Lexi Lupien, a junior and captain of the gymnastics team, says that she has been going to five or six practices a week to prepare for the season.

As for the work going on behind the scenes, Coach Paula said she is working on scheduling meets, team and parent meetings, and ordering uniforms for the team. 

“There’s a lot more that goes into it than just showing up to the gym,” she says. 

With the season just about a month away, excitement is building about what the team is going to be able to accomplish this year. Coach Paula says that she is excited that FHS Gymnastics is already building a program as the team is only going into their fourth competitive season as a high school sport. With a talented team, she is looking forward to a great year and has high hopes for the team.

Coach Paula says her team has started at a low level and now all of a sudden [has] a group of girls that have a ton of talent. 

“We’re going to make some waves in the league this year,” she said, “and catch up to some teams that have historically beat us in the past.”

Paula also mentioned how the team this year is going to have a deep bench, which means having many talented girls able to compete for each event. This is important because the season is long and intense measuring 11 weeks long with 13 total meets. Paula understands that injuries happen, especially within a sport so physically demanding, so the deep bench this year will give the team a range of talent to step up when needed. 

The girls on the team are also getting very excited about the upcoming season. Lexi Lupien expresses that she is nervous and stressed about competition season, however, she says: “I’m also excited and it’s kind of like a roller coaster of emotions. I’m most excited for the new girls that are coming on the team and to be able to compete again with the people I competed with last year.”

It takes a lot of determination to prepare for a competitive season, especially in a sport like gymnastics. However, one thing is for sure: all of this work being put in is setting up the Franklin High School Gymnastics team for greatness this season.