Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School

Stinger

Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School

Stinger

Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School

Stinger

Kaitlyn Wongs collection of keychains
Student Collectors and their Miniature Museums
Noelle Waterman, Opinions Editor • February 29, 2024
An art piece of a Hinsdale South student juggling extracurriculars.
More or Less: The Secret to Success
Jake WatermanFebruary 26, 2024
Image created with Canva.
Boys' Gymnastics Makes Dismount From IHSA
Annika Nicol, Sports Editor • February 25, 2024

Eat, Sleep, Breathe, Gymnastics: Anya Patel’s Gymnastics Story

Anya Patel saluting after finishing her floor routine at a Hinsdale South home Meet
Debbie Amolsch
Anya Patel saluting after finishing her floor routine at a Hinsdale South home Meet

Flexibility, agility, and strength, these are all qualities required to be a high level gymnast; Anya Patel has them all. Last season she received many awards: 1st on floor at Conference, All Conference, and she qualified for State. Patel competes on bars, floor, and the all around 

Growing up in Gymnastics

Anya with Ribbons at Big Gymnastics Gym, Photo by Lorraine Patel,

Since the age of 7 Patel’s time has been consumed with flipping, leaping, and learning choreography. It all started when one of her friends started gymnastics classes, inspiring her to do the same.

She started off at Big Gymnastics gym and then moved on to compete on a club team at Premiere Gymnastics. It was a large time commitment, she made many close friends, and got to travel—she even got to go to Texas. Right away she began to fall in love with the sport and went to practices for fun, but then it started getting more serious as her skills got more advanced around the end of middle school and beginning of high school. 

Mental Blocks and Injuries 

To level up in gymnastics new skills must be acquired. Though learning these tricks can be frustrating due to a very common obstacle for gymnasts—mental blocks. 

Patel believes that this complication is derived from a fear of messing up and having a huge injury. In her experience, to get over them she has to re-learn the skill by starting with the basics and working her way up until she gains more confidence. She has mainly struggled with mental blocks on bar dismounts and double backs on the floor.

So far in Patel’s gymnastics career she has broken her foot, but coming back from it was not bad and with physical therapy she was back on track again. So her main frustrations with the sport have been mentally induced. 

High school vs. Club Gymnastics

The 2023-2024 Girls Gymnastics team after a meet at their home gym, Photo by Samantha Smith,

Patel has competed with Premiere, club gymnastics, and Hinsdale South, high school gymnastics. Club is more intense with 3.5 to 4 hour practices every night. These practices are more challenging and coaches expect more from the gymnasts. Club competitions are taken more seriously and it is less of a fun environment than High School gymnastics. 

“Everyone is focused on winning and that’s it” Patel said. In high school everyone still tries their best, but also is there to have fun. Patel did Club freshman year and if she wanted to go to college for gymnastics she would have stayed with it, but the coaches were too intense and did not always create the healthiest space.

What’s Next?

Patel plans to continue gymnastics for the rest of her high school career, but not in college. She still loves the sport, but she wanted to practice and compete in a more laid back environment where she could still improve. Patel also has a great  relationship with her coaches and teammates now. 

Real Life Lessons

Though Patel is not continuing in college, she has learned valuable lessons from this sport. It has helped her focus on things in the moment. 

“Things will work out” she said, “Everyday is different and some days you will be able to perform certain skills and other days you won’t, you just have to be able to trust the process and yourself and give yourself time.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Claire Weigus, Editor-in-Chief
Claire Weigus, a Senior at Hinsdale South, has been on the Stinger Staff since Freshman year. Outside of school she is a competitive dancer. In her free time she enjoys reading books, especially from her favorite authors: Lauren Oliver, and Megan Miranda. A fun fact about Claire is she does not have an appendix. 
Keira Murphy, Staff Writer
Keira Murphy, a Senior at Hinsdale South, has been on the Stinger Staff since Junior year. She has played on the golf team for 3 years. Her favorite state to visit is New York.

Comments (0)

All Stinger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *