Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 19, 1997)
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Hie 13 members of the Nebraska women's
gymnastics team spend about 888 hours a school
year — a total of 37 daysworking out in a
cozy practice gym in Mabel Lee Hall.
Spending that much time —at least four
hours every day from August through April —
with the same people has helped the gymnasts
deal with the difficulties of focusing on their
sport and motivating themselves to become
some of the most elite gymnasts in the country,
junior Laurie McLaughlin said.
“We practice a lot more than other sports,"
McLaughlin said. “We don't have any breaks.
Usually the summers our hardest time, so we
can learn new tricks.* >
During the school y€a£ the Comhuskers
HI spend close to an entire day refining their rou
To help the repetition, the radio
always plays, Jhe gymnasts say it help? keep
positive atmosphere in the gym. It alsd hg$p&
die gymnasts Sebauseit representscrowdnoise,
and it is not much of a distraction.
“Good music puts everyone in a good
mood,” senior Kim DeHaan said. “We joke
around. It has to be fun, or you're not going to
work as hard at it."
Although the gymnasts are constantly say
ing words of encouragement and t^pjp^j^lp
one another with problems, the pracu^pa^ not
as loose as a first impression may iftdicpp, NU
Coach Dan Kendig said. /'
“If you’re hot focused, gymnastics is dan
gerous,” McLaughlin said. “If you’re not totally
aware of what you’re doing and what your body
is doing, you could get injured. If you are fo
cused, then you can control your body.”
Because many of the gymnasts have been
injured during their careers, McLaughlin said,
tbe team often acts as a support group.
Del&an said the closeness of the team
makes it stronger.
“Our team is so small, it really allows you
to concentrate on the whole team,” DeHaan
said. “Some sports have 30 or SO people, and
jtou can’t keep track of everyone. Here, you
cab look out over the gym and see what
everyone’s doing and if they’re having a good
. ^ With so much time spent in the gym together,
once the Huskers leave practice, discussing gym
nastics with any team member is not welcomed,
“It’s not my whole life,” she said. “In an
other month, I’m done. But I think it will al
ways be part of my life one way or another.”
.- ' .:$t'
Photos and Story
ALISHA LAMB (left), Shelley Bartlett aed Laurie McLaughlla practice theirtel
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