Just a Flip Away

Features the thoughts of a PHS gymnast and her coach during this unexpected time.


A group of gymnasts pose for a picture.

Kylee Conley, Social Media Editor

On Wednesday, Dec. 2, Payton Peele (10), and her gymnast coach, Mackenzie Barcelli portrayed their determination and excitement for the upcoming season. When looking back on  other sports who have tried to compete and go about their season, some have not been as successful as others. According to Barcelli their practices will be easier to conduct because the number of gymnasts on the team stands at a whopping eight members. 

Peele has been doing gymnastics since the age of 5, when her mother enrolled her into classes at Indiana Elite Gymnastics. 

“Gymnastics is not just a sport that can just be a part of your life, you seriously have to put your time into it and bust your butt,” Peele said. 

Even though the sophomore said she knows this is a difficult time for many because of all the unexpected turns COVID-19 has taken on people’s daily lives, she still has hope for the upcoming season. 

“I’m a positive person, I always find the silver lining and I’m super excited to compete and work hard with these talented girls.”

The question on a lot of people’s minds is how the coaches plan on conducting practices, since gymnastics has a lot of shared equipment.

Barcelli said she has it all figured out, with many precautions and all of the hope in the world for her team and their upcoming season. 

She gave all of the gymnasts their own chalk buckets and she assigned them all one travel buddy but made sure they were still socially distanced. They also wipe down all of the mats they use and, of course, masks are worn at all times.  

The upcoming season is full of excitement, new possibilities, and also new lessons for the girls and their coach to learn. 

“In gymnastics there is a thing called a mind block, you have a skill then you randomly get scared and you have to re-learn it. This year we are all pretty much learning a new life, so the lesson I learned from that is problem solving. This season will require a lot of problem solving,” Peele said. “Keep faith. Put everything you have into every single practice, because this year you never know when your last practice or meet/game will be.”

Overall, Barceeli is sure her precautions will keep the athletes as safe as possible.

Both Barceeli and Peele have a strong determination for their season to be successful and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to finish the season. Although COVID has messed up many plans, games, practices, etc. it’s important for Peele and her coach to find positivity where they can.