5:37 PM EDT, March 28, 2013
High school junior Dylan Abbott is ready to compete at a higher level on Highland Park High School’s gymnastics team. As he works to increase the difficulty of his pommel horse routine, he takes inspiration from other gymnasts in an effort to perfect his form. He hopes his hard work will lead to a trip to State.
Head coach Doug Foerch, who also coaches Deerfield High School’s gymnastics team, said that Abbott is “the hardest worker in the gym, bar none. [He] is having a breakthrough year.”
Name: Dylan Abbott
Age/year in school: 16/Junior
Hometown: Highland Park
Specialty: Pommel Horse
How long have you participated in gymnastics?
This is my 3rd year doing gymnastics.
What do you love most about gymnastics?
I love the determination and hard work it takes to improve and excel in the sport.
What are your goals for this season? How will you achieve them?
My main goals are to score an 8.0 on pommel horse by the end of the season and to qualify for state level competition in May. To achieve these goals I plan on increasing the difficulty of my routine and working to perfect my form.
What are you looking forward to most this season?
I am looking forward to incorporating more difficult skills into my routine.
Do you have any rituals or superstitions when you play?
Before I compete, I take a four-second breath in through my nose and then exhale for four seconds out of my mouth. I repeat this until the judge signals for me to go. This kind of breathing calms me down and helps me focus on hitting my routine.
Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?
My inspiration comes from other gymnasts. When I watch guys from other schools perform cool tricks or do difficult routines, it motivates me to work harder in the gym to be competitive with them.
If you didn’t participate in gymnastics, what would you be doing?
If I had another six inches I’d be playing basketball, but realistically I’d probably be reading my 50th Stephen King novel.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls because as a rookie on the team, he has to prove himself every time he goes out on the court … and he does.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy other than gymnastics?
I like to play guitar, read, hang out with friends and play video games.
Favorite quote or words to live by:
“The more I practice the luckier I get.”
Profile edited by Lauren Comitor. Local coaches who would like to see an athlete featured in TribLocal should email email@example.com.