Balancing Act – Mick Seyler’s Three Lives


Keaton Shaffer, Staff Writer

Though only 14 years old, Mick Seyler lives a double life. Actually, he lives three. Not only is Seyler a high school student attending FM9, but he also spends most of his evenings receiving a different type of education, and he has been for some time. You see, Seyler is a gymnast, but that’s not all. We’ve all heard about the kind of work it takes to do gymnastics, especially to be good at it, but for Seyler, that’s only the half of it. Seyler competes in two different types of gymnastics: men’s artistic and Trampoline and Tumbling (T&T). 

“It’s hard. You know, it keeps me in check,” Seyler said. “I like being able to say I do the hardest sport. I also like it whenever I say it’s the hardest sport and everyone starts complaining about it and saying their sport is the hardest, it’s funny.”

Seyler appreciates that the athletic path he’s chosen challenges him constantly. Seyler has to focus on twice the skills a gymnast practicing only one form of gymnastics would, as well as twice the competitions. And yet, Mick still only has the same seven days of the week that we do.

“I do T&T and artistic on Monday and Tuesday. I do T&T on Wednesday, artistic on Thursday, then T&T and artistic on Friday and then artistic on Saturday. There’s like nine practices; it’s a lot of hours, like more than 25,” Seyler said.

With so many responsibilities and commitments, you would think the transition from middle school to high school would be a little daunting, but Seyler claims that it has actually lifted a lot of weight off his shoulders.

“I think it’s actually gotten easier since I only have three classes now,” Seyler said. “I get to leave early. I only have three classes to worry about for homework and stuff.”

That smooth assimilation to high school life was likely helped by the fact that Seyler has watched it be done two times before, as both of his older brothers, Mac and Morgan, are also gymnasts and had many of the same experiences that Seyler has. In fact, all of Seyler’s family members were gymnasts at one point, to the extent that “Seyler” and “Gymnast” might as well be synonymous. 

“My parents went to OU. Both of them went to OU and were on the gymnastics team. And then they opened a gym when I was one. Morgan and Mac worked out there, and then I grew up there.”

Now, Seyler’s parents are coaches at Southlake Gymnastics Academy, the gym that Seyler has attended since he was little, while his brothers follow in their parents’ footsteps. Both are currently training at OU under head coach Mark Williams, while Seyler puts in the work so that he may one day do the same.

“All the college coaches are just gonna be like, ‘Oh, he’s going to OU.’ Mark Williams already said he’s gonna stay for more Seyler.”

For Seyler, gymnastics isn’t just exercise. Though it does keep him in great shape, gymnastics is the frame through which he’s lived his whole life. He cites it as one of the things that has taught him the most. He’s learned these lessons himself, but he also credits the many opportunities he’s had to hear them from the experts.

“I think I’ve learned not to get mad easily. Like literally this week, we went to an elite camp for T&T and they had a sports psychologist there. She was telling us about when you get mad doing a skill, your prefrontal cortex shuts down. And the next turn, you’re not thinking about anything. So I’ve just been thinking about that a lot lately. It’s teaching me patience and to focus,” said Seyler. 

Seyler is about to start his second year as a level nine gymnast in men’s artistic and will be wrapping up his T&T season by competing as a youth elite at Worlds in November.