So I have my first track meet of the year this Thursday and I have to admit I’m a bit nervous. Now that I’ve given up soccer and put all those hours into track, things have changed for me! Track is VERY important to me and when it’s important to me I want to do well. I’ve been working really hard all winter and I don’t want to let myself down or coach Bill down either. Tonight at practice Dominique gave me a really good pep talk and told me how she prepares mentally right before she competes and it was really helpful. Thanks Dom 🙂
I remember the first day I met Bill…he said “Kayla, javelin is the most volatile sport there is”. I have to admit I didn’t have a clue what he meant by that but since I had just met him I didn’t want to ask him to explain it 🙂
Now after all this training, I know exactly what he meant. You spend months (years) preparing for a meet. You spend hours every week working on strengthening your entire body, you spend hours working on each step of your footwork in the run, you spend hours fine tuning the mechanics of planting your foot and then finally hours working on the actual release of the javelin. No two throws (at this early stage of my training) are the same. Then the day of the meet comes and you only get three throws (to continue on). If the javelin doesn’t hit the ground tip first and sticks, it doesn’t count. The smallest variation like wind or slippery wet grass can completely affect your throw. Some days are going to be better than others just like in practice so now I have to figure out how to be mentally ready for this sport.
In a soccer game you have 90 minutes to figure things out and adjust your game. In Taekwon-Do each pattern lasts at least a few minutes and a sparring round is 2 X 2 minutes long. The only thing I can relate my javelin to is my Power Breaking events. You only get one chance to break the boards. The bottom line is, you have to give it everything that you’ve got in that one strike/kick/punch or the boards don’t break. Now I have to do the same with throwing the javelin. NO holding back plus having to make sure that it not only goes far but that it also sticks into the ground.
I’ve also been training for shot put and a little bit for discus since I will be competing in those events as well for my high school.
I’m really lucky to be training with the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club since all the coaches are amazing and so helpful. We spent so much time with strength training using medicine balls. It’s vital to have a really strong core for all the throwing events to help prevent injury. The core is where you get all your power from. During the winter months we trained in the indoor dome where there was also a weight room which was great. Now that we train at the outdoor track we can only use the medicine balls for warm-ups and strengthening. I’m glad I’m doing some of my own cross-training on the nights that I don’t have track to maintain what I did all winter indoors.