Excitement for my season opener
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I am going into my first meet of the year with more excitement than ever. I have had a really solid year of training, no injuries, feeling healthier, stronger, and more technically sound than ever.
Last year I was riddled with multiple back injuries, chronic knee problems, rolled ankles, and shoulder pain that cost me my entire competitive season. My training this year has been going so well this year that I have no expectations in a good way.
I finished the 2013 season with a pretty decent mark of 77.23m (253-4) at an all comers meet at Hayward Field, but since the mark was never submitted to USATF I have fallen off of nearly everyone’s radar in 2014.
I had a great training session a month ago at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista where I threw 1 foot off my personal best throwing 82.80m. So it is easy for me to be confident that I am in great shape.
Fellow teammates Ashton Eaton and Brianne Eaton left Eugene to train in Santa Barbra a couple weeks ago and Jesse Williams and I thought it would be a good idea to get some warm weather training before Mt. SAC Relays as well. It’s been a lot of long days under the west grandstands for us at Hayward Field and some sun seemed like the perfect thing to boost our spirits.
We road tripped down to Santa Barbra to stay with an old teammate and friend Cody Flemming. We were able to train at UC Santa Barbra where Cody coaches as well as Westmont College if we needed to.
Thursday is a rest day for Jesse and I, so we drove down to Burbank California, which will make the drive to the meet a lot shorter on Saturday.
Today I have a pre competition lift and a few strides to get my body to wake up and my muscles firing.
In a lot of sports you need to be competing at 80-90% of your ability, but if you don’t compete within the top 5% of your ability in track and field you will have no chance at winning. So a full rest day Thursday and light training day before the meet is what it takes to get the body fresh.
A lot can happen at a meet opener, especially for a javelin thrower. I say this because we don’t have competitions in the winter or fall like the cross country runners or indoor track athletes. We get hungry to throw, and if we aren’t careful overly excited and out of control.
Biggest thing that I will be thinking about is my technique during warm ups. I need to nail down my technique early because when I try to work on things in-between throws it will be too late.
Staying calm is the next thing I will work on. It’s a big meet but if I treat it like the biggest meet of my career it will surely put too much pressure on me.
Lastly, and I think the best thing for me to work on, is to just keep my expectations low. I always set an expectation for myself as well as a lowest acceptable mark I would be happy with. If I keep my expectations really low for this meet I can only surprise myself.
When I threw my personal best 5 years ago at the Pepsi Invitational my coach said, “Cyrus, your goal is to throw 70m again.” I almost laughed out loud because I was coming off of a personal best at the Stanford Invite of 74m and the school record was 77m. But with the low expectation I was able to stay calm, relax and just work on technique. The result was a 9m personal best: 83.16m (272-10).
Speaking of my coach; I am dedicating this year of throwing to her. Christina Scherwin has been my coach since I arrived at Oregon in 2009. She has stuck with me through all the hard times, injuries, and amazing moments. She has dedicated so much of her time, strength, and knowledge on me over the years, and while I know I could never repay her, I dedicate this year to her. A lot of people compete for themselves, fame, glory, and money, but this year is dedicated to the one person that has been through it all with me. My coach.
This meet is going to have a pretty stacked field and I have a good feeling that the throws in America this year are going to be great.
While he won’t be at the meet, American Tim Glover just threw at the Sea Ray Relays 84.01m (275ft), so I am sure everyone will be shooting to match his throw in order to get into the big meets.
Riley Dolezal leads the start list with a personal best that he got at the USA Championships last year of 83.50m. He opened this year with 77.19m and I am sure is trying to prove himself.
Fellow Olympian Sean Furey opened his season at the UCSD meet a couple weeks ago at 80.00m. He is a talented competitor with a lot of enthusiasm. I love throwing with this guy.
Others include Olympian Craig Kinsley, Canadian Kyle Neilsen, and coming off of a one year hiatus Ryan Young will be competing as well.
With this competitive field it should also be a really fun meet. I have been competing against these guys for years, we have developed friendships and I really enjoy throwing against them.
So at my season opener at the Mt SAC Relays, I am just going to have a good time. Far throws will come when you are having a good time!
Mt. SAC Community College (Walnut, California)
1:30pm Men’s and Women’s Elite Javelin