What kinds of goals did you have set for the 2018 Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, and did you accomplish them?
One of my goals for Outdoor Championships was to make the final for another year. Another goal was to throw at least 75m (246ft) – both of which I was able to accomplish.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals? Do they change depending on the importance of the event?
I always do a muscle activation in the morning of the competition and depending on time of competition, I might do another one in the afternoon to keep loose and the blood flowing. If it’s a long wait, I usually watch cartoons or comedy movies that help relax me and allow me to clear my mind.
What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received in the sport?
I was once told to, ‘focus on what you can control.’ It helped me not worry about how others are competing, the weather, facility conditions, or the officials in some cases.
How has support from the USATF Foundation impacted your career?
Foundation support has allowed me to meet some amazing people in the Foundation that are very passionate about the sport and want all USATF athletes to do the best they can. Knowing that they are such fans themselves wants you to compete that much harder for people who care about you and want to get to know you.
Who are your role models both in and out of the sport?
I have always tried to get as much information from older athletes that have competed in the sport before me. Everyone has a different story of how they got to where they are and all of them inspire me to keep working to be the best javelin thrower and person I can be.
How have you been improving on past training in order to reach your goals for big meets?
Learning what my body can handle and pushing it to the limit with new training while fine tuning old training has helped me get more consistent and confident when at big meets.”
How has support from the Foundation helped you in pursuit of these goals?
The Foundation has helped me get some great training equipment that has helped me get up on the podium at big meets. Because of all the support, I have been able to get into some big meets and focus my time on training and not have to worry about how I can afford to compete in big meets without working a full-time job.
One of the missions of the Foundation is to provide opportunities to emerging athletes giving them a chance to pursue their competitive goals (World Championships/Olympics), what have these opportunities meant to you personally?
Making teams has been an amazing experience that has allowed me to meet some amazing athletes and gain knowledge from them to become better. Coming from a small town in a sport that isn’t very popular, it helps to make it in these big meets to bring the sport/event more recognition. Knowing now about all the work that the Foundation puts into these competitions and setting up meetings with donors has encouraged me to give more back to the sport I love.
What are your strengths and weaknesses mentally and physically, and how does it affect you in competition?
Physically I feel I have a strong arm, which is a strength when used correctly with the rest of the body in a throw, but a weakness when I try to only use my arm to throw. I also currently have a really weak right leg after tearing my Achilles.
Mentally I need to work on putting less pressure on myself to throw a PR every time I step on the runway. Some days are better than others, but I usually try to change too many things at once instead of focusing on a couple things at a time.
Training by myself for the last 10 years has helped build a strong work ethic and the ability to motivate myself. These have helped me stay mentally strong enough to focus when needed to get on to the podium year after year for the past 6 years.
What’s on your workout playlist currently?
My current workout playlist is pretty loaded with classic rock, mash-ups, and EDM music. Really anything that has a beat and is fast to help motivate me.
What’s next? What are your goals as you look forward to Tokyo?
I try to take it one meet at a time, one year at a time, with the overall goal of Tokyo 2020. It is always the goal to make a USA team and compete for the world’s best team.
Right at this moment I am focusing on getting my leg strength back up after my Achilles rupture so I can start the fall training on the right track.