Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Great Practice + Video

Just a quick update on my training progress. I have much less knee pain now and had an awesome practice today. I took a couple vaults from 4 lefts on a 15' 13.0 pole and then moved back to 6 lefts. From 6 I blew through all the 16' poles including the 205lb (14.6), so I decided to head back to full approach and take a couple jumps on 5m poles.
I decided to do a little confidence test by taking my first full approach run on a bigger pole than I have ever started on, even in a meet. So I grabbed the 5m 13.8 and ran down the runway and planted it. I got stood up, but I knew I was in good shape so I moved the bar up to 18' and went back to take another jump. When I stepped on the runway I took a couple deep breaths with my eyes closed and focused on 2 cues. This is how I prepare for jumps in a meet. Then I opened my eyes, picked up my pole, and took off down the runway. I planted the pole and swung hard at which point I knew it was going to be good. When I pushed off the pole and went over the bar I realized it was my cleanest 18' jump I had ever had and I roared in celebration. My training partners all high-fived me and we immediately watch the replay on the TiVo. My technique wasn't great, but I still cleared it with authority and gained a huge amount of confidence for the outdoor season. I knew I had what it would take to make the Olympic Trials, but now I believe a spot on the Olympic team is in the possible realm. Here is the video of my jump today:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Back in the Groove

It has been a little while since my last post, but there hasn't been much going on to write about. My last indoor meet was the UW Last Chance Qualifier and it ended the same way all of my other home meets did, with a no height. I had been staying mentally tough this year, even though I had not vaulted to my potential I didn't let it get me down...until the last meet. After "no height"ing more times in one season than I had in my entire career I gave in to the anger and frustration that had been trying to creep in. My confidence was shaken and I felt as though I didn't have the willpower necessary to break though to the next level. After stewing for a couple days I started to think clearly again and made a plan to recharge for the outdoor season. I decided to focus on getting injury free, strong, and fast while holding off on vault practice for a couple weeks. My feet, knees, and back had taken a beating indoors and I was due for some rehab and rest. After some recuperation I began lifting more frequently again and did my first vault practice after a 2-1/2 week break. It was very productive, I was like Liam Neeson in the movie Taken, just on a mission to kick ass. I had total focus during my jumps and was able to get on a 16' 205lb pole from 6 lefts, which was a new landmark for me. My technique was better than it had been all season and now my confidence is renewed. I am really pumped to compete in Stanford on April 7th, my first outdoor meet of the year. Hopefully I will have some good results to report and maybe even a little tan! Until next time, this is Levi signing out.