My second training trip was in sunny Portugal. Saying that, the first week was a bit dull, but still alot warmer than England so I was happy! My girlfriend and I arrived in the afternoon and got to the hotel via taxi and settled in very nicely, which is not what I can say for the Swedish team. They had a horrible journey which involved about three flights and a four hour coach ride. All of a sudden easy jet kicked ass and I will not complain about traveling it again.
The first day typically is never a ball-breaker, as people have traveled long and far and the worst thing you can do when your body is tired is stress it more. Jog, stretch and basic drills was the order of the day, which would set us up real nice for the two week period. Got the chance to chat with Yannick to make sure we were both seeing eye to eye on my training. After telling me he was very happy and could see me jumping high again, it meant alot coming from him, as Yannick never minces his words.
My first trip to South Africa was a massive learning curve for me and at times I felt left behind on everything, but this trip to Portugal I felt light, sharp, focused and more importantly, getting my confidence back whilst jumping.
My bounding has been a main focus, generally through my whole training as the most important thing this year is to get my strength up on that aspect. Every time I go in the gym, I get so strong and muscle bound I have strength equal to the incredible hulk. It sounds great, but when your trying to jump over a stick that’s higher than your ceiling, it tends not to be so cool. This is why I’m not lifting much this year, but stepping up my plyos. Thank god I’ve done this, because I’m now jumping like I should!
In South Africa, the beginning of the year, my overhead shot was 25 metres. Which might not mean much to most of you, but as a high jumper, I was as strong as a thrower! Which yet again, but I’m not wanting to get the green makeup out quite yet. Saying that, kicking the rest of the teams ass was always fun.
When I got to Portugal, I thought this would be the same deal, but I was wrong. I was still kicking their butts, but I was down a few metres. Which scared me to start with, until Yannick told me that my body strength had started to shift towards my jumping. This is what going with the best high jump coach in the world means. He takes each individual and treats them as an individual, what works for me might not work for another and vice versa. He has the knowledge and confidence to produce performance.
Before I met Yannick and the group, I always enjoyed my training, but got scared when jumping. Now, when I jump, it’s fun, exciting and more importantly high. The jumping I did in Portugal was some of my best ever training jumps. Normally I only jump high in competitions, so looking forward to all the hard work coming together.
In the evenings there was nothing to do, so it normally went dinner; sit in reception; have a hot chocolate or a tea; listen to the entertainment; talk shop and then go to bed. One night I was the entertainment and played the bongos like you’ve never heard. Kind of goes with having a father as a drummer. ooooh the rock and roll lifestyle I lead!