Monday, April 26, 2010

There is such a thing as being too confident!

Well, this past Saturday, the Drake Relays marked my first competition for the 2010 outdoor season… And what a bang I opened up with… a dismal 1.84m (6 ½). I have no one to blame but myself. I’m not injured. I’m in shape. I had my coach on site. So, what gives??? One word – overconfidence.

This season, may possibly be the longest season of my entire career. With the Commonwealth Games occurring in mid October, my training plan is focused towards a later peaking cycle. So, I’m currently in a general preparatory phase. I figured Drake Relays would be a good tester and tune up, with no goal of any earth shattering performances. That was until last week’s practice session leading into Drake Relays. Last week’s practice revealed phenomenal results, far exceeding what I’ve normally been able to do at this time of the year. I mean I literally left the track, stunned by my training performances on the track. This would prove to be my downfall…

My regular pre-competition routines – nope – did not do! My superstitious rituals – nope – did not do! My sports psych preparation – nope – did not do! And not that doing my nails 2 days before a competition (a superstition I have) means I will jump higher, it is a signal of my preparing to compete, along with my pre-competition non-superstitious routines. Every competition must be approached with respect!

But, I felt ready and did not need to prepare like I normally do. At one point, during the competition, my coach was talking to me, and his voice was on mute in my mind. He sounded like the teacher in Charlie Brown’s cartoon, “Wonk, wonk, wonk…” I just wanted to jump, and forget about the technical actions I needed to execute. In the end, I think my pride took the biggest fall. Arghhhh…. 1.84m!!! I can just about scissor that height! Let this be a lesson I remember for the entire season – it is good to be confident, but overconfidence does not get the job done…. Sometimes a little doubt is good.

As I pick my pride off the ground and realize the value of humility, I know I can only go upwards from this starting point. I am reminded of a similar scenario in the ’07 season, when I failed to clear my opening height at Drake Relays. Yes, I did even worse that year, “no heighting”! Once again, overconfidence was a factor. However, I did go on to have my best season, yet, that very same year. Perhaps, this short coming is fortuitous of the 2010 Outdoor season for me…. Let’s hope so!!!

This morning my friend Rose Richmond sent me a text, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ~MLKJ.“ I think this is a challenge, and I definitely have some work to do for my next competition!

Onwards and upwards,

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