It’s mind over matter on the track

Simone Reynolds practices her javelin-throwing form at the track field at SF State on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Travis Wesley/Golden Gate Xpress)

SF State’s women’s track and field team attributes this season’s steady success to hard work and calm minds.

After returning from the University of Washington Invite in Seattle on Jan. 27, the team moved up in the national rankings from fifth to fourth place, simultaneously making history for SF State’s track and field program.

“I know everyone wants to win, but its kinda doing what it takes to win and to making the sacrifices, and that’s kind of another realm,” said head coach Kendra Reimer. “For every yes you say, you have to say a no too. So if you make a commitment to the track, you’re going to have to say some no’s in your life, and make those tough decisions.”

The team practices three hours a day, six days a week and is determined to keep their high ranking as they approach the NCAA championships. However, strengthening their physical skills on the track is just half the work. The team has to assure that they also prepare themselves mentally for competitions.

Devanique Brown powers through another hurdling practice at SF State on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018. She looks to improve on her time of 9.31 seconds in preparation for the Husky Classic in Seattle, Feb. 9 and 10, 2018. (Travis Wesley/Golden Gate Xpress)

Large meets also have a lot of distractions that can easily shake up a player’s mindset. At high profile competitions, the mood is chaotic and warm-ups are constrained to small spaces. It is crucial that runners and throwers arrive prepared both physically and mentally to a track meet, if they want to perform at their highest caliber, said coach Reimer.

For thrower Destiney Mack-Talalemotu, listening to music is fundamental, especially to clear her mind.

“I just have to remind myself, ‘You’ve done this before, don’t be nervous, you worked hard for this, so don’t be scared to go all out!’” said Mack-Talalemotu.

Runner Timarya Baynard turns to inspirational words before meets.

“I like to listen to sermons and like to get some positive words, and I also like to talk to my coach and ask for advice,” said Baynard. “It helps calm my nerves and get in a better mindset.”

Along with the players, the coaching staff also has to maintain a grounded mentality for their team. According to Reimer, the staff is focused on the tasks at hand and the current goal.

“Our main thing is to stay humble with it and keep pushing on, because every week we have to keep performing, and keep upping our marks,” said Reimer. “Or we will fall off.”

Overall, the team is confident that they will have a successful season.

“I know our team is capable of dropping another bomb,” said Baynard.

The team is heading back to Seattle for the Husky Classic tournament on Feb. 9 and 10.

 

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