Keeping Pace with Sarah Thomas

March 11, 2014

Every competition season that an athlete competes in will consist of both ups and downs. There will be times that you will perform at optimal levels, and there are times that you will perform at mediocre levels. Everyone has their good and bad days.

The goal, ultimately, is to increase those days of optimal performance and to decrease the days of mediocrity. This sounds easy enough; just perform better and you will perform optimally at every competition. It is not that simple, however. There has to be a change in the athlete's mentality to reach this goal.

My coach, (assistant) coach (Matt) Kane, spoke to us about having a "turning point" in the season. He explained that there will be days that you won't perform as great as you desire, and discouragement may begin to settle in your mind. It is in those moments that you make a critical decision about the outcome of your season. You can have a passive attitude about the not-so-great performance and accept defeat. When discouragement begins to settle in your mind, the likelihood of you finishing the season with success is slim to none. Your confidence is shattered and your willingness to keep working towards goals is practically gone. This mentality ends your season before it is over.

Instead of allowing this moment to end your season with defeat, that moment can spark a fire in you. With this mentality you are absolutely tired of mediocre performances and you know that there is more in you. You actually get discontented with anything less than optimal. This is your turning point. When an athlete gets tired of losing is when they will do everything it takes to be on top, and they will not stop until their goal is reached.

I have reached my turning point of the season.

SEC Championships did not go as well as I wanted, but I know that there is more in me, and I am not settling for anything less than my best. Seeing my teammates accomplish something as great as becoming a SEC Champion and qualifying to compete against people in the nation boosted my drive to do better, not only for myself, but for my team. I believe that this mentality is present among my teammates. There is a drive in us that will not allow us to settle for anything less than first place. This momentum will carry us into outdoor season in which we will apply to every race, to every jump, and to every throw; and we will keep working until we are on top!