Saturday, April 21, 2012

Petitions and the Importance of Goals

As many people know the USA 2012 WOC team was announced last weekend after the USA Individual Championships held in Georgia, which acted as the Team Trials. Some people may have noticed that my name didn't show up on any lists even though I had been saying I was going to petition to be on the team. And that was the plan... Up until the JK where afterwards I had to make a hard decision.

Although making it on to the Senior team this year being a first year W21 was a long shot in itself, I had always planned on putting in a petition anyway. I had thought "why not! at least to just to see where I might stand." After the British Sprint and Middle championships thought I noticed that I was lacking any clear goals (this was slightly apparent before but became pretty much "deer in the headlights" after). I had gone into the championships with the "I'll see where I fall and get an idea of the standard here" mind set. Which being my first major race in the UK as a senior was probably not a bad plan. Afterwards though I had a better idea of where I stood and I think started making unsaid goals without really realising it. Then came the JK and I wasn't anywhere near where I was hoping. I was upset with myself. I had no proper goals.

After the JK I spent quite a few days going in circles of why I wanted to compete at this level. I talked to many people to get there input on a few thoughts. Thought a lot about where I wanted to go with the sport, goals, and training. But it then came down to the night I had to put in my WOC petition. I was there until almost midnight frantically typing and gathering data for the petition. It was all ready to send in. I had one more conversation and than made the hardest decision I've had to in a while.

I decided I wasn't ready for WOC and that putting in a petition for the USA team even if it was just to "see where I stood" was not what I needed mentally at this moment in time. Being first year W21, I realize that I am not yet at my peak physically to challenge to make a WOC Final. So have decided I want to focus solely on WUOC and aim for WOC in the coming year. This gives me more time to make a plan, some goals and integrate/progress a long side those that partake in the elite performance center here in Edinburgh. I feel waiting a year before challenging for WOC will give me a chance to close the gap physically that currently exists between me and those that have already established themselves as World Class athletes, both here in the UK and across the rest of Europe where the standard is unforgiving.

I have been exposed to a whole new competition field here in the UK and have yet to find my way around, although figuring it out. There is much more depth here than in the states which I'm slowly getting used to. And then the JK attracted elites from other countries as well, many more than I was expecting. I am glad to have this exposure to a larger competition field on a more regular basis. It is nice to be able to see what is truly possible and have that reality check during events that are not World Championships. Also, after racing with EUOC more I have gotten a better idea of where I stand with the girls and it is nice to see that with some hard work I could be up with them as well. The key is going to be to have goals though and believe in them. I have been swimming around a bit with no clear direction in training. Being in Edinburgh has opened my eyes up to so many more possibilities and I think I have stopped settling for mediocre results just because "I'm from the states". Nope I can be as good as them! and I will be with some consistent, focused training.

So we wait now to see the results from the Intercollegiate Championships and the naming of the USA WUOC team. I hope I am given the chance to represent USA in Spain this July!

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