Becoming the greatest is done through hard work. Nevertheless, every great athlete works hard and some more than others. When watching the Usain Bolt documentary, it finally clicked. Usain Bolt has had many injuries that has put us at the edge of our seats when watching his races but was only able to bounce back to still being the greatest because of his team, network around him and the clear vision he had for himself. Even when meeting Bolt at the IAAF Championships when kit carrying, although he was very positive and soaking up the atmosphere, it was clear he came with his goals in mind. This caused me to reflect on the season I had and what went wrong and what is needed to improve.

After bouncing back from my injuries after the season ended, I was disappointed with my performance overall. The way I envisioned the season to be did not go the way I planned. Through all this doubt I started to question myself if I was doing anything wrong. Am I eating right? Am I scared of getting injured again? Maybe I set the bar too high? Thinking back to meeting Bolt, it came to my understanding I did set there bar too high, my goals were not SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound).

Firstly, I was not specific in what I wanted to achieve this season; I did not know where I was planning to go, and the only objective I had was to win. This was my first mistake. Although I was able to run again with a partial injury, I was competing throughout the season without any times to aim for. As the season progressed, hitting certain times was becoming relevant. I convinced myself that my body was 100%, when it was truly not and over-estimated my ability due my performances prior to injury. Therefore, when specific times where set for me, it came to my realisation that I have a lot of work to do in-order to reach such goals.

A goal is measurable when it is easy to determine if it has been accomplished. When I saw the times I needed to meet I knew it would be an uphill climb. At this point in the season I knew just winning wasn’t a good goal to set for myself, as winning required me to focus on athletes in that particular race and how they are progressing instead of pin-pointing what I need to do to improve myself overall. The times in 100m and 200m that I needed to be achieve were unattainable in my current form, despite me being aware of this, I still carried on to pursue a goal that I knew I will never make at this point in time as I had to cut at least 0.5 to a second off my current times. This was my second mistake as I started to lose motivation. This loss of motivation first started to affect my training, then started to change my attitude towards the sport. Competing for the rest of the season was no longer fun.

Eventually, I saw no relevance in competing for the rest of the season as it was no longer important to me and wanted to go into deep training before the winter in-order to re-focus on myself. The one thing I did get right was the last component, which is setting a timeframe to have an objective completed by. During this process of training and fully recovering from injury, I was concentrating on the next season ahead. Avoiding the mistakes of the past I knew I had to be prepared before the New Years Open competition to begin indoors. When I was aware of what I wanted and the steps to get there, all other components of a SMART goal started to fall in place. Now I am more optimistic and looking forward to the season coming up as I have a clear vision due to precise planning.

Through hours and hours of hard work, during winter training in preparation for the New Years Open, there have been different obstacles I have been faced with and that I have overcame through my own efforts. There was a constant mental battle when it came to training but I knew that this season coming up was meant to be a success as my athletic journey has been very tough but I know it can only get better. I really can't believe how much progress I've made in my training already; my strength has dramatically increased, I have a good base of cardiovascular endurance and now all I have to work on now is speed. Winter has always been a time of digging deep and putting in the ground work as well as looking for motivation to keep pushing for the upcoming season. I’m managing to juggle studying whilst getting hard chunks of training in, which is not easy at all. Despite all the endless moaning in training, medals are to be won as evidence of the time put in.