“Eric is perhaps the most driven athlete I have ever coached,” said NV/Demarest assistant track coach Mike Ives.
The “Eric” Ives is talking about is pole vaulter Eric Geider, who will take his talent and skill to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.
Geider downplays his drive, attributing it as nothing more than an aspiration to succeed.
“My desire to win and achieve, reach my personal potential [is what drives me],” he said. “There’s a lot more I can do both physically and mentally.”
The graduating senior is also known for his hard work, which he also downplays, saying it is nothing out of the ordinary. He believes working hard is what everyone should be doing.
“Hard work will put you in a place to allow you to reach your highest potential,” he said. “You should push yourself as far as you can go. I don’t see any other way.
“This goes for both athletics and academics. You are constantly working and advancing. You tailor your skill, talent and mind to the specific activity and achieve.”
This attitude could explain how Geider won the New Jersey Meet of Champions pole vault event this past June.
“His attention to detail is unparalleled as he was constantly fine tuning and perfecting his technique,” Ives said. “This attitude, combined with an unrivaled work ethic has made him one of the best pole vaulters in the state.”
Ives might not know it but he is indirectly responsible for Geider’s interest in pole vaulting. Geider was a middle school student playing soccer and running track when he saw Ives working with some of the pole vaulters on the Demarest team. It piqued his interest and he began pole vaulting in the spring season of his freshman year.
“I really enjoy the challenge,” Geider said. “It’s a skill-driven sport. The preparation consists of running, lifting and gymnastics (to help coordination). It’s a comprehensive sport so mental focus is key. It’s hard to put all the single parts together.
“That’s originally what attracted me to it.”
While he was growing up Geider played soccer – a lot of soccer. He started off in first grade and played on the Vikings team. By fifth grade he was playing on club teams. He also ran track, as his family thought it would be good for cross-training. He played varsity soccer at NV/ Demarest in his freshman and sophomore years and then gave it up to devote himself to pole vaulting full time in his junior year.
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