A NEW coach, a fresh start and being a proud expectant father – how could I not be excited about what the year has to offer?

I’m delighted my wife Katya and I will become first-time parents in the middle of the year. We are expecting a son and couldn’t be happier.

There has also been change for me at a professional level.

After London, my coach Alex Parnov and I recognised it was time for a change and I have made a recent move to work with Dan Pfaff and his squad in Phoenix.

My season steps up with the Australian Athletics Tour meet in Sydney tomorrow night and then it’s on to Perth. It gives me a good early chance to assess where I’m at in the pole vault.

The timing of these meets suits my travel plans perfectly and I will face some good competition in Steve Lewis and Brad Walker.

The two events cap off what has been a busy six or so months.

My training group in Phoenix is really impressive. It includes Steve Lewis and Holly Bleasdale, who won the European Indoor pole vault title last weekend.

It also includes Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford, who will compete in Australia this month.

Being regularly around such fantastic athletes is very different to the past few years when I’ve virtually trained on my own.

Every day you are pushed to improve and your training partners are out to beat you come competition day. There is no better motivation in the gym, or when jumping, than having this type of friendly rivalry.

The challenge for me since I started working with Dan has been making changes to my jumping style and run-up.

It’s no secret I have had struggles with my body and my vaulting in recent years. Still, I am confident that Dan will make changes for the better.

Also, I couldn’t be more grateful to Alex Parnov for the work he has done with me across so many years.

The relationship I had with Alex was very successful and fulfilling.

Not too many athletes can say they enjoyed the success we did and I will always appreciate him for that.

I have competed once coming into competition this weekend – at the WA state titles two weeks ago.

Jumping in a familiar environment was the perfect way to start my season, and it was great to be back out there.The height I cleared to win wasn’t all that impressive, but I am confident my technique and run-up from a shortened approach are taking me in the right direction.

The challenge since then has been developing my longer approach.

The Sydney Track Classic tomorrow night will be my first event off the full approach of 16 steps and it will be a fantastic gauge of where I am at.

From: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/more-sport/a-birth-and-my-rebirth/story-fnduixme-1226592829139

Hooker Vaulter Magazine
Hooker Vaulter Magazine

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