Mary Kim Garrity | Training Track Athlete to Win National Championship
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Training Track Athlete to Win National Championship

Training Track Athlete to Win National Championship

Last week I received an emergency phone call from an athlete whom I have been training for 12 years.  Jeremy Phillips was in Ireland, days away from competing in Ireland’s National Championship Track Meet.  Jeremy could feel in training sessions that his body was not in peak performance mode, and he asked me to fly to Ireland to spend a few days getting him ready for his championship meet. I got the call and got on a plane to help Jeremy.  Just a few days later, I was there celebrating his success when he earned Gold and Silver medals in his events.

Jeremy’s family lived for a long time in Norwell, and he first came to work with me in the clinic at age 12, because he was experiencing growing pains. When Jeremy discovered a passion and talent for track, he spent a lot of time working through my sports performance training regiment, working to optimize his ability to integrate vision, movement, balance, and coordination that resulted in movement efficiency.

Now Jeremy is 24 and an elite track athlete. Jeremy has dual citizenship in the United States and Ireland, and competing and winning at the Ireland National Championship Track Meet was the ultimate goal for Jeremy’s track season–he had been training hard since the fall. What put Jeremy in crisis mode at exactly the wrong time could happen to any athlete.  Jeremy had been in Europe for a month prior to Ireland’s National Championship.  He was traveling a lot by plane to different countries throughout Europe competing in meets. He was worn down, caught strep throat, and was put on antibiotics.

Jeremy is a sprinter, and sprinters are acutely tuned in to their bodies and performance level.  They have to be–every millisecond counts in a sprint.  Jermey could tell that he did not have the explosiveness he needed to compete and win. I flew to Dublin last Thursday to work with Jeremy’s nervous system, strengthening the synergy required between his brain and muscular skeletal system to achieve optimal movement efficiency. Testing revealed that Jeremy’s balance and vision were not functioning properly. The nervous system is extremely delicate. Being sick and taking antibiotics can disrupt that perfect harmony required between the brain and the muscular skeletal system to achieve peak performance.  I took Jeremy through spinal stabilization activation. Then I assessed Jeremy’s vestibular system and balance. It is not uncommon for antibiotics to negatively affect the inner ear and balance. From there I worked on Jeremy’s gaze stability through my Sports Vision Training: firing up his binocular vision (he was mostly relying on his dominant eye), peripheral vision, near to far vision transition, and perceptual training.

On Saturday, July 23, Jeremy was ready for the meet. He won the Men’s Silver Medal in the 200m, and he broke a record for his Irish Track Club when he won the Gold Medal in the 100m, becoming National Champion.

 

I plan to help Jeremy navigate his journey to represent Ireland in the 2020 Olympics.