Tom Dollery interview part 1…

This is the first of a series of interviews that I’m doing. The aim is too dig a bit deeper into a person of interest and to see what can be learnt and applied for your own benefit.

The first one is actually my son, Tom, who for somebody of only 17 years, has already achieved many incredible things. 

How did you get into sport?

I tried lots of different sports before I settled on javelin. I swam competitively from an early age, did martial arts, tennis, triathlon/duathlon and rugby. 

Looking back I think it was important to try lots of sports to find what I liked. I wanted to find a sport I really loved and I finally settled on javelin. 

How did you actually get into javelin? 

I was lucky enough to go to Brymore Academy boys school, where they did lots of extra curricular activities at lunch and after school. 

I tried throwing a javelin one lunchtime and was surprised how quick I picked up the basics. Within 3 weeks of ever picking one up I came 3rd in the counties. 

That’s what made me think I had a special affinity towards the sport. 

What have you achieved in your javelin career so far? 

In 3 seasons I’ve managed to get to winning both the counties events, the south west regionals and two years running 3rd then 2nd at the English Schools nationals.

These performances also enabled me to get a scholarship to Taunton school and be chosen for British Athletics AASE mentorship programme. 

What have you learnt from developing your performance to where it is today? 

I’ve learnt that there’s many different ways you can improve, using many types of training. 

I have found SMART methods of training to be the best way. (Specific/measurable/Agreed/Realistic/Time planned).

I learnt a lot from my first season where I didn’t apply these principles and got injured.

I’ve found its important to focus on staying healthy, I’ve learnt how to improve this properly, since starting.

I’ve learnt to be psychologically ready, not just physically ready. On competition day I’m already ready physically. 

The brain is the driving force that takes you to the pinnacle of your performance. 

What advice would you give to somebody wanting to train at your level?

Learn to know what your body is capable of at that time. Focus on the technical not the distance.

Trust in the process under your coaches guidance.

Part 2 will be next week…