What a competition in Albuquerque! How would you summarize Maicel`s competition? Where there any surprises or some events, where you hoped more from him? Was the second place absolute maximum as Cato and Lazas couldn’t do their best results?
Tremendous heptathlon with lots of emotional roller-coasters! Maicel did an outstanding job and made our goal of being consistent at high level a reality. It is important in our event to be consistent and solid. His female teammate broke the world junior record and he was excited to feed off of that energy. Not having his partner in training Garrett Scantling due to injury made the competition a little 'boring' (haha). Not much of surprised on his marks as we didnt really bank on the indoor season, we agreed we were going to train thru and focus on the big picture, the decathlon. I feel his pole vault started looking at a whole new level as he blew thru his biggest pole so now i need to buy him a new series of much bigger poles as his attempts at 5.15m werent close as the pole was too soft (5m/15.6 flex or 195lbs). The second place is huge for the team and maicel since it is a school record, got 8 points for the team and finally broke the 6000 barrier which was his personal goal. I knew he could beat Lazas at some point. Lazas is a tremendous competitor with endless inner strength and motivation to be the best. I know him and his family and have infite respect for him. Cato is the most talented heptathlete i have ever seen. However the ability to put things together determines the outcome. His injury wasnt completly healed as it seemed.
What kind of year it has been for you and for Maicel? What kind of changes you made in the off-season compered to last autumn and winter. It`s understandable that the PB-s can`t improve as much as they improved in 2013, but are you satisfied with the way he has developed?
We focused more on his relative strength that ultimately will change his speed to much faster times. Being lighter but 50% stronger than last year should make the difference. In addition focusing more on the spinning technique in the shot put added more consistency to his scores. Our combo training in the weightroom that supplements the technical model of the decathlon is i think the key for success in Maicel's career. I am very pleased with his development and cant wait to see what he has in store for the near future!
Please characterize Maicel. For example, could you compare he and his character and strong points with Garrett?
Maicel and Garrett are the perfect combination and ideal training group for decathletes. Two very talented athletes mentally (Maicel) and physically (Garrett). Their talents compliment each others efforts to be the best. Maicel is a model athlete for the american culture as he teaches garrett how to take care of himself and learn how to train hard and not only rely on his talent.
Let`s take the events through. Maicel is naturally a good jumper - long jump, high jump and pole vault -, but what do you think - is the most important thing at the moment to develope these events as they are his strongest points or is it more important to get his sprint speed and and for example shot put better (actually I understand, that 14m is already a very good result for a 21 years old decathlete). For me it seems that Maicel`s speed is the key question, when we ask, could he make another big step (about 8500p) in decathlon. Do you agree?
Agreed. Maicel is a jumper-decathlete. Hoever his leverage (long arms-legs) should be detrimental to his development in the throws and running. He needs time to first improve all 10 events and then put it together in a decathlon, then get consistent. This is what defines an ideal decathlete (ex. Erki Nool). 8500pts is not out of the question but first we have to be consistent over 8000pts then 8250pts then 8400pts. He is young, and hungry for success. One of our characteristics in our group is that we never talk numbers other than numbers at practice and weightroom. We try to be prepared and go to competitions and have fun. That is how you get the most out of our training!
And at last. Have you thought about visiting Estonia some day? Or maybe you have already done it?
Estonia is one of my favorite countries! I visited long time ago for one day and i loved it. One of my former athletes Krister Altosaar gave me a little booklet with beatiful landscapes in estonia and i still have it in my office looking at it every day! I have friends in Estonia in Janek Salmistu and obviously Maicel old coach Tõnu Kaukis. Hopefully the estonian federation will do a coaching roundtable were all of us sit down together and share our thoughts on combined events.