Emily Freeman is one of those people that you just love. She’s always full of smiles and jokes and never up herself to say hi. She has invited me up to Sheffield to
a) Prepare for the World Indoor Trials this weekend
b) Have a relay practice sessions whilst I am in the country.
Emily and I have a very strange connection when it comes to relay’s. It’s something we have developed over the past 2 years. We sense each other and trust each other when it comes to passing the baton. I can feel her presence as I am running away from the check mark. I trust her implicitly to pass the baton to me. [None of that looking back to see where she is]. I know she will call ‘Hand’ and all I have to do is give her a clear target for the baton.
Em knows it takes me a couple of steps to get the legs turning. But, that if she leaves it too late I will hit that point where I go from 3rdt to 5th gear in a stride. We have been able to play around with check marks. Pushing the boundaries to limits that have put Roger Walters (women’s relay coach) heart in his mouth a couple times. All of course only in practice.
The relay programme has developed and changed a lot from programs I have been part of in the past. The confidence we now have as a team means that we can work on different legs for different runs. The programme is growing incorporating the Juniors and Under 23’s. The recognition that the Senor Women have got from UKA since Gothenburg 2006 and Osaka 2007 has given all the girls the opportunity to cut work hours, to focus on developing our flat speed which will only help the relay. This is why I’m up in Sheffield for the week working with Roger and Em along with preparing for the trials.
The practice went well considering we arrived at the track the same time as the BBC team. They had the whole area booked out so they could begin work on the cabling for the weekend. Not to be detered we used one of the basket ball courts. Roger had driven up from Birmingam to over see the session. As a team we are still working on the new 'Push Pass' that has been adopted across the nation. The beauty of the satallite session is that we had the time to work on personal specifics. In a full session we usually have between 12 and 18 present. Juniors, Under 23's and Seniors. [a little crowded].
So relay practice complete [check] and now focus on the weekend.
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