Français
post-it-member post-it-club-finder post-it-coaching
 Latest News  Recent News Headlines

Aug 30 2017 - Athlete Profile: Naomie Maltais: On Harnessing Focus

Naomie Maltais is as focused as they come. As a medical student who just returned from the World Francophone Games, she balances her full-time studies with training for high-level hammer throwing. And the key to doing it all, she says, lies in the mindset. 

 

Despite qualifying for this year’s World Francophone Games team, Naomie didn’t seriously train for track until university. In high school, she kept herself busy playing everything from hockey, to soccer, to volleyball. Though she was interested in the individual sport of athletics, the rural area where she grew up, Val d’Amour, didn’t have the facilities.

 

To make up for this, her parents bought her a discus and a hammer. In grade ten, she practiced launching them on the lawn outside her house.

 

Unhampered by her lack of training, she qualified to represent New Brunswick at the 2013 Canada Summer Games, just a few years into the sport. “There was no club, no coach, and no one to train me when I was younger,” she says. Finally, when she attended the University of Moncton, the knowledgeable coaching staff made her a training program, and she could focus on getting better at the hammer throw.

 

“It was amazing going from no coach to having a program,” Naomie says. “Though I was not used to training every day, I was used to doing sports every day.” Her previous experience in sports had taught her to work hard; however, the steep demands of competition took some adjusting.

 

In athletics, field events are funny beasts. They’re unlike running events, where athletes have a single effort to manage. Instead, field athletes must throw or jump their first of three to six attempts, and, before they can go again, they must wait for the rest of the field to compete.

 

This kind of competitive format leaves more than enough room for distractions. As a result, one of the most important parts to being a strong athlete is learning to manage energy and focus. Whether from it’s from nerves or self-doubt, field events athletes have plenty of time to get stuck in their head.

 

While she has always been able to buckle down and work towards long-term goals – medical school case and point -- for her first few years as a competitive hammer thrower, Naomie struggled with this new kind of focus. “I would get stressed out when I watched other athletes compete,” she says. “I’d end up thinking too much, and would throw into the net.”

 

“I had to learn to keep the focus on myself, to beat myself instead.”

 

“Throwing taught me how to clear my head. Right after the throw you have to think about what you just did, to process it. Now, I do that for a few minutes. Then, I let it go. I think about the next throw, and I don’t think about everything going on around me.” Naomie has a few key words, and a few routines, to help with this process.

 

The mental challenges of sport, though, didn’t end there. In the summer of 2016 she threw the qualification standard, but the team only offered a certain amount of seats. Team Canada-Nouveau Brunswick would be decided by a ranking system, where all athletes would be considered based off their performance’s percentage away from the given standard. Long story short, Naomie knew that even though she had achieved standard, she might not be selected for the team.

 

To make matters worse, most athletes had until April to qualify. Hammer, on the other hand, is only an outdoor, summertime sport; to qualify for the 2017 team, she would depend on her best distance from the previous year.

 

From August to April, Naomie regularly checked the results, knowing there was nothing she could do to change her predicament. If someone came out of left field, she could lose her place on the team. “I had to learn to not think about that, too,” she says. “I had done my best and couldn’t do any more.”

 

“It was been a huge sacrifice to get here,” she says. “I do school and training and not much else.”

 

In the end, her throw was enough to punch her ticket to the games. Once in Abidjan , when she stood up to compete against some of the best in the world, her mantra stayed the same. “At the games, I enjoyed the experience. The new place, all the people. But when it came time to compete, I focused only on my throws, about what I’m about to do, one part at a time.” Naomie finished tenth at the games, with a throw of 42.56m.

2017-11-22 - New Brunswick athletes ready for National Cross Country Championships
2017-11-20 - 18th Annual Gagetown Meet & ANB Awards Gala
2017-11-05 - Atlantic Cross Country Championships Recap
2017-11-02 - Lalonde, Doucet, Dickinson, LeBlanc , Coombes, Church and Arseneault among Sport NB's Konica Minolta Sport Awards Finalist
2017-10-30 - Atlantic Athletics Summit

 News by Month
November 2017 October 2017 September 2017
August 2017 July 2017 June 2017
May 2017 April 2017 March 2017
February 2017 January 2017 December 2016
November 2016 October 2016 September 2016
August 2016 July 2016 June 2016
May 2016 April 2016 March 2016
February 2016 January 2016 December 2015
November 2015 October 2015 September 2015
August 2015 July 2015 June 2015
May 2015 April 2015 March 2015
February 2015 January 2015 December 2014
November 2014 October 2014 September 2014
August 2014 July 2014 June 2014
May 2014 April 2014 March 2014
February 2014 January 2014 December 2013
November 2013 October 2013 September 2013
August 2013 July 2013 June 2013
May 2013 April 2013 March 2013
February 2013 January 2013 December 2012
November 2012 October 2012 September 2012
August 2012 July 2012 June 2012
May 2012 April 2012 March 2012
February 2012 January 2012 December 2011
November 2011 October 2011 September 2011
August 2011 July 2011 June 2011
May 2011 April 2011 March 2011
February 2011 January 2011 December 2010
November 2010 October 2010 September 2010
August 2010 July 2010 June 2010
May 2010 April 2010 March 2010
February 2010 January 2010 December 2009
November 2009 October 2009 September 2009
August 2009 July 2009 June 2009
May 2009 April 2009 March 2009
February 2009 January 2009 December 2008
October 2008 August 2008 July 2008
June 2008 May 2008 April 2008
March 2008 February 2008 January 2008
December 2007 November 2007 October 2007
August 2007 July 2007 June 2007
May 2007 April 2007 March 2007
February 2007 January 2007 December 2006
November 2006 October 2006 August 2006
July 2006 June 2006 May 2006
April 2006 March 2006 February 2006
January 2006 December 2005 November 2005
October 2005 September 2005 August 2005
July 2005 June 2005 May 2005
March 2005 February 2005 January 2005