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.

2018-07-19 - Director of Run Jump Throw Wheel & Intro Programs Athletics New Brunswick
2018-07-14 - Final Legion Final Legion Team Announcement 2018
2018-07-11 - 2018 Legion Team announcement
2018-07-10 - Laura Dickinson runs at World Juniors Championships
2018-07-09 - NB 18+ Outdoor Provincial Championships and Legion Provincial Meet

 News by Month
July 2018 June 2018 May 2018
April 2018 March 2018 February 2018
January 2018 December 2017 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