Brianna Glenn: “I definitely feel that momentum is in my favor. New York is a big part of that, of course”
June 23, 2010 by Jay Hicks
June 23, 2010-San Diego. PRJ: So far 2010 has been the Year of Brianna Glenn with your recent victory (6.78/22-3) at the 2010 adidas Grand Prix.
BG: I wouldn’t totally say that. This year, there are people who have jumped further and more consistently than me. It is shaping up to be a good year and right now, I definitely feel that momentum is in my favor. New York is a big part of that, of course.
PRJ: How proud are you of the major victory in New York? For what seemed like all a few years you kept being asked about it, you kept getting close, and finally broke through. I just wondered, what is like to have this break through with this Diamond League Series win.
BG: I always want to have my best competitions at the times that matter most. I want to know that I can rise to the occasion and perform big on big stages. This is the first year of the Diamond League circuit so those meets are very important to us, especially in the long jump. It’s a guarantee to be jumping against the best jumpers in the world and so doing well at those meets is a great indicator of how you stack up.
PRJ: What would it mean to win at the 2010 USA Outdoor Championships and can you talk about stadium set up?
BG: I competed at Drake in college and I know it’s a great track and an amazing atmosphere. It’s been 8 years since I was National Champion, so I definitely think I’m due for a repeat.
PRJ: Are you motivated at all to be the best long jumper in the world?
BG: I have all the tools necessary to be the best long jumper in the world, it’s just a matter of putting it all together. I believe that if I focus on jumping what I’m capable of and have the skill to do, that will take care of that question.
PRJ: This marks the eighth year in your professional career. Can you compare maybe what your long jumping is now compared to what it was when you started. In general what track and field athletes need to do as they get into their late 20s and early 30s to keep at that level?
BG: Oh, how I wish I had the body I did when I was in my early 20s.
Now I am left foot jumper instead of a right foot jumper when I first turned pro. I definitely wouldn’t recommend other people trying the switch. I’ve learned a lot more about the mental aspect of this sport over the last 8 years. More than anything, the switch has allowed me to be where I’m at now.
Some people might consider me over the hill but I haven’t peaked yet. The exciting part is that my best years are still ahead of me. The hard part of the journey was getting through the rough patches when things weren’t going well and finding the desire and will to continue. I’m happy I fought through the rough times because right now I’m enjoying the sport more than I ever have. The most important thing now is staying healthy.
PRJ: Early in the season you struggled a bit and then it sort of clicked when you got to New York. Do you feel like you’re in better shape with your jumping coming into USA Outdoor Nationals than you were in say April?
BG: The goal is definitely to be in better shape now than in April. So far, I’ve jumped the same outdoor mark that I did indoors and I am in better shape now, so I expect to jump even further in the weeks and months to come. Nationals is important, but because we aren’t trying to make a team, I am more so interested in having the ability to jump well over the next two months, instead of peaking for any one meet.
PRJ: This is the time of year when elite collegiate track athletes are making the transition to the professional ranks. What advice do you have?
BG: If you are dedicated and have the desire though, traveling the world to do what you love is not a bad way to earn a paycheck. The most important thing to realize when turning professional is that it’s a whole different ballgame at this level. For starters, everyone is good. Great collegiate athletes are used to winning all the time and chances are it’s not going to be like that once you’re a pro. It’s also quite different competing in Europe than it is competing in the States.
Rookies have to be patient and give themselves time to adjust to the learning curve because the adjustment to the pro level takes time. The worse thing an athlete can do is to start doubting themselves or their abilities. You can’t ever lose your confidence.
PRJ: Convention thinking is that at U.S. Outdoor Nationals without a World Championship that you compete conservatively. Conventional or conservative is not really what we associate with your jumping? In a major meet, do you have to rein yourself in more or fight to your instincts in the way you attack the board?
BG: I would not even know how to compete conservatively. What does that even mean? I go out there to jump my best and try and win from jump 1 to jump 6.
PRJ: Spoken like a champion. Brianna, thank so much for joining us today. We wish you well this week?
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