Daylon Daily: The Conqueror or Conquered

Mental toughness a key for Daylon


Courtesy of Andy Thill

Hicks prepares to jump during an indoor track meet on Jan. 14 at the Podium in Spokane, Wash.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

Week two of practice started strong. With the much-needed rest from Sunday, I went into the second week ready for a strong week two. Monday was a light hill session where I felt explosive and was fluid in every way from posture to speed.

One trait I am trying to improve in each workout I do is to keep my posture upright and stout. I learned the more I continue to improve on it, the better I will be as a high jumper. After the light hill runs near Beasley Coliseum, we reached the weights portion of the workout which was where I felt the most confident.

Entering weights, I was somewhat sore from the strenuous first week of practice, but I was determined to start the week off strong. Doing drills such as front split squats and other drills involving my legs, the pain was starting to come in, but it was all worth it in the end. I was able to finish the workout on a strong note and make a good impression on my teammates and coaches nearby.

Tuesday came around and it was that point of the session where conditioning and mental toughness played an essential role. We had nine 200-meter yard runs with limited rest which was sure to put a strain on my body. My goal for the workout was not to be the fastest, but the most consistent with my posture and keeping my composure down the finish line.

When I finished with the conditioning portion of the workout, I felt good, but my body hit a limit as far as what I am capable of doing. The mental toughness aspect of the workout came when I did the core circuit which involved drills that placed strain on my abs.

By the end of the workout, the emotions of pure pain and exhaustion rushed through my mind and I felt ready to just slowly rest, but I went to the team trainers and my body felt back at a high 80-90%.

The athletic trainers at WSU are devoted people who dedicate time to making sure that athletes feel the best they can be for practice and games. I had a much-needed quad stretch from one of the trainers and a balance drill to help keep my posture in check.

Each goal for my workout throughout the year is to stay consistent and elevate week by week personally. Last year, I was caught up in comparing my progress with another athlete’s, but at the end of the day, every athlete on the team is on a different road.

Our goal with being members of the track and field team here at WSU is to bring pride to the university by being the best we can be each day. It can be hard sometimes to look at it from that angle, but with time and experience, my skills as a high jumper will elevate to even higher levels.

Experiences in my childhood being a multi-sport athlete involved with football, basketball and track helped me learn new lessons about myself as an athlete as well that I carry each practice that raised me to conquer the challenges ahead.