DyeStat IL Athlete Blogs - Tyler Ginger - Stanford Olympia - February 2013
I’m going to kick off these blogs by first thanking Michael Newman for giving me the opportunity to blog along with some incredible athletes. Also, a huge thanks to him for starting up Dyestat again. Last year I would spend hours on Dyestat, and now thanks to him, my friends and I will be able to waste hours looking through stats again.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Tyler Ginger. I’m a senior at Olympia High School. My main sport is track and field, however junior year I picked up cross country (which was fun, but pretty rough for a sprinter). Last season my usual events included 1600 meter relay, the 800 meter relay, the 110 meter high hurdles, and I long jump every once in a while. But, my main event, and my passion, is the pole vault.
I started track in the 7th grade, but didn’t actually start vaulting until my 8th grade year. I really didn’t take pole vaulting seriously until the summer before my freshman year, when I joined the Flying Dragons Pole Vault Club. Ever since, I’ve been vaulting pretty much all year round, with not much of an offseason (just during the fall, when I’m doing XC). I started off slow but picked up some momentum right before my sophomore year. As a result, I’ve had two 2nd place finishes at state (1A in 2011 and 2A in 2012), a school record, and few other accolades.
Last season started off pretty terribly. I found myself fighting off confidence issues the whole indoor season, and a majority of my outdoor season. I’m lucky to have 2 wonderful high school coaches, David Stine and Todd Wigginton, who did nothing but keep pushing me through my season. Their constant encouragement and confidence in me, helped me work out of my rut, and slowly I began to put everything in my vault back together. Despite this early setback, overall I’m pretty happy with how things turned out. I went to state in 3 separate events; the pole vault, 110m high hurdles, and the 800m relay. Our 1600m relay team missed going to state by just 3 hundredths of a second. I will never forget waiting for the final results with my relay team, and finding out we were so close.
The state meet itself was bittersweet. During prelims, I moved on to finals in the pole vault fairly easily. I then went across the field to run my hurdle race, but while doing some starts, I hit a hurdle pretty hard with my trail knee. I tried to run through it but it got really stiff, and I ended up running the slowest race of my season. It was disappointing, but I shook it off, and began thinking about the next event. The last few meets prior to state our 800m meter relay team was dangerously close to a school record and we knew that this was our last shot to get it. As the race started we were well under time for a new school record. But it just wasn’t meant to happen; during our last handoff, we were DQ’d for running out of the exchange zone.
To be honest, I don’t remember much of the finals for pole vault. I was in what some people would call ‘The Zone’ I guess. But I do know the competition came down to a situation where I took a risk and went for the win. Jon Walsh and I were the only two competitors who cleared 15’3. I was first to take and attempt at 15’6 but missed, while Walsh cleared. At this point I was in second based on misses. So I decided to pass my 2 remaining attempts at 15’6 and use them at 15’9. I made 2 solid attempts, but just missed clearing the bar. So I came out with a 2nd place. It was awesome to get another 2nd place finish, and I’m in no way disappointed on how things turned out. But this year I’m pushing for the state title.
So, this past year I’ve stepped up my training to reach that goal. Since last summer I’ve been doing some intense lifting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with a lot of core lifts. While vaulting on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Vault wise I’ve been working mainly on fixing some technical aspects of my jump, and I’ve been doing a lot of gymnastics which help with my overall strength and body control. Because of the lifting and gymnastics I’m really feeling a lot stronger and a lot faster, which means I’ll be able to get on bigger poles, which will take me a lot higher.
However, not all of my training is serious. Having fun is really what all sports are about. Why keep doing something if you don’t enjoy it? The fun is what keeps me sane when things start to seem like a grind. I really enjoy taking video of myself pole vaulting using my helmet camera at practice every once in awhile (I’ll post a link below). A friend of mine at the Flying Dragons and I also love to set up obstacle courses for doing handstands. I do also have a personal life outside of track and field, just like any other teenager. But most of the time they seem to intertwine. A majority of my friends are runners or vaulters, and even my girlfriend is a runner. So I’m never too far away from the sport.
I think I’m going to end it here for now. I would like to thank anyone who read this blog and Michael Newman again for allowing me to do this. My blogs after this I will get much more in depth with my workouts, training, thoughts, or whatever else I decided to write about. In my 4 years as a high school athlete I’ve learned a lot. Hopefully my experience, complaints, comments, thoughts, triumphs, and feelings in later blogs will offer some sort of insight or guidance to those who read them. There will defiantly be more to come!
Here’s a video of me messing around with my helmet camera while practicing, mixed with some random things we do at practice to have a little fun:
And a video of me clearing 15’9 for a new school record:
Any questions or requests? Feel free to send me an E-mail.