Transitioning from a College to a Post-Collegiate Thrower
By: Legend Boyesen Hayes
It’s coming close to the end of my first full month of on-site training as a post-collegiate thrower at Garage Strength. Although, I’ve actually been working with Garage Strength online since the summer of 2018 with almost seven months of training now under their system and have seen massive results. My journey transitioning into the post-collegiate world was a decision I made based on one thing. To chase the dream I’ve always had to be a professional athlete. The most important parts of transitioning that I’ve experienced are a few things. Figuring out where I was going to stay, adapting to a new lifestyle after college, and maintaining patience with technique and strength.
My family lives in Virginia Beach but, we are originally from Allentown PA and I have lots of extended family within the area near Garage Strength. So fortunately for me, I’m able to take advantage of staying at my Grandparent’s place while training full-time. Not having to worry about the burden of rent out the gate, I realize this case is rare. It definitely could’ve been feasible for me to rent out a place and get financial help from family too but, there was an opportunity to save money and be able to stay somewhere that I trust. If you’re ever considering moving out of your home state to train full-time I’d make sure that your living situation is something that is feasible for your ability because when training for the day is over that’s the place you’re going to go back to every night.
The lifestyle that I once had in college is now gone and it’s in the name of my goals and dreams. If you’re thinking about training as a full-time athlete and still want to maintain the same amount of partying that’s done in college, I recommend rethinking about it. The game of becoming a professional athlete for some can be a marathon of a journey, compared to the short bursts of improvement that come within college. I’ve had moments to have fun during my time here but, unless you’re part of the amazingly talented 1% that can get away with partying and performing at the highest level, then I suggest cutting it back respectively. A lot of people during this transition phase fail to realize that it may take longer than expected to reach their goals and so they fold during the process too after some failures to expectations. My take is to keep going despite the short-term results, whether they are above or below expectation, and keep treading on because it’s what you love to do that’s it. There is no need for any more validation to yourself or others to do so.
For the sport of discus technique is king, and when I started out training with Garage Strength it’s been the leading thing in my mind while putting work in these first couple months before the season starts. I feel that a lot of times during practice it’s easy to try to chuck the disc as hard as I can to try to impress and feel accepted but, the thing is playing the patient game and absolutely honoring that professional level technique is what will bring me the big goals in the end. Especially for a Division III athlete, my distance to travel to pro level is farther than most coming out of college. Listening to my coach and fellow athletes who’ve achieved the things I want have been a great help for this transition. I’m learning to just trust the process and give the most effort I can, knowing that I may or may not keep my own expectations. Also, keeping that mindset while maintaining the appreciation and excitement for the journey to the dream is my key to balancing this lifestyle.