Schmidt on an upwards trajectory
Dylan Schmidt arrived at the world trampoline championships in Bulgaria in good form, good spirits and chuffed at how he has developed in the last year.
Schmidt, who finished seventh in the Rio Olympics last year, has qualified in sixth place for the semifinals this weekend. There’s no doubt he’s up in the elite of the discipline. A first world champs medal for a New Zealander is certainly a chance.
Sixth, fourth and second placings at World Cup events this season have shown his progress since Rio. Even though he won’t say so himself, he’s among the athletes the others look out for on the world circuit.
Making the podium at the cup meet in Valladolid, Spain left him gobsmacked.
“Words can’t describe it,” the Te Anau-born, Aucklandbased Schmidt said.
“It was just a cumulation of all the good things we’ve been doing this year. To put up a good performance in the finals, I was super-stoked to get a first World Cup medal.”
Schmidt, who has been based in Belgium with his coach Jarrod Herriot for the last month, knew he had that level of performance in him. He had done quality work in training; doing it in top competition was another big step up.
He believes his biggest improvement in the last five years has come since Rio.
“I’ve been working on a lot of technical stuff and it gives me a lot of confidence and to back it up with good results in World Cups is pretty cool.
“This year I’ve gotten off routines and been happy. I now know there’s going to be good scores because I’m so hard on myself.”
One element of his game the 20-year-old has worked on is lowering the difficulty in his first compulsory routine. Perform a solid routine, avoid too many risks and that will ensure he is in the game when it comes to the second routine which gives athletes a range of options in their moves.
As for the worlds, Schmidt’s mind is all on performance.
Forget talk of medals, call it one step at a time. Do the first part well and good things will follow.
“If you start thinking medals your mind can worry about that, which isn’t a good thing. If I put up a routine I’m happy with then I know I’ve got a chance,” he said.
“For me, it’s just focus on what I need to do and the rest will fall into place.”
This year I’ve gotten off routines and been happy. I now know there’s going to be good scores because I’m so hard on myself.
Dylan Schmidt has been based in Belgium with his coach Jarrod Herriot for the last month.