Sch­midt on an up­wards tra­jec­tory

Herald on Sunday - - SPORT - By David Leg­gat

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

Photosport.nz

Dy­lan Sch­midt has been based in Bel­gium with his coach Jarrod Her­riot for the last month.

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