World champs silver medallist Daniel Stahl just wants to have fun in the discus ring. The Swedish record holder tells us why.
For me, it is most important to have fun and not think too much before a major championship or qualification. I try to have fun with the team and hang out in the lobby of the hotel and make new friends.
If you are in your room too much you can become stressed and bored. So, during a championship and before the competition I like to hang out with friends, drink coffee and have a laugh.
Discus is not life or death. It is just a sport. Nobody is going to blame you if you don’t throw far. Remember, sport is about trying to be the best you can. Always keep that belief and then, when it comes to a competition, you can throw far and become a champion.
To any younger discus thrower I would say look at lots of videos to learn more about rhythm and technique. I used to learn a lot about basic technique looking at old videos of Wolfgang Schmidt, Gerd Kanter, Mac Wilkins and Lars Riedel.
It is from my coach, Vesteinn Hafsteinsson, who says, ‘do what you need to do to throw the discus far’. It is important to enjoy every moment.
Some people see throwing the discus as a job, but I don’t see it that way. I want to have fun and throw the discus far. It is more like a hobby to me.
Top tip for surviving the athletics circuit
If you want to be a world-class athlete, you need to compete against the very best in meets all around the world. On those long flights I like to listen to music and read a book to relax my brain. When I get off a long flight I like to sleep for a couple of hours and then when I wake up I like to do some technical drills to wake my body up.
I like traditional Swedish and Finnish food and as a thrower when I go to the US training I like the burgers. I also like to fish and eat my own fish. I like to go fishing for halibut, salmon and trout with my father in Norway.
I like street clothes such as jeans, sneakers, but it is also important to have a nice shirt, some nice leather shoes and look good when I am travelling. It is important to look professional.
Don’t drink and drive.
I like to got to Norway for the fishing. Iceland is great for its hot springs and Finland is also nice for holidays. Sweden is also very beautiful. My hometown of Stockholm is close to the sea and has a nice nightlife.
Social media tip
I love Instagram, but for me it is very important not to post anything too political or say anything against fellow competitors. It is important to be nice and ignore any negative comments.
Be nice, be social and look good – although I think most people know how to date!