Kyron McMaster had a rollercoaster 2017 season. The 400m hurdles specialist from the British Virgin Islands entered the world championships ranked number one, was disqualified in the heats and redeemed himself with the overall Diamond League victory. Here the 21-year-old offers some valuable tips.
Stay focused and remain true to yourself. Don’t let the mind wander.
It is important to go into a major championship with no what-ifs. Do not look at other athletes and worry about their times and performances. You need to remain calm and believe in yourself.
Whenever I have a challenging race coming up, I psychologically prepare myself about three weeks before the event by going over ten different scenarios in my head of the potential outcome of the race. So, if the first scenario happens I will know how to run the race. If scenario nine happens I am prepared, too.
Many people say the 400m hurdles is about rhythm, but after a few years competing in the event, I don’t see it as a rhythm. I view it as just running and once your body becomes used to the speed of the event then it becomes easier.
I’m not that technical – I just run and jump!
A coach once told me that practice makes perfect, but nothing in this world is perfect, so what they said was wrong. I would say instead that practice makes improvement. I practice to improve myself.
Top tip for surviving the athletics circuit
For me, this was difficult because 2017 was the first season I had to travel the circuit. Fortunately, I had the support of one of my bests friends, who made it easier my travelling to meets with me. He’d get breakfast and lunch for me and grab my bib-number. He has made it much easier for me and a lot of fun.
My fav food is ribs. I could eat it all day every day. And in terms of a tip, I would get my mum to cook them!
I’m a big fan of Ford Trucks, the F-550s. I see them as the leader in innovation in terms of equipment, quality and their look. Ford is the way to go!
To enjoy the trip more I would say travel with fun people who want to enjoy the same experiences as you. Be adventurous. One place I would love to go, but I’ve never been to is Dubai.
Social media tip
I’m active on Snapchat and Instagram but to any athlete competing ahead of a big competition I would advise them to stay away from social media because a lot of people can say things both good and bad, which can impact negatively. So, often around big competitions I stay off social media.
Be spontaneous and romantic, that’s me. An example of that would be that I’m happy to send a girl an 8ft teddy bear. I’ve done that in the past!