World and Olympic bronze medallist Derek Drouin is among a rare band of 2.40m high jumpers. Here the Commonwealth and newly crowned Pan American Games champion offers a little bit of what he has learned.

1. Keep pushing, but don’t push too hard

“Often an athlete can get caught up trying to push themselves into shape, sometimes at great cost to their body. In the past I have been guilty of the same crime. In 2011, I injured a couple of ligaments in my foot but I started training back a little too quickly and reinjured the foot in late 2011. 

“I was told after I sustained the first injury I was going to have a little pain, but I convinced myself that the pain I was experiencing was normal when deep down I knew it was more serious. Thankfully, I learned from that and after reinjuring the foot, I took a more cautious approach.

“Having said that, I have met athletes who believe every little ache and pain is something terrible and they need to take a week off. We have to realise that as an athlete the odd ache and pain is normal. Generally, I've always been very good at listening to my body.”

Derek Drouin ()

Over the past three years Drouin has won World Championship, Olympic, Commonwealth and Pan American Games medals

2. Don’t worry what everyone else is doing

“I remember, particularly when I was a college freshman, I used to look at the types of training other high jumpers were doing and think I had to do that type of training, too! As a rookie I used to get intimidated watching other high jumpers in warm-up or practise. 

“Yet, not everyone responds to training in the same way. You have to do what is right for you and it is very important not to get caught up in what other people are doing. It is hard in the social media age when lots of athletes are posting what they are doing in training, but it is important to ignore all of that and focus on yourself.”

Derek Drouin and London Podium ()

Don't get distracted by what the others are doing, Ivan!

3. Trust your coach

“I sometimes hear an athlete say they don’t think their coach knows what they are doing, but you almost never hear that from a successful athlete. If, as an athlete, you are spending all your time doubting the process, then you are setting yourself up for failure. 

“It is huge for me to know that, going into an important meet my coach [Jeff Huntoon] has prepared me well. Everything might not have gone smoothly, but he gives me the confidence that I am going to compete well. He has coached me since the fall of 2008 and we have a great relationship. He is always very open and happy for some collaboration.”