“Feel fearless to succeed.” - Tori Bowie
The US-sprinter and long jumper on mindset, dreams and tough training sessions.
What's your game plan?
When she enters the room, she has the aura of a champion. She is a champion. Tori Bowie is kind, almost shy and confident at the same time. The sprinter and long jumper loves to laugh and enjoys smashing records and races. In her Twitter channel description it says “My life is a work in progress. I am work in progress!” Tori expresses her ambitions in a down-to-earth and relaxed manner, which makes her an even more fascinating athlete.
This is Tori Bowie’s game plan.
Where do take your speed from?
I don’t know, it’s a gift (laughs). I think it’s just having a gift. And right now I’m just polishing this gift. I’m putting in a ton of work and I’m trying to perfect my technique, but the basis of it, the talent, is given.
You’ve just smashed the Doha Diamond League Record…how does it feel to now have the world-leading time of 10.80 seconds over 100m?
It’s a great feeling, just considering that I know I’m getting closer to my goal. My goal for the year I’ve set was I want to run 10.60-something. And to run 10.80 so early in the season let me know that I’m capable of achieving this goal.
You sent a tweet in February about Feeling Fearless…where does this come from?
It comes from all the hard work that I am putting in. The hard work just gives me the confidence I need in order to step on the track. You have to feel fearless before a competition. You have to go in fearless and full of confidence and determined. I have to go in the starting blocks with a purpose.
I read you and your sister were dragged to the sports field by your basketball coach…when did you start to love athletics?
I mean, growing up in Mississippi is raw, is country, there’s not much there. So we had to make a ton of fun for ourselves and athletics has always been my getaway, my hobby for my entire life.
I never looked at it to do it professional. I handled myself in a professional way, but I think that athletics is always about fun. And if I don’t have fun doing what I’m doing, I won’t get the results. So it always has to be fun.
You enjoy every moment of your hard training sessions?
Oh my god, this is a totally different story (laughs). In training I don’t so much enjoy what I’m doing. I mean, I just have this mindset of ‘this is the only way for doing on how to improve’. If I get back to train: This is how I’m going to improve. This is how I’m going to be the best. I have never enjoyed training. But it always has mattered what I’m doing in training, that meets have been so much fun. There’s my mindset: just go to practice and do what I don’t enjoy so much, but I can enjoy myself in a competition, with good results and great wins.
You were primarily a long jumper until two years ago. What has changed in your Game Plan now that sprinting is your focus?
It’s not really my ideal. Honestly. I always enjoy long jump. If I could jump the season, I would. But together with my coach and my manager we agreed on working towards the big goal: winning a medal in the sprint. We’ll do that and then I’ll come back next year to the world championship and do long jump.
The preparation then won’t be significantly different, because sprint and long jump require pretty much the same training. For long jump I just add something onto the sprint training routine.
And I am so looking forward to the long jump. (laughs)