Tianna Madison is a goal-oriented, well-focused and well-trained professional track and field athlete.
A 2003 Elyria High grad, she also happens to be a former world long jump champion.
Now she wants to share what she’s learned about her sport … with her hometown. And she’ll do just that when she hosts her first-ever track and field clinic Jan. 29 from 12-5 p.m. at Westwood Middle School.
The nine-time state champion and 2005 IAAF world long jump champion is calling the event, “Inspire, Ignite, Explode.”
“I want to have a preseason track clinic to give my hometown and Lorain County a head start going into the upcoming track season,” said the 25-year-old Madison. “Historically, Ohio has provided the most successful cold-weather athletes to the sport. That’s a history to be extremely proud of and to hold on to. I want to help motivate them and remind them that we all come from the same place. They, too, starting now, can determine what type of success they’ll have.”
Madison has helped with a few clinics, but this one is her baby. Her other teaching experience has been as a track assistant at Lincoln Park High School in Orlando, Fla., where she now lives and trains.
The Elyria-based clinic is her debut in terms of running the show.
The mind-set for having the clinic in the dead of winter is simple: timing and inspiration.
“I hear my dad and other high school coaches talk about all the time they spend during the season getting ready for the season,” Madison said.
“All the clinics happen in the summer. The season is over. You learn all this technique, but by the time the next season rolls around you’ve forgotten what you’ve learned. You can’t really use it. I thought maybe there should just be one before the season.”
Madison’s reasons for hosting her own clinic are really as simple as that.
“I don’t really want to coach but I love having clinics,” Madison said. “I like coaching for very short periods of time. The reason I don’t want to coach is because I don’t want to be limited to helping just only one team. Once you sign on with one team, any type of advice that you give to an athlete from another team is considered a type of betrayal of sorts. I don’t think that’s fair. I want to help everybody.”
Madison’s clinic will focus on three things: gaining a competitive mental edge, applied physics for track and training.
“The first half of the clinic is going to be a discussion,” Madison said. “I think it’s very important that we get on the same page as far as why you’re competing, what your goals are and what your motivation would be.
“That’s the one thing that didn’t happen when I was competing. Not that I was competing for the wrong reasons, but if you’re sure about why you’re competing and training with intent and purpose, you’ll be more successful because you’re not wasting energy going back and forth.”
Bobby Madison, Tianna’s dad and Elyria High boys track coach, will help with the clinic.
Madison stresses that the clinic isn’t just for athletes.
“I’m encouraging coaches to come because I want them to have this kind of conversation on day No. 1 with their track team,” Madison said. “Every track coach should know what each individual track athlete wants to accomplish. I know a coach wants to get out there and win championships, but if the athlete only wants to jump 17 feet then it’s not fair to put your goals onto that athlete. You need to help that athlete to reach her own goals.”
From there, Madison wants to break down a track meet as students of the event.
“It’s kind of going to be like a little civics lesson,” Madison said. “It’s one thing to be told what to do, it’s another thing to be told why it works. The second half of the clinic is going to be doing it. It’s going to be weird stuff. When I was first introduced to it, it felt weird to me just by logic. It’s a program to sell out to. It’ll give them a head start to do that before the season so that they don’t waste a lot of time trying to feel it out, to figure it out whether it works or not.”
And even though the clinic will be indoors, she said it won’t curtail the learning.
“Everything I’m selling them is basics,” she said. “It’s a foundation of everything. I did it in (running) flats all fall. Even coming out of blocks you don’t need spikes for that because it’s about body position. I’m not really concerned about the shoes or anything. It’s about whether you can execute about what we discussed.”
The clinic isn’t limited to sprinters and long jumpers.
“If they have to run for their event, they’re welcome,” Madison said. “I think I can manage up to about 100 kids. I don’t know if that is what the gym can manage. I’ll pull down the registration form from the website if it gets ridiculous.”
Madison has a busy month of February coming up as she prepares for 60 meters and long jump at the U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 26-27 in Albuquerque, N.M. She plans to compete at Boston (Feb. 5), Dusseldorf (Feb. 12-13) and France (Feb. 19-20) before returning for the championship.
- What: Inspire, Ignite, Explode! Preseason Track and Field Clinic
- Where: Westwood Middle School, Elyria
- When: Jan. 29, 12-5 p.m.
- Hosted by: Tianna Madison, 2005 IAAF World long jump champ and 2003 Elyria High graduate; assisted by her dad, Bobby, Elyria High boys track coach
- The skinny: The clinic is open to athletes in elementary school, middle school and high school. The fee is $45. An electrolyte sports drink, bottled water and a sports bar will be provided. Parents and/or participants must sign liability waivers.
- For more information: www.tiannamadison.com
Contact Paul Heyse at 440-329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.