Eliza McCartney

How did you get into Pole Vaulting?
I started high jump in school, when I was already doing athletics. I saw a friend was doing high jump and just thought it looked fun. It’s a great rush, that feeling when you make a jump. I also love the community.
How does it feel representing New Zealand?
Because I started so young, being a professional athlete has had a huge impact on my life, and is very much shaping who I am as a person. It’s hard for me to think of the impact that I’m having on other New Zealanders, but every time I pull on that black singlet I couldn’t feel more proud.
How much of Pole Vaulting is mental over the physical?
Strength in pole vaulting is almost just as much mental as it is physical. The mental side can be very tough – it’s hard to get your head into the right space, it requires constant work. Mental barriers work like a block or a wall in your mind that just don’t allow you to do something. When I wasn’t 100% focused, it made things really tough – I always knew I’d get through it, but it was extremely frustrating.
How do you get into the right headspace to compete?
What I found worked best was just relaxing and bringing back the fun! I also just got back to basics. Competing at a high level can be hugely stressful, and there is a huge amount of pressure - now I try and have a little smile before take off to take the edge off. You only have three goes when you jump so it’s crucial to hit certain marks at exactly the right time. I use a lot of visualisation. I go over everything in my heard before I jump.
What about the physical?
In terms of the physical aspects of jumping – you basically need to work every aspect of your body. A general fitness is crucial so I spend a lot of time in the gym. The information contained in this message and or attachments is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any system and destroy any copies.
Be The Inspiration and share your message of support for the New Zealand Olympic Team!
Share your support