For Australian athlete Tay-Leiha Clark, the past four years have been a whirlwind. At the age of 16, Clark won silver at the Youth Olympics, which threw her into the spotlight. Now at just 20 years old, she is one of the youngest competitive athletes in triple and long jump, but there’s no stopping this powerhouse. Women’s Health chatted to Clark about how she overcomes setbacks and builds mental resilience in an unforgiving and competitive field.
Tay’s intense training regimen is tailored specifically for that all-important jump.
“Speed and strength is important for a jumper,” Clark explains, “We only have 30 to 40 metres to hit our top speed before we take off for the jump.”
“[In] my specific training regime we target core and glute strength training to ensure I am ready for the high impact sport,” she adds.
Clark says that being a full-time athlete can be hard on her body, especially because she spends plenty of time dealing with environmental elements.
“I am training and competing outdoors all the time which leaves my hair constantly exposed to UV and sweat,” Clark says.
“I need to protect and repair my hair from the damage that harmful UV rays causes, that’s why Pantene’s 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner is my go to.”
Hair care is just one part of her essential preparation routine.
With a sport like long or triple jump you only have three attempts to record your longest jump, so “visualisation is my main key,” Clark says.
“A positive train of thought can be the difference between a good athlete and a great athlete,” she adds.
For her, performance is all about mind over matter
“It’s hard to replicate the vibes and atmosphere of a competition, so sometimes you just have to do your best to be ready for whatever the conditions are on the day.”
The disciplined Clark believes that: “Whatever vibes you put out to the world, the world gives back to you.”
“I live by the law of attraction.”