More to come from Kevona Davis
The recent surge from young Jamaican sprinter Kevona Davis hasn’t come from changes in her training. Instead, according to Edrick Floreal, Davis’ coach at the University of Texas, the advance is the result of a mental breakthrough.
Davis, a 20 year-old sophomore, clocked personal-best times of 10.95 and 22.26 seconds for the 100 metres and 200 metres, respectively, at the recent Big 12 Conference Championships.
“Sometimes the development, the maturity, it takes time,” argued the coach, whose students have included champion hurdlers Omar McLeod, Sydney McLaughlin, Kori Carter and Kenny Harrison. “Julien Alfred, she came here and she was okay, and she sort of developed and came into her own. Some people do that better and faster than some other people. But for Kevona, the development has taken way longer than I thought, or I would hope it would take, and it has nothing to do with her training,” the coach revealed on May 19.
“We didn’t add anything. All that’s changed is we made a breakthrough mentally. We were able to have her come into her own. She finally had a moment when she woke up and she had a really good practice session; and I told her, all the practice sessions you’ve been having are really good. All that’s different, I believe she could run 10.8 all year, but she didn’t believe, so it didn’t matter what I say,” he continued.
“In athletics, you have to believe you can run that fast before you run that fast, but the problem is, I’ve never run that fast. So how do I believe I can do something that I’ve never done,” he reasoned.
“When she saw Julien running fast – and she trains with Julien – and they’re neck to neck, she began to think, wait a minute, her training is the same as my training. Her coach is the same as my coach. She’s doing this, so it means my training also equals these times,” he calculated.
Alfred has run 7.04 seconds for the indoor 60m and 10.81 seconds for 100m this year.
“We were just sitting eating breakfast and Kev just (said), you know what coach, I’m just going to do what you say. And then when she crossed the line, you saw that reaction was like, ‘what?’; and then once she did it one time, now you’re awake. You realise your potential and at that point, the chains holding you back are no longer there.”
Instead of being aggressive, Floreal reassured Davis, and now he can see bright days ahead. “I have no doubt that the best is yet to come for Kev, because she understands now,” he underscored. “She told me after the race, ‘I understand what you want from me now. I understand how the ground forces I have to apply can propel me, I get it now,’” he said.
“This is her time. She’s ready and the best is yet to come, I believe,” the Texas coach concluded.