The future is bright for the Brampton, Ont. This past May, Kerr soared to a new personal best of 8.
He went to a college, got injured, came home, and now he appreciates it [more]. He's old enough to say, 'Hey, I'm thankful I had a second chance,'" says the nine-time Olympic gold medallist. A torn meniscus had Kerr questioning his future in track as he missed the entire seasonincluding the Rio Olympics.
More injuries followed and Kerr credits his inner circle for believing in him and preventing those doubts from creeping in further. After two years of college at Maryland Eastern Shore, Kerr had a falling out with his coach and was in search of a new school. Lewis caught wind of this and gave Kerr a phone call.
The rest is history. Just from that initial conversation, Kerr could already tell that things were going to be different. As they talked about their respective visions, Kerr felt a "symbiotic" relationship that he feels is essential in any successful coach-athlete partnership that wasn't present with his old coach. Lewis believes Kerr has what it takes to be a consistent jumper at 8. As a year-old, Lewis says he wasn't much faster than Kerr is right now but could routinely jump that distance.
The eight-time world champion describes long jump as "the most difficult event in track and field" because everything is done in one second and teaching someone to do something in such a period means there's "no thought process" — it's per cent muscle memory and repetition. We work on two different wavelengths,"
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I always told him [that] as soon as I comprehend something, I can do it. But if I don't understand it, I can't replicate it.
When he's barrelling down the runway, Kerr compares it to an airplane. I t doesn't instantly take off from the ground — it progressively builds up speed first. Like his mentor, Kerr has also adopted the hitch kick as opposed to the hang technique he initially used.
When you hang, you're bringing and your weight around and it affects how far you can get," Kerr says. Kerr notes that he needs to do a better job with his body positioning. Chicco Nacion returns to his birthplace of Toronto after growing up in Niagara Falls. Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.