Coach brings improvement for Veitch

Shay Veitch. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Shay Veitch. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Shay Veitch was doing pretty well by himself.

Now he has a coach and he is doing even better.

The Ariki athlete has taken a further step this year after linking with Wanaka coach Michael Beable.

Beable brings plenty of experience, having coached 41 national representatives and guided his athletes to more than 150 national titles.

For Veitch, it has been notable in his best event, the long jump, in which some technical adjustments have helped.

A 7.54m jump last month tied him with fellow Otago athlete Felix McDonald atop the national rankings for 2020.

It was a vast improvement on this time last year, when he only occasionally cracked the 7m mark.

Michael Beable. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Michael Beable. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

"He saw me at the national secondary schools and knew I had good spring and speed," Veitch (19) said of Beable.

"But my long jump technique was sub-par and there was at least half a metre he could put on to that in six months, which we’ve done."

He said the main adjustment had been his take-off position.

Previously, he had been planting his jumping foot in front of him, which had caused him to lose a lot of speed as he took off.

It took a while to get right, but once he became comfortable with it, the further jumps came as well.

His times on the track have improved too.

Veitch has delivered wind-assisted marks of 10.62sec and 21.13sec in the 100m and 200m respectively.

He was not too concerned by the wind, knowing a legal personal best was not far away when conditions allowed.

On top of that, he claimed the South Island decathlon championship earlier this month.

It been something he had enjoyed doing, although was unsure whether the multi-event path was one he would go down seriously.

Plans to head to the United States for college had changed too.

He received a scholarship to the University of Otago and has just completed first-year health science.

Between that and having quality facilities and a coach in Dunedin, he said he did not feel the need to leave.

His goal for the season was to be peaking around the time of the national championships in March.

Long-term, it was hard to set too many targets in terms of aiming for international meetings.

However, he said if the 2022 Commonwealth Games qualifying mark was not too out of reach that could be a reasonable goal.

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