By Simon Courteille
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Less than three years ago, Marvin Pistol signed with the Entente Athlétique Nord Mayenne. “I was looking for a club with more values than financial means. I also found this closeness to the people I needed,” he explains.
Neither seen nor known, or almost, the hurdler has put down his suitcases in Mayenne with several selections for the French team in his luggage and in particular the 2nd best European performance for juniors when he was only 18 years old.
The following year, he confirmed by finishing 2nd in the French U23 championships. Yes but now, the years have passed, the small physical glitches have intervened, and Marvin Pistol now wants to confirm with the best.
“Perhaps the last year where it can change”
For this, the one who is part of the Nantes national training center has left his job as a sports educator aside since September to devote himself solely to athletics. “This may be the last year where things can change,” he admits.
So, to try to turn a corner, the athlete from Montreuil (93) left for an internship in the United States near Jacksonville (Florida) for three weeks in April.
There, he trained alongside the collective of the France team and its coach Richard Cursaz.
“It was a great experience. In particular, we were able to do a training session with Rana Reider, the coach of André De Grasse (gold medalist at the last Olympic Games in the 200m)”, slips Marvin Pistol who was able to climb in particular to the raised final of a university competition. “We worked well there and this winter. Now, we have to get real times that reflect the work done. »
The quest for the Mediterranean Games
This winter, Marvin Pistol has just regained momentum by finishing 5th in the French Elite indoor championships. He now wants to break the times this summer with one goal in mind: to shine at the Mediterranean Games which will take place in July.
To do this, he must first go below the 13’80 mark, the minimum to participate in this competition.
“This season, I no longer have to go over 14 seconds. The work was done this winter. I have to achieve something that suits me in terms of lap times: 13’50, at least 13’60”
But time is running out, he will only have one last opportunity this Sunday to hope to achieve the minimums during the interclubs.
“Of course there is time pressure. Given what he has shown since this winter, over the whole season, he will necessarily be better than last season.
If he drops his times and his record to 13’81, Marvin Pistol will be able to start dreaming, two years before the Olympic Games in Paris. He doesn’t make it an obsession.
Always very calm and lucid in his speech, he explains:
“With the psychologist, we work a lot on that. If I don’t go to the Games, my career won’t be ruined. It’s a dream, a goal, but there are a lot of things between which my career can already be very beautiful. Before that, the objective is to participate in a maximum of selections for the France team. I try to put the Games less at the center of the project. »
The beneficial contribution of psychology
“For me, it is essential to see a psychologist. “For more than four years and his entry into the Nantes athletics center, Marvin Pistol has been working with Marie Gomez, a sports psychologist.
Relations with his family, his character traits, his feelings in competition, his management of stress, emotions or even that of contact with others… many themes are mentioned with a clear objective: to present oneself in competition at 100%.
“It’s up to you to define the frequency of your appointments and what you want to put inside. Sometimes I go to see her once every three months, but as soon as I have a question, I make an appointment. The psychologist can bring you two or three keys, it reassures and above all you have the solution to your problem. »
The search for the optimal performance zone is one of the main challenges, even if it means completely changing one’s habits.
“For example, in competition, she can make you understand not to go with the others. If that’s what you need, you have to dare, explains the howler, always very lucid in his words. When you’re in a group, it’s frowned upon not to go with the others, but she explains to you that if that’s what you feel, you warn them and there’s no problem. This is your optimal performance zone, so why force yourself to do anything else? It’s not selfishness but it’s succeeding in self-centeredness a little. When you’re in a group where it’s really good to live, sometimes you forget yourself unconsciously because there’s the collective. »
Many eyes will be riveted on the summer performances of the Mayenne.
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