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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Jarryd Hayne on hand to help young pair of sprinters

Jarryd Hayne on hand to help young pair of sprinters

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Triple J ... Jarrod Geddes, Jarryd Hayne and Jake Stein.

Hayne on hand to help young pair of sprinters on athletic journey

By Daniel Lane
Sydney Morning Herald
September 18, 2011

AUSTRALIA'S 2016 Olympic medal prospects received a huge boost with Parramatta superstar Jarryd Hayne agreeing to mentor two of the nation's most talented athletes.

Hayne, who wanted to become an Olympic sprinter before he was seduced by rugby league, will help guide talented teens Jake Stein and Jarrod Geddes.

Stein, 17, recently won the IAAF world youth championships octathlon title in France, while Geddes finished the same meet ranked the world's sixth-fastest 17-year-old. Hayne said his own athletics experience - the highlight of which was winning the national schoolboys 100m hurdles title - suggested the pair had a tough road ahead of them.

''The bonus for Jake and Jarrod is they're good mates,'' Hayne told The Sun-Herald. ''They have a close friendship, and that's going to be important because the time [between big events] will test them most, I think. I remember Sally Pearson from when I did athletics. She was a freak even then, but it's only now she's getting recognition for all the hard work she's done.

''Athletics is a hard sport and the moods - the highs and the lows - need to be dealt with.''

Geddes and Stein are members of a private athletics squad, which includes former world discus champion Dani Samuels. Apart from Hayne, broadcaster and renowned motivator Alan Jones, Socceroos Brett Emerton and Mile Sterjovski, Greater Western Sydney sprint coach John Quinn, respected sports scientist Dr Anita Sirotic, WBC cruiserweight contender Danny Green, Australia world championship sprinter Hayley Butler and UFC warrior Jamie TeHuna are on call to provide inspiration and assistance.

Hayne stressed there was a fine line between being a mentor and tormentor. ''I'm my fiercest critic, but I'm my best praiser,'' he said. ''I know when I've had a bad game. I don't need anyone to tell me about that. I've seen players who've let things outside of the game, like the media, get the better of them.''

Hayne will provide insights into competing under pressure, dealing with the weight of personal expectation and other problems that can affect young athletes. ''I'll give the boys help when they need it,'' Hayne said. ''It'd just be me talking about what I've been through.

''Sometimes [when you're chasing a dream] you can be so focused you cut everything off. But when you talk to someone it puts things into perspective. Luke Lewis helped me when I was 19 and made my senior representative debut in the City-Country game. We spoke about how he came up with new ways to attack and play and it stuck with me. Kids have their parents to talk to, but getting insights from people with particular experience can give a different perspective on a situation.''

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