Welcome to this new series of articles on how professional athletes (and less pro athletes, as we will see) experience sport! We start this first issue with the high-level pole vaulter Valentin Lavillenie !
2nd in the last elite French championship (2020) and finalist at the Doha world championship (2019), Valentin specialized in pole vaulting like his brother Renaud and has been practicing this discipline for ten years.
This 29-year-old sports enthusiast has agreed to take part in the question and answer game. This is his testimony!
How did you come to sport?
Being hyperactive by nature, I have always needed and wanted to play sports to channel myself. I did a little athletics here, then football there, and also rugby with the school.
But it was athletics that took over, and for good reason, it's really a family affair! Already with my grandparents but also my parents.
Growing up surrounded by athletes, I was inevitably drawn to sport at some point, and more particularly to pole vault!
What is your physical preparation?
My trainer makes me work a lot and on all the aspects required for a good preparation, even if he particularly insists on the technical part.
Besides that, I am very well surrounded because I have a physical trainer as well as a physiotherapist who I see very regularly.
Since my accident in 2018, I really have to take care of my foot and I rely heavily on physical preparation to avoid any new injuries.
And otherwise, regarding training, I'm very focused on the race, my goal is to be as fast as possible and that necessarily requires a lot of training.
I also have to do weight training, to prepare the body to withstand the shocks it may face when I practice jumping.
Finally I do a lot of reinforcement, I would say that it is really an essential point of my preparation.
Do you practice any other sports besides pole vaulting?
I really liked going to play football before. Unfortunately, I can't anymore because it's better to avoid silly injuries, so I don't allow myself to play too much anymore.
I also love playing basketball, or even playing tennis, in fact, I'm a sports enthusiast in general!
Rather sport live or with a controller?
I would rather say live sport but... lately the sport with controller has taken more place!
Afterwards, I mainly play with friends, but I admit that I'm becoming a little geek at the moment 😉