Steven Hooker

Getting back to number one in 2011

Steven Hooker celebrates winning the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi (Getty Images)Steven Hooker celebrates winning the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi (Getty Images) © Copyright

Cooking for Christmas is like preparing for competition, says Steve Hooker. You need a good build-up.

“We did all the cooking for Christmas this year. My family came to Perth and Katja’s family came out from Russia.

“So we did the hosting. It was different from just turning up at Mum and Dad’s house, a bit more stressful. But I like cooking, so it was a good experience, a good thing to do.

“Cooking Christmas dinner is a very similar process to a preparation for a competition. You’ve got to do a lot of work in the lead-up to ensure that it all works on the day. It’s important not to panic, just make sure you go through the motions and get it all done at the right time.

“There’s no training camp, though. I just did my best to get a bit of cooking done in the lead-up, made sure we had all the right ingredients and then that we got it right on the day.

“Perth had a beautiful Christmas Day. We had breakfast on the beach in the morning. We didn’t have traditional Christmas fare at lunch; instead we did seafood and steak. It was a very Australian Christmas.

“As far as my physical progress goes, I’ve put in a really solid couple of months. I’ve done a lot more training than I thought I would have done in this period.

“I’m doing jumps off the shorter approach. I’m doing some technical work and a lot of running, more running than I’ve done in the past, which is good. I’m working very hard on my speed, and that’s picked up, and working very hard in the gym as well.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to get really strong in my running and also in the gym. I’m making the most of having a break from competition.

“New Year’s resolutions are not really for me. Sometimes you look back at the year, at what went right, and what went wrong. I’m moving forward, I’m happy with my plans for the coming year and I think it’s going to be a very successful year.

“I’m excited about the year ahead and the opportunity it presents.

“After two years at the top, I was ranked No.2 in the world in 2010. That’s definitely a motivation for 2011.

“Looking back at (2010), consistency was what I lacked. That’s why that ranking was what it was. I’ll be going back to a more traditional competition program and I think that’s going to mean, for me, more consistent results.

“I’ll be definitely challenged for that position next year. Number two is not where I wanted to be but I think it’s a fair assessment of how I jumped on average.

“I think I showed in the rest of my competitions that it’s still there, that I still know how to jump high. I’m keen to get back to those heights on a more regular basis. I think I’ve put in place a training program and a plan that’s going to get me jumping what I have in the past, and higher.

“Best wishes to everyone for 2011.”

Steve