Donald Pollitt uses diet, trash talk, experience to prepare for final season for Syracuse

first_img Published on March 25, 2015 at 12:06 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+ Donald Pollitt knew he was behind before he even started.He didn’t execute well out of the blocks, causing a delayed reaction. Instead of being with the field, he was behind. He was trying to play catch-up rather than just leading the pack.Pollitt finished second in the 60-meter hurdles at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship meet at Virginia Tech on Feb. 27 with a time of 7.85 seconds — 0.03 seconds slower than the qualify time for the national championships.Syracuse assistant coach Dave Hegland thought he got unlucky, just a bad day to have a bad day. After a performance like that, Pollitt didn’t need a pep-talk, he said.“It’s just upsetting. That’s all it is,” Pollitt said. “I never want to have that feeling again.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPollitt has been fueled by his previous failure as he trains for outdoor track and field. A senior who is running his final season for Syracuse, he’s improving with the help of constant trash-talk from teammates, a re-focused diet and a new perspective.His dedication to his routines earned him the team’s Most Valuable Player award last season, and he wants to prove he’ll earn it this season.“Even in practice, (Donald’s) striving to be great,” teammate Reggie Morton said. “He pushes everyone. He talks trash all the time, but it keeps long practices fun.”Morton, Pollitt and Freddie Crittenden are roommates and their trash talk flows effortlessly from Call of Duty on the PlayStation at home to drills in Manley Field House.In scramble circuit, a drill in which runners do multiple aerobic exercises then sprint 10 meters, Pollitt pushes his teammates.It’s the same competitive nature in a 20-yard dash between cones — part of an 80-meter fly — where Morton and Pollitt both run around 1.90 seconds where the trash talk really comes out.If someone beats him, Pollitt said, they get in his face. “Oh, what’s up, Donald? You see that time? That used to be your record.”As one runner pushes the other two, the group becomes stronger as they perpetually try to out-do one another. They keep tally marks in their heads, each guy thinking he has more than his teammate.“Every day I see him here, he’s hungry,” Crittenden said. “Everybody’s hungry.”For Pollitt, sometimes he has to battle that craving.He cuts out junk food, juice and pasta — though once every three weeks he allows himself a cookie, or a bite of chocolate.For every breakfast he eats oatmeal and yogurt, lunch is eggs and fruit. Dinner consists of fruit, vegetables, a small carbohydrate portion and protein — chicken, fish, steak, beef or pork.He wakes up at 8:30 every morning and is asleep by 10:30 at night, ensuring the most rest for the best recovery. He sleeps, on average, 9 to 10 hours per night.“Besides classes and practice, I don’t break my routine,” he said. “I try to keep it as simple as possible.”In his last season, Pollitt is enjoying preparation for outdoor track, mostly because he simply enjoys it more.In high school, indoor track wasn’t offered, so he trained for outdoor throughout the winter. Indoor track is also shorter — five, 60-meter hurdles — than outdoor, which is 110-meters and 10 hurdles.It’s this event he enjoys — coupled with the fact that this is his last season — which has Pollitt adopting a new strategy.He wants to be reckless and aggressive. Attack. Hold nothing back.He physically has a longer race to run, but his time at Syracuse is dwindling down. He doesn’t want his last race to finish like it did at Virginia Tech.“Given that ACCs didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, it’s definitely going to throw fuel on the fire, put a chip on my shoulder,” Pollitt said. “It’ll always be in the back of my mind, pushing me.” Commentslast_img