Q&A with Olivia Jarvis
This week at Play-Ex Sports we’ve enjoyed speaking with Olivia Jarvis to discover more about her career.
1. Where did it start and how’s it going?
I actually started my sporting career as a Gymnast from the age of four. I was quite naturally strong and quickly progressed to elite level competition. By the grand ol’ age of 22 (yes that is considered old for a Gymnast) I decided to take on a new challenge and transfer across to Weightlifting. I was lucky to find a great coach Andy Callard and live ten minutes down the road from arguably the best Weightlifting club in the country; Europa. I progressed very quickly picking up numerous English and British Champion titles alongside representing Great Britain at two European Games and a World Championships… so you could say it’s going pretty well!
2. What is the most enjoyable part of your career?
The most enjoyable part of my career has been getting to know a whole new community of people. My club members and my GB Team members are like one big family and have become friends for life, well after I decide to hang up my lifting boots.
3. Who has had the biggest influence on your career so far?
Biggest influence over my career I would have to say my Coach Andy Callard. He is a multiple Commonwealth Game medalist and Olympian.
4. What is your favourite memory or achievement so far?
My favorite moment would have to be winning my first British Championship title which then qualified me for my first international competition. Receiving my lifting suit with the GB flag across my chest was one of my proudest moments that I will cherish forever.
5. If you could improve one area of your performance, what would it be?
Probably two areas for me that I could work on:
1. Nutrition – being in a weight category sport it’s always an area that could be improved to make sure I am fuelling my body in the correct way during training blocks AND when it comes to cutting down body weight safely before a competition
2. Sports Psychology – I’m a good competitor on the day and in the moment (which is handy) but leading up to major competitions and in training I can sometimes lose focus or let nerves get the better of me. So my brain is always something I feel needs to be trained just as hard as my body.
6. Do you have any superstitions or routines that you stick to before competing tournaments?
After weigh in I will always have a peanut butter sandwich, I’m a little bit obsessed with peanut butter and it’s something I can still eat even when I’m nervous!
As for a routine, when I approach the bar I have a set few steps to follow, 1) take a big breath out, 2) nudge the bar with my shin, 3) wipe the bar with my right hand and place it in to position, 4) followed by wiping with my left hand before I lift. It looks a little bit funny but it helps me get settled and focus on my technique/ settle myself before I lift.
7. What do you enjoy doing outside of sport?
Outside of my sport, I enjoy doing lots of things. Being active is a clear one whether that be being outside hiking or going for walks. I love to travel and experience new places. In my more chill out time I love to bake sweet treats or spend time with my close friends and family.
8. What’s the biggest challenge of being a sports professional?
The biggest challenge for me is that my sport doesn’t have any funding. This means I have to work full time which can be quite intense when you are also trying to be the best athlete you can be. It also means difficult choices have to be made about where you spend your money e.g. is it on physio treatment, the right foods, or do I skip all that so that I can save to be able to afford to go on the international trips when I get selected.
9. What’s the best piece of advice you would give to any aspiring sports professional?
Firstly when referring to whether or not to start Weightlifting my advice would be to just give it a go… It’s a great sport, with a great community and can be a great supplement for other sports.
I would also say remember to enjoy every moment of the process. There will be some really tough days (they are inevitable), but without those tough days the good ones wouldn’t feel quite as sweet. Lastly, make sure you have a great support network around you and that you ask for help when you need it.
10. How did you come across Play-Ex Sports and what do you like about the Play-Ex.com platform?
I came across Play-Ex Sports on Instagram. They were really approachable and have been really supportive so far by keeping me in mind when opportunities arise. It’s good to have Play-Ex on my side.
Stay up to date with Olivia Jarvis’ career via social media by following her on Instagram @oliviablatch
Play-Ex Sports is the UK’s only management platform designed exclusively for sports professionals. The platform has revolutionised the way athletes manage their lives and is currently used by over 400 professional athletes across 41 different sports.
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