Name: Alex Young
Event: Hammer and Weight Throw
Hometown: La Vergne, TN
High School: La Vergne High School
College/University: Southeastern Louisiana University
Training City: Chapel Hill, NC
Accolades: 2017 USA Indoor and Outdoor Champion
How were you introduced to track and field, and what eventually led you to your event?
I was introduced back in 2008. It was my first time I can recall watching the Beijing Olympic Games on TV. Most importantly, I remember catching the mid-day reviews of the shot put, discus, and hammer events. I remember seeing those events and thinking they looked really cool. The event recaps were always so short, and I remember wanting to find and watch more of the competitions. Specifically, I remember watching the world #2 Reese Hoffa throw the shot, and hearing the commentators rave about the USA having the world’s Top 3 marks heading into the Games. After that, I was hooked! I wanted to try the throwing events for myself. Eventually, I got the opportunity to try shot put and discus a few years later as a sophomore in high school. This opportunity came one day after a football workout, and our track coaches at LHS came in and asked if any of us wanted to join. I thought this would be a good opportunity to help my body control in football. However, track ended up being my best sport at the conclusion of my senior year. I ended up joining Steel Throwers TC in Nashville my senior year led by Coach Jim Brown and Coach Mark Stephens; from there I got to try the weight and hammer for the first time. Those events seemed to be the ones I naturally picked up the fastest. During that time, I just came off of a Tennessee 3A State Championship in the shot put, so I thought I’d be a shot putter in college. Oh, how wrong I was! Haha However, I truly fell in love with the hammer that summer before college.
What is your most memorable experience in the sport?
My most memorable experience was competing in the qualifying round at the 2017 IAAF World Championships! That’s the first time I’ve seen a football sized stadium completely full of people. The atmosphere was amazing. It was electrifying to be in that environment competing against the guys you’ve seen for years on YouTube. It’s an excitement I can’t wait to experience again!
How have you been maintaining through the current uncertainty of the 2020 season?
Honestly, it’s been hard. It’s been difficult knowing the level of preparedness I’ve had for the 2020 season. My 2019 season was full of life changes that really took a lot of time to recover from. I had to work twice as hard in order to get into top form for such an important year. The mentality this year was to remember who I am and stick to my roots! That has helped a tremendous amount in dealing with such uncertainties. I know I’ll be better on the other side no matter what the future brings.
What is something not track and field / throwing related that are you looking forward to in the next year?
I’m really looking forward to starting another degree program. I’ve been really excited to be in a place with so many different universities around to add a third degree go my collection! Academia has always been a place in which I find challenge. A little challenge in my life is always good, so I look forward to the opportunity. I’ll be back in school come Fall 2021.
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Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. . 2/3 got one more to go! This one wasn't easy, but my awesome support system and God got me through it. Southeastern has been so good to me man! A shout out from the president is such an honor. I am blessed to know some amazing people in Louisiana. With eyes forward and a heart wide open nothing can stop you! . If you want to learn more about psychophysiology, I'm your guy. I'm a firm believer in mind over matter, and I have a thesis to show for it. So feel free to ask me about it. I'd love to share it with you! #ULT #WOW #AYO #SLU #Blessed #Family #Graduation #Graduate #Masters #Kinesiology #Sportspsychology #Thesis #Psychophysiology #DrYoungUpNext #ThankGod #GodBless
What do you like to do when you’re not training?
I enjoy video games mostly, but I’ve started to read a bit more than before. I’ve really enjoyed my quiet readings here lately. I’m a huge fan of walks when I’m free. I enjoy having a good laugh and getting food with genuine friends. It all helps clear my mind, especially when things get a bit hectic.
You are a strong advocate for leading by example and role modeling for the next generation. What of your experiences have led you to this path?
Most of the lead by example came from my personality and my faith. I believe that Jesus Christ lived his life as the perfect example for all of us to live in perfect harmony. I think my personality has naturally fallen into that path as well. I’ve never been a very outspoken individual. I was never like that in football either, and that’s a sport full of larger than life personalities who are very outspoken. Naturally, those two factors developed my lead by example mentality. I figured showing someone how to do something rather than telling them how to do something has a greater degree of interpersonal connection.
What advice would you give to your high school freshman self?
I’d tell my high school freshman self to TRULY believe in yourself. I spent too much time limiting abilities by saying, “You’re not good enough!” I would tell myself to have full hearted faith in your God given abilities, and remember the mind holds ultimate potential.
Favorite sport, not track/throwing? Football; Rugby 7s as a strong #2
Favorite pro sports team? Tennessee Titans
Best movie you’ve seen in the past year? V For Vendetta, oldie but goodie
Celebrity or Historic Figure you would most like to meet? Jesus
Who is your track and field / throwing idol? Koji Murofushi
Give a shoutout to your supporters
I want to thank Velaasa for the continuous support. I want to thank my current coach, Amin Nikfar, and all of my previous coaches who have helped my development thus far. I like to thank all my friends and family down in Louisiana and Tennessee for being true sources of encouragement and keeping me grounded. I want to say thank you to anyone who has looked up to me the last few years. It’s always an honor in knowing that there are a few people out there who truly appreciate what I stand for and what I do. I sincerely thank you!