Interview with Anna Kattou
A very promising athlete
Anna Kattou is a track athlete since she was 12 years old. Her great performance and upward progress led her to the Junior Teenagers Team of Cyprus. At the same time, she is finding herself into learning music and art. She was able to take a place in Northern Michigan University and she will overall continue her academical and athletic route in America.
1. What motivated you to start this specific sport?
Actually, I have been an athlete since I was a kid and all of my coaches said that I was very good. My coach, however, found me from the middle school competitions and I started from there.
2. Were there times when you thought about giving up? And if so, how did you overcome them?
Yes, last year. I had certain failures and in general I did not reach my goal, the 12 meters. Even though I was very close, for an athlete it's not the same. I reached the point were I was going to training and I was feeling like I lost my interest! So I went to a sports psychologist, who helped me to an extend, but I believe that my faith and strength were more important in my recovery.
3. How did you feel when you finally became a member of the Junior Teenagers Team of Cyprus?
It was really nice! I felt that my effort was worth it and that I was rewarded for my hard work. I was very proud of myself when I made it, since it's one of my biggest accomplishments as of today.
4. What are your goals for the future, when it comes to sports?
As a child I wanted to participate in big competitions. My biggest dream was to go to the Olympic Games. Growing up, however, I started thinking more about professional opportunities. I think I have reached a very satisfactory level and I am not so interested in going to big competitions. I could have stopped now, but this sport has become a part of me that I cannot leave behind.
5. Did this sport affect your life in any way?
Yes, a lot! I spend many hours training, so when I come home I am exhausted. The fact that I had training both morning and afternoon affected my studies a lot and my performance in school. How could I concentrate on reading when I was completely exhausted? My biggest problem was during competitive seasons. I could neither read nor go out with my friends. In general, I was not going out a lot.
6. What do you think is your biggest weakness and what are you doing to improve it?
My weakness is actually a technical problem. I am involved in Triple Jump, which, like any other sport, has its own rules. Personally, I am afraid of the valve. Every athlete has 6 tries, which are either valid or invalid, depending on where they step. There were not a few times when all 6 of my attempts were invalid, simply because I stepped on the "wrong" place. I lost a lot of opportunities because of this and it's a problem I still deal with to this day.
7. What do you think is your strong point as an athlete?
My confidence and faith! I always think that I can do it and no matter what happens I will not give up.
8. What difficulties did you face in the field of sports?
Injuries. This year I missed a lot of opportunities because of a problem I was facing. I had plantar fasciitis, a problem that affected me both physically and psychologically. I lost my temper for a long time and had quite a hard time getting back up.
9. What else do you do besides Triple Jump?
Music! Although I didn't follow it like I did with sports, I have a great passion for music! I sing, I reached Grade 7 in piano and I played clarinet in the Philharmonic Orchestra of Limassol Municipality.
10. What advice would you give to young athletes?
Have dreams! Don't listen to those around you and don't give up! Have goals and not to let them go. Even if it seems impossible, even if there are complications or injuries they must have faith and fight for their goals!