Emmanuel Stephens

I owe the new breath of life to my athletic career not only to Coach @Stretch_Rayner but the brilliance, dedication of the I.D Program.

This past year has been the best year of my athletics Sprint career.

I was selected into the English Sprinting Squad to compete in Vienna at the Indoor 60m and later as part of a team competing at the London Olympic Stadium. I was selected as anchor man in the 4x100m to bring the batton home at the Olympic Stadium competing against USA, Australia and Portugal. A huge achievement that still has me smiling from ear to ear.

Patience, consistency, a dedicated strength coach, mental strength and nutrition guidance were all critical to my success.

Lets rewind and I will tell you how I got there, it was not easy.

Day 1: I was broken. I had several injuries:
hamstrings, grade 1 tear on the left and grade 2 on the right; right knee patella tendon tear and an issue with my right hip.

Mentally, emotionally, and physically I was not ready to start training. I was unable to lift weight due to injury ehich left me frustrated and with signes of depression.  In order for me to be better than I ever was, I needed to have an I.D program. I needed all the fundamentals the program offered that add up to make me a supreme athlete.

I had my individual assessment, measuring my strengths and weaknesses and BOOM, my program was made ready for me. The fact that the I.D program is made specifically for me was exactly what I needed.  No cookie cutter program was going to help me perform at my best. Every element of the plan is designed to help strengthen my weaknesses and start laying down a foundation to become a weapon.

Lifestyle was the next change I had to make. I needed to come back with a bang and get back to my peak performance levels.  That meant no more late nights on the phone to Bae, getting my 8 hours of sleep. Ensuring I'm hydrated throughout the day and not touring the whole of London after training. Understanding how to eat, drink and snack around training and work.

Coach was always on hand, by facetime or whatsapp call or texts. I would always get a response and understand the choices needed to make to get the maximum from the I.D program.

With my I.D program done, the next step was to sort out my nutrition. We broke down what I would eat for breakfast,  before training, and post gym/sprinting sessions.  My Lunch and dinner was also critical to my recovery, sleep, immune system, and overall health. Healthy snack option between meals was great. The quality and quantity of my food was increased, which had a huge role to play in my success this past year.

Supplementation was a real eye opener, making sure I'm taking the right supplements to help me recover, stay injury free, improve my sleep, and my immune system.  I had to cut out sugars. Giving up my tubs of cookie dough ice cream and glazed doughnuts to start building the engine for this Ferrari. Eating right to put on lean muscle and produce the power I needed to be successful.

One thing I know, coach Stretch and the TSTM team are very dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. Making sure technique is10/10 with every lift.  They are more than just physical coaches, when times get tough they are there to help you mentally and support you when you need it and to push you when you need it.

Breaking personal records were achieved thanks to the belief and motivation installed consistently by coach Stretch. The dedication from a coach I feel is an important component that makes you know that your not alone on the journey. When its time to brake personal bests you have the mental and physical strength because you trust the process, and so does Coach. 

Broken, injured and having to start from the ground up, I can say it was not easy. Every week from August till October pushing through the pain. Having coach there motivating me shouting "come on champ" gave me that push. Frustrating to see how far I had fallen strength wise and not able to do body weight squats. Reality hit me.  Not able to do pull ups push ups and tightness all over, this was a very difficult period but I was not alone. Coach spent hours constantly helping me with stretching routines. As my mobility improved so did my sprinting technique and my lifting technique in the gym.

There were many days where I just felt like giving up. This is pointless, I will never get there. This was the frustration and depression kicking in. Coach Stretch constantly in my ear, "don't worry champ just keep turning up".

That's exactly what I did. Day-after-day, week-after-week, I turned up to build strength, to get stronger, to improve my mobility, and to enhance my fitness levels. Some weeks I made great progress and other weeks I struggling. Week to week making small progress, the journey was not easy, but it was worth it.

On Christmas Day I was training hill repeats and determined as ever, this is how I knew mentally I was where I needed to be.

January 1st 2017, First Race; 60m. I run a new life time best of 6.74sec to win the race and beating one of the all time greats in British Sprints, Dwaine Chambers. A Shock to the stadium and everyone in the country.

3pm, 60m Final, the gun goes, and we are off.vI cross the line, glance at the clock, 6.68sec and new life time best again. A phenomenal moment and a day that changed my season and approach to trainnig. 

I received several calls to compete abroad from different agents and race organisers. I got the call, the right call to compete for England, that moment in time I was in the gym with coach Stretch. We still had work to do so I got back to training.

Fast forward to July London Olympic Stadium, my heart beating faster than ever, waiting on the anchor leg to receive the baton and I'm off. I receive the baton and set off as fast as I could to the finish line.

I went past the Portuguese then past team USA and I was just out dipped by the Australia on the line. What a race what a thrill and what a great end to my season.

I started off the season in the worst possible position, feeling lost and needing a sense of belonging. I give full praise to the I.D program and appreciate the help and support from the TSTM team and Coach Stretch.

I for one can say it's a fantastic feeling when you surpass your goals and set yourself a new level of belief, opportunities that can change your life.

I would like to say a heart warming thank you to Stretch. I would not be where I am today without his consistent support and dedication. When times were hard, he never gave up on me even when I did.

Thank You,

Emmanuel Stephens