Ronnie Baker is one of the leading sprinters in the world this year. He gives us his best pieces of advice for on and off the track.

Championship tip 

Try to focus on yourself and block out all those extra distractions as much as possible. It is important to focus on your own race and execute the plan that you have been working towards. It is not easy to avoid the distractions. It takes a lot of discipline and practice. 

Psychological tip

My mindset going into any track meet is that I am the best person no matter what. I can’t go into a race thinking I am not the best guy in the race.

I can’t be thinking I am the second-best guy. If I go in there with that attitude, then I am the second-best guy. It is important to convince yourself you are the best in the field.

Technical tip

I’ve watched videos of myself in high school and I’ve seen my form change quite a bit. I think that one of the biggest technical aspects I learned came after working with a biomechanist two years ago. He showed me the importance of the knee-lift, which is less a high-lift march and more projecting your knees forward. Once I learned this technique, it changed my whole running form.

Coaching tip

There is no substitute for hard work, especially in the realm of track and field. If you are not working out and working hard, you get exposed in track and field. You cannot get to a level of championship competition, if you don’t work hard.

Top tip for surviving the athletics circuit

Last season I made my debut on the pro circuit and one of the biggest things I learned is if you have a bad race, not to get too down on yourself because you only have three days or so to pick yourself up and race again. I didn’t race as well as I wanted to, but you can’t afford to sit and sulk about it.

Top parental tip

My mum has given me so much advice. We come from a religious family and I’m always told to pray and have faith in what you are doing. She always reminds me that whatever you are trying to accomplish, be appreciative and remember how blessed you really are.

Cooking tip

My top cooking tip is to make sure I have all the ingredients before I start. That is to make sure you prep everything before you cook to make the process run as smoothly as possible. My biggest tip is to plan the whole meal.

Fashion tip

My top fashion tip is to be original and be you. A lot of people get caught up in the trends, but the biggest thing is to be yourself and wear what you want.

Driving tip

I would say never drive when you a sleepy. I have a crazy story from back in my senior summer of high school. I was working a night shift job from 10pm–5am and from there I went straight to a school basketball camp to help out.

When I was young, I believed I was never tired, but driving home I dozed off at the wheel hitting the side railing on the highway. For sure, I woke up immediately after that. I didn’t injure myself but my advice would be never to drive tired.

Vacation tip

Always pick somewhere warm. I am not a fan of cold places even though I lived in Anchorage, Alaska for seven years when it was cold and snowed for much of the year. I think living there really made me appreciate the summertime.

 Social media tip

Don’t believe everything you read on social media. A lot of people project their opinions [on social media] and people’s opinions get mistaken for facts and those facts alter your reality. Often people on social media believe their social media presence is their reality.

I would say take everything you see on there with a grain of salt.

Dating tip

Really work on communication. It goes a lot deeper than just a conversation, especially in a relationship. It is important not to hold back your feelings and communicate to your partner how you feel.