Bermudian long jump record holder Tyrone Smith one day decided he wanted to become an Olympian – and so he did. He offers his best pieces of advice on life as an athlete.

Championship tip

For a long jumper or even a triple jumper, I’d say always move back four inches from where you were during warm up. I say this because the adrenaline is pumping [at a championship] and you are prone to running quicker than normal and fouling.

It is important to relax and remember it is just another track meet and that you have done this hundreds of times before.

To relax on a competition day, I like to watch comedies. I enjoy Eddie Murphy, Kevin Hart and Dave Chappelle. In terms of movies, I like old-school stuff like Caddyshack.  I like something I know the words to – it stops my mind from thinking!

Psychological tip

It is always important for me whether in competition or training to try and relate to things in terms of a rhythm. So psychologically I’m trying to remember that it is all about rhythm. I imagine you could translate that to many track and field events.

Coaching tip

A favourite tip is from an old university coach, Bryan Schiding, ‘It only takes one jump’.

He meant on any day, it only takes one jump to change your whole life. I always remind myself of this as I push off on the first step of every jump.

Top tip for surviving the athletics circuit

When you are on the circuit try to stick to your normal routine. So, when I am competing in Europe I try to keep that sense of normalcy such as the same bathroom routine as home. I use the same lotions I do back in the US. I try to trick my mind into thinking I am at home. I try to make everything as familiar as possible.

Tyrone Smith competes at the Birmingham Indoor GP (Getty Images)

Parental tip

My dad taught me that if you say you are going to do something, then you do it. When I tell myself I am going to jump a certain distance, I am going to do everything I possibly can to make that happen. I am a goal setter – I set high goals.

When I first said that I was going to the Olympics, my PB at the time was 7.45m, so I set a goal and then made a plan. I guess it is a two-part answer. Set a goal, and make a plan, because without a plan, it is just a dream.

Fashion tip

Express yourselves, people! Express yourself.

The whole world is waiting for you to show who you are as a person. Please don’t put the button down and the collar in, but if that is your style, then you need to own it. I love to express myself through clothes. I like bright colours and combining styles. I like to be myself.

Driving tip

I’m probably not the best person because I get impatient. But I would say never over-estimate your driving abilities, because if you do, you are going to be in big trouble. I like to use a car as a tool to increase my level of happiness. But whatever you do, use the tool properly.

Vacation tip

Turn off your phone and enjoy life. Don’t live your vacation through the phone screen. Don’t try to fight happiness by scrolling and swiping. You are on vacation and if you want to take picture, take a camera. We are all focused on our mobile devices these days, but whatever it is you are not escaping anything if you are on the phone. All you are doing is changing the venue.

Social media tip

Use social media as a tool to accomplish a goal. So, as an athlete use it to and get your name out there, to attract sponsors, who aren’t shoe companies, and use it to interact with fans.

Our sport is in a crisis. We need to get more people involved, so let’s use social media to engage with these people and get them to know us and understand our stories.

Dating tip

The support structure as an athlete is really important. If someone supports your success, even at the expense of their own agenda, then that‘s important as an athlete.

If you are lucky enough to be with another athlete then, remember to return that favour.