BY JASMINE TURNER
Daniel Forjan is a junior at the University of Mary Washington and has been a member of the track and field team since his freshman year. Forjan holds school records participating in shot put, discus, hammer and the weight throw with personal bests throws of 15.79 meters in shot put, 44.09 meters in discus, 41.69 meters in hammer and 14.67 meters in weight throw while at UMW.
He holds the indoor and outdoor shot put record at UMW and is currently ranked 16th in Division III of the NCAA. In addition to having plenty of school records in the field, he also holds the school bench-press record at almost 400 pounds. He is two-time All-CAC athlete and CAC champion in shot put.
“I have never seen a point in competing in something if you aren’t trying to be the absolute best in it all the time,” Forjan said. “There’s no point in competing if you are content with just being good at it.”
UMW was not his first choice, as VCU offered what Forjan wanted academically. Yet Forjan has made the most of his time at UMW with his teammates, a circle of close friends, getting a good education and being fortunate enough to excel in his sport. He attributes much success to God.
“God’s got my back through everything so that always helps,” Forjan said. It also has been an easier experience because his family is close to the university.
Although Forjan is confident in his ability to compete, there are times just like anyone else where he gets the “butterflies in his stomach” type feeling.
“In discus and hammer, I have no anxiety, none at all because I don’t care about them as much. I don’t enjoy throwing them, they’re not fun. I literally just go out there and do what I do, whatever happens, happens,” Forjan said. “But usually what happens is good.”
Instead, Forjan focuses all of his pre-performance anxiety on shot put.
“There’s always pressure for me to do really good in it,” he said.
Not only does Forjan feel pressure from his national ranking, he sometimes feels pressure after being praised by teammates.
“That puts pressure on you, but at the same time you’ve got self-expectations, and you’re like ‘wow, I got to do this. I’ve got to keep improving every week.’”
But the anxiety isn’t always there.
Most of his anxiety centers around his own expectations and what he knows he is capable of achieving. “It’s like every time I go out I’m saying to myself ‘Oh my what’s going to happen? Am I going to do good? Am I going to do bad? I know that I have the potential to do good, but is it going to click today or is it not?’ Anxiety is more the frustration than anything else.”
One way that Forjan combats his pre-performance anxiety is with his pre-performance routine.
“Every time before I throw I put my headphones on and walk off, do my little warm up. Right before I throw I like to sit down, I shut my eyes, and I just picture myself at practice. At practice a lot of the times it’s just me throwing alone doing my own thing.”
This routine allows him to go through the motions rather than think about them and by the time he is in the circle to throw his body takes over, easing the performance pressure and allowing him to be the best on his own personal level.
“I don’t ever get nervous that I’m not going to beat somebody or that someone else is better than me,” Forjan said. “It’s just that question of whether I’m going to do as good as I know I can.”