“I Jump for Myself”- Silva Müller
Trampolinist Silva has such a brilliant mentality when overcoming the everyday struggle. Make a little time to read through her story to find how someone conquers the fears of being a trampolinist.
Why did you choose trampoline as your sport?
In primary school, I started with gymnastics, which I did until I turned 14 years old. Trampoliners were training in the same sports hall. Their coach invited me to join the session every once in a while and noticed my talent. So for a couple of years, I did trampoline and gymnastics at the same time. At one point I had to make a decision to totally focus and reach my best in one of the disciplines. Since I didn’t make any major progress in gymnastics, I chose trampoline.
In 2014 you became junior world champion in Daytona Beach. This requires many hours of training. What keeps you motivated?
Becoming junior world champion in 2014 was amazing. Often people don’t see the hard work it requires. Hundreds of hours of training lead to an event like that and you hit many bumps on the way. It’s important to keep going. I don’t have much free time, which means that close friends and family have to back down often. They are used to it and understanding because it has been like that since I was young. There are definitely days where I don’t feel like training at all. On those days I’m missing all my motivation yet I know what I’m working for. So I stop thinking and just start training. Most of the times the motivation kicks. Days where nothing works out and you’re really struggling are the ones that cause the biggest progress. Being able to overcome your weaker self means you can trust your capabilities in tough situations on competition day.
Are there days where you can’t motivate yourself for a workout?
Definitely. When I really can’t get over it because it’s physically or mentally not possible, I take a day off. Usually, it’s not harmful. Quite the reverse you can start relaxed and motivated into a fresh day.
Shortly before the European games in Baku in 2015, you got injured. What happened? How did you handle this setback and have you had to face any other setbacks yet?
In 2015 I had an inflammation in one of the ligaments in my ac joint and couldn’t move my arm. A day before takeoff I was told that the games were off the table for me. That knocked me down for a while because I didn’t just miss out on the competition I also couldn’t experience being part of such a big event. It’s only natural that you face setbacks and develop doubts over and over again. Especially when you give your best in every session but still gain no recognition from the association.
In April 2017 I broke my foot and couldn’t train for five months. After the first two weeks of training, I decided to take part in the qualification for the world cup. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I wanted to prove that I’m able to fight my way back. Against all odds, I got through the qualification and finished the world cup on 6th place. I was so proud to deliver such a performance after a big injury. At that time the national coach told me that I have a huge potential, probably the biggest in Germany. My success would have been astonishing after such a short rehab. He confirmed that I was on the right way then as a reward I got kicked out of the national squad for 2018. Due to the fact that I didn’t take part in any international competitions, apparently, the world cup didn’t count. Those kinds of decisions make you doubt the whole system but above all your self.
How did you manage to summon up strength?
I took a little break and focused on myself. I tried to figure out what I want and if I really want to put myself in situations like that. Knowing that I have massive talent and that the sport gives me so much joy kept me going.
Have you ever thought about quitting?
I do more than often. The last three years haven’t been easy for me. Physically and with regard to my health I wasn’t able to train the way I used to. Setbacks within the system hit me again and again. Promises didn’t get maintained and so on. I invested so much time, nerves and pain into this sport. I don’t want to quit before I tried to reach my goal and take part in the Olympics.
Your jumps reach heights of 5 to 9 meters. Do you ever get afraid of getting injured?
In the beginning, I was pretty scared of the height but you get used to it. Drops on the matt or next to the trampoline are part of your training. You learn how to protect yourself to not really get injured. You need to be fearless in this sport. When you hold back you risk an injury.
The turns require a sense of direction. How do you train that?
It all depends on repetition. Train, train, train, that’s what you do. You ain’t have a choice.
I read that it requires around a thousand off repetitions to master a new turn. How many hours do you train?
That’s true. The more you do it right, the safer it gets. We train about 20 hours per week, 15 on the trampoline and 5 in the gym.
Do you feel pressure to deliver good results? If so, do they harm you in any way?
Pressure is part of our business. I don’t let it harm me in any way. I jump for myself and not to prove somebody wrong or to fulfil any expectations. It took me a couple of years to realize that. Now I have the composure to ease into a competition.