Series11 Nov 2013

Work, rest and play – Brittney Reese


Brittney Reese in the women's Long Jump at the IAAF World Championships Moscow 2013 (© Getty Images)

In the latest in our series of features focusing on the three main aspects of an athlete’s life – work, rest and play – we throw the spotlight on world and Olympic long jump champion Brittney Reese.

The US long jumper is gunning for a hat-trick of long jump titles at the IAAF World Indoor Championships held in Sopot, Poland, in March.


What is your favourite training session?

Brittney Reese: Yoga. I find it's pretty easy for me. My training partners and I love yoga sessions. It is not super hard for us, so when we have yoga it is a good day.

What is your favourite training venue?

BR: I would like to say every day I train in San Diego (at the Olympic Training Centre). The sun is always out. The great weather makes the weather always seem spring-like, which is perfect conditions to train in.

What is your favourite piece of coaching advice?

BR: Coach (Joe) Walker (Brittney’s ex-coach) told me before my World Indoor title win in Istanbul (in 2012) BFT – Be it, feel it and trust it.

What is your least favourite thing about being an athlete?

BR: The long flights. I don’t like not being able to sleep in my own bed or not being able to eat what I want.

What is your favourite music to listen to when training?

BR: I listen to everything, from gospel to hip hop to R&B.


What is your perfect non-training day?

BR: For me, it is relaxing on the couch, watching some sports on TV and playing video games. I love to play Grand Theft Auto and NBA2K14.

What is your favourite form of stress relief?

BR: I’d have to say yoga. It is a great stress reliever after a hard day’s training. Tuesday is a hard training day and to do yoga on a Wednesday really helps.

What is your favourite movie?

BR: Love & Basketball. I love basketball and I’m a big fan of the actress Sanaa Lathan.

What is your favourite music to chill out to?

BR: I listen to a lot of hip hop.

If you could pick any athlete in the world to relax with, who would it be?

BR: It would have to be JJK (Jackie Joyner-Kersee). She has become my mentor and it would great to spend time with her away from the track


We hear you are a big basketball fan. Do you follow a team?

BR: I don’t have a favourite team but I do follow my favourite players. I like to watch LeBron James, Chris Paul and Derrick Rose. I really like LeBron James. He is very confident, very passionate about his sport and loves to improve. I feel that I am similar to LeBron in this way.

What standard did you reach as a basketball player?

BR: I made the all-star team at high school and I made the Hall of Fame at my community college, which is a big accomplishment.

If you could pick one person from athletics who you think would make the best basketball player, who would it be?

BR: I would have to say David Oliver. He has big wide shoulders and would make a great centre. He reminds me of Dwight Howard (the NBA player).

What is your greatest basketball trick?

BR: I used to be able to do the hook. I don’t know whether I could do it now.

Which star basketball player would make the best long jumper?

BR: Derrick Rose. He can jump really high and I feel if you can jump high you can jump long. I’m thinking he could jump around 8.30m.

Steve Landells for the IAAF