O’Dea (Seattle) senior Tatum Taylor has a serious engine.
Taylor says he runs a 40-yard dash in 4.21 seconds. It’s no wonder the dual-sport athlete was coveted by 19 Division I football programs, including Oregon and Alabama.
Taylor’s quick feet in the 100-meter dashed earned him a state title last season, and he caught the eyes of 23 track programs from the likes of Oregon State, Washington State and Purdue.
In the end, Taylor picked track over football, and this fall he’ll set off to Arizona State, where he’ll work toward his ultimate goal: improving his speed so he can eventually qualify for the 2016 Rio Games and run against Usain Bolt.
Good luck attempting to catch up with Taylor on the track. Fortunately, we ran into Taylor off of it, and he spilled the beans behind an integral part of his pre-race routine: focusing on his race by listening to music.
Tell us about your pre-race game plan.
Taylor: I like to be by myself, listen to pump-up music and visualize about getting out of the blocks and the first step I have to take. I think about technique a lot, like keeping my hip height up and staying on my spike plates.
As you’re visualizing, what kind of music do you listening to?
I like upbeat music to get me hyper. I listen to a lot of hip-hop like Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, Lil Wayne and Jay-Z.
Do you create specific playlists for football versus track?
Yes. I have one for football and one for track. For football, it’s more pump-up music to get me ready to want to go hit somebody. For track, the pace is a little different — more uptempo because I have to have a different mindset.
What’s your go-to song?
“All Gold Everything” by Trinidad James.
How do you discover new music to add to your playlist?
I talk to my friends or I’ll post a status on Facebook asking for song suggestions. I also listen to Pandora.
What’s the most surprising song on your playlist?
The most embarrassing song I have is “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen.