The ‘wrong’ foot is the right foot for Bauer
Lindsay Bauer described her freshman year at Rider University hitting “rock bottom” regarding her track and field career.
And there was nothing she could do about it.
Fast-forward to her sophomore track and field and Bauer is leaps and bounds ahead of her freshman year. It can all be credited to a switch in which foot she was jumping off of in the triple jump.
“Last year as a whole was probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever been faced with,” Bauer said. “I trained hard throughout the fall, but it was very different than the way I practiced in high school. Not to mention that the jumps coach tried to switch my triple jump leg, so I essentially was trying to learn how to triple jump all over again. He tried to make some adjustments to the way I ran as well, and once competitions started I could tell something wasn’t right.”
Bauer, a former high school state medalist, was struggling to reach the sand pit at times.
“As competition went on, my marks kept getting worse and worse until I hit rock bottom,” Bauer said. “The coaching staff made the decision to pull me away from the jumps group so that I could train exclusively with the sprint coach.”
That’s when assistant coach Brett Harvey stepped in. Harvey was the coach that originally recruited Bauer out of Salisbury, and the former Falcon started training with him on a regular basis. Parts of how she trained in high school were sprinkled into her routine.
Before Bauer knew it, she as back to competing the way she did at Salisbury.
“Coach Harvey created an entire new training program tailored just for me, with an emphasis on plyometric, speed work and weight training,” Bauer said. “I lost a lot of muscle after coming to college because the jumps group didn’t lift as often and as intensely as the way I was used to, but Coach Harvey was on board with me getting back to my roots.”
Two weeks before this season’s MAAC Indoor Championships in New York, Bauer had her best collegiate meet since stepping onto Rider’s campus. She broke 18 feet in the long jump and exceeded 37 feet in the triple jump, marks she had set at Salisbury.
Then at the MAAC Indoor Championships, she put together a solid outing in both events again. Bauer came in fifth place in the long jump (5.59 meters) and sixth place in the long jump (11.22 meters).
But after a disheartening freshman season, Bauer is glad to just be back to her normal self.
“I’ve always been told by coaches that I’m goofy-footed, which means that my takeoff foot for long jump and triple jump is the same, when they should be opposite,” Bauer said. “Apparently that’s weird, so the jumps coach just made me switch without giving me much of a chance to prove that I’m able to jump well goofy-footed.
Much like she has set several records at Salisbury and in the Lehigh Valley, Bauer is already etching her name in Rider’s record books. She is fourth on the school’s all-time indoor list in the long jump and eighth in the triple jump.
Up next is the outdoor season. She’ll be jumping with her preferred foot for the first time since Salisbury. And she has big plans.
“I expect a lot of myself for the outdoor season,” Bauer said. “I’m going to keep training hard, fixing my technique and breaking some bad habits. My coaches and I are both really excited. I’m so close to having those really big jumps.”