Mental Game: Local Thrower aims for NCAA Championships

Posted at 5:43 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 18:43:24-04

Spend a minute with Baylor shot put and discus thrower Cion Hicks and you can understand why she was voted a team captain. A vibrant personality that lights up any room, but on the in the ring before competitions her killer instinct comes out.

“At the end of the day when I get in the ring, I am just trying to to take heads,” Cion Hicks said.

That competitive fire comes from her parents, Central and Bernadette. They say their daughter’s refuse to lose attitude is the reason for school records and All-Big 12 honors.

“She never counts herself out,” Bernadette Hicks said.

“It’s really I want to compete against myself to be the best I can be,” Central Hicks said.

But early in her career, Cion quickly became her toughest competition.

“It used to be so bad to the point that I would do one throw in a competition and I would start thinking about it so much and wishing I would get that throw back to where I am about to go in my 6th throw and I just wasted 5 other throws," Cion Hicks said.

Cion eventually found mental clarity thanks to a sports psychologist.

“At first I was like ‘not doing that’ that is so weird, you are sending me to a crazy house but it’s for sports," Cion said. "But he learned how to concentrate all of my energy and all of my focus within the ring at that one specific time with that one specific throw that I have.”

It came to good use at the Big 12 championships two weeks ago. Despite finishing second in shot put and discus, she set personal records in both events.

“She said you know what I did, and I said no, what did you do. She said I prayed," Bernadette Hicks said. "I said it works doesn’t it. She said yes.”

“This year I am just being more relaxed more focused, remembering what I did in practice,” Cion Hicks said.

Peace of mind and prayer have become a guiding light to the NCAA Championships. But beneath the new calm Cion is still the same aggressive and motivated thrower ready to come out.

“Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing cause I was looking all calm and stuff when I was in the ring. My teeth started showing, my ears went up and I was like ‘aaaahhhhhhh’," Cion Hicks said.