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Jagger Eaton Explains the Training Behind Becoming an Elite Skateboarder


Jagger Eaton made his Olympic debut during the Tokyo Games on a broken ankle and took home bronze, providing the U.S. with the first-ever Olympic skateboarding medal in the sport’s debut. While not much time has passed, the 23-year-old Arizona native will enter the Paris Games better in both body and mind.

“The biggest takeaway that I took from Tokyo was that it was 10 times gnarlier in my head than it was when I got there,” Eaton said. “I really overthought it. As much as it matters, it’s another contest and it’s exactly where every athlete who wants to be the greatest wants to be.”

After Tokyo, Eaton began devoting time to focusing on himself and rediscovering his overall happiness away from his time on his board. He’s one of the favorites for gold in both the street and park events at the Paris Games this summer and you don’t medal without putting in the work. The five-time Games medalist sat down with M&F to discuss the changes made in his nutrition, training, and life.

Jagger Eaton Isn’t Running From Expectations

Pressure and expectations are common in sports. Representing your country and being a returning medalist only heightens things. Eaton is one of the favorites to bring home gold in both disciplines and he embraces the challenge that provides.

“This is exactly where I want it to be,” Eaton said. “I’m prepared to be in a situation where I am looked at for expectations for our country to get medals. I’m just grateful that people are interested in skateboarding on this level more than anything. The legitimacy that the Olympic Games brings to skateboarding is unlike anything else.”

Happiness is a Choice

Eaton’s first time stepping on a skateboard was at the age of four. At the age of 11, he competed in the 2012 X Games becoming the youngest competitor ever at the time. Through all of the awards, medals, and recognition that came from his talents on the board, Eaton realized that a lot of his overall happiness was dependent on how he performed in training and competition. Not performing up to his standards could lead to how he treated those he loved.

After Tokyo, he decided it was time to focus on his overall happiness. He began diving into Ram Dass’ books, The Power of Now and really began to learn to identify and better value all he had to be happy about.

“I think as athletes, we have such high expectations,” Eaton said. “Even after reading all of the books being completely off social media, and getting rid of the negative habits, it’s still hard for me to maintain my happiness without a great day of skating. The reason why I dove into that was because I noticed that I just I needed to find a reason to be happy almost without anything at all and I believe I found that.”

Training Environment

Due to his unconventional hours of training and competing in both street and park disciplines, Eaton trains mostly with just his coach, Shawn Nicholson. One of the reasons Eaton moved to California was because of the competition and talent within the state. Ideally, he would love to train with the guys who he competes against regularly.

Best Part of Training

There are an endless amount of hours of training for months that go into a 45-second run. Eaton always knew he was good but never envisioned himself being able to operate at the level he is now. There is an obsession within him to push his boundaries and his favorite part of training is peeling back the layers to uncover new levels of greatness.

Jagger Eaton Skatepark Soundtracks

Destroy Lonely and anything new that gets you hyped.

At the Skatepark: Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies and Metallica.

Jagger Eaton Skateboard Warmup

Hamstring activation warm up

Sitting down flex and point your toes while bending over to active hamstrings
Do this 5 times a piece

Calf activation

10 calf raises with feet pointed forward
10 calf raises with feet pointed inward
10 calf raises with feet pointed outward

Balance work

stand on one leg with other knee up
Close one eye for 15 seconds then

alternate

Then do both eyes for 15 seconds
Do 3 rounds each leg of this

Day of Eating

Breakfast: Three eggs, beans, leafy greens. Lots of water. A few pancakes if the training schedule is heavy that day.
Red Bull: 30 minutes before first session
Lunch before second session: Chipotle Bowl: white rice, black beans, chicken, lettuce, corn, red sauce, and cheese. A tortilla shell if extra carbs are needed
Dinner: Steak, rice, mashed potatoes and water
Dessert: Blueberry Muffins

Getting Down To the Finer Details

One of the best things Eaton did for his health was take a gene test to see what he was deficient in and adding supplements for those areas. The difference in how he feels now compared to when he was 19 is day and night. Eaton also says discipline has also been crucial as he doesn’t stray away from eating as clean as he possibly can.

Worst part of training

“For me,” Eaton says, “knowing that the day will not be the same if (training) doesn’t get accomplished.”

Recovery

Icy Hot 

Follow Jagger on Instagram @jaggereaton



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