A WORKSOP teenager has capped a two-year battle to return to the top of his sport, by capturing his fourth national title.
Trampolinist Jake Chattaway went from competing at an elite level to being unable to get on a trampoline, after suffering ‘lost move syndrome’.
The condition, which can also affect gymnasts and divers, stops athletes from performing skills or techniques that were previously second nature.
He explained to the Guardian how it stopped him from competing in the sport he loves.
“It just hit me,” he said. “I couldn’t go near a trampoline without feeling panicky, and when I did I could only do basic moves.”
Jake’s dad Matthew recalled the moment the condition became evident.
“He came back from his first senior men’s competition, in which he finished sixth, in April 2010, and he couldn’t face getting back on a trampoline.”
“All of a sudden he couldn’t do a single somersault.”
“It was very painful to watch.”
But the 17-year-old was determined to beat the condition, and after a change of club and two years of hard work, he’s done it.
Matthew added: “It’s taken two years to get back to where he was.”
“He went over to Lincoln to a new club and had to start again and learn all the moves again. Having been jumping eight or nine metres, he was back to jumping two metres high.”
“We had arranged to go and see a sports psychologist but then the improvement came – we went out to Portugal, thanks to help from Bassetlaw Community and Volunteering Service, and that was a big turning point.”
“It was just a grind, having the mental toughness to start again.”
“And now he’s back to doing two somersaults with two twists.”
“He has a clear vision of the trampoline for as much of the jump as he can, and he’s put in place safeguards so it doesn’t occur again.”
Jake’s return to the top was sealed in Bristol earlier this month, with a fourth national schools title.
Matthew said: “We don’t know of anyone who has ever done that before, win four of them.”
The youngster is now targeting a good performance at the next national finals in the summer.
He added: My coach Rose has been working with me for a year and a half and now I’m back in the nationals, looking forward to the finals in the summer and then hopefully a trip to Portugal in September.”