Brianna Salinaro is 22 years old and the first female American athlete with Cerebral Palsy to ever qualify for the Paraylympics. Brianna is determined to get her first Gold medal in Tokyo 2021. To take her training to the next level she’s training with 2020 Armor.
“I personally struggle with Daedo,” says Salinaro. “For me because of how tight my muscles are it’s hard for me to score. I get tired easily. My legs give up. 2020 Armor has different sensitivity levels you can use so you can gradually increase your power. They even have a chart that shows you how their sensitivity levels compare to Daedos so you can train with 2020 Armor to get better on Daedo. I’m really excited to see how training with 2020 Armor will affect my scoring. I’ve already improved a lot. I think it’s going to be a huge tool for me to get ready for Tokyo 2021.”
The Road to Tokyo 2021 Paralympics
“The grind gets harder as far as putting in more hours,” says Salinaro. “You hone in and focus on that one competition. It’s crazy how everything you worked towards comes down to six minutes and one day. Then you get another six minutes until you get the gold. If not you’re done. Every single time we train it’s about getting ready for that moment so you can seize it.”
This second degree Black Belt is no stranger to fighting for what she wants.
Born with Cerebral Palsy the doctors didn’t think Brianna would be able to walk. When children her age began to walk she couldn’t do it. After multiple hospital visits they weren’t sure if she ever would be able to walk. But she did. This was only the first of many obstacles she overcame.
Despite participating at the highest level of the sport, her condition is one where many doubted if she should even be able to do to Taekwondo. The typical participant is tall and flexible and she’s short and not flexible. Yet nothing would stop her from excelling at the sport she loved. She stood on the podium in 2017 and got the Bronze Medal at the World Championships. At Pan Am she fought in front of thousands of screaming fans.
“When you get to fight in those high level areas with that many people. With all eyes on you kind of thing. It’s an indescribable feeling. It’s like runners high,” says Salinaro. “I think there is two ways ways you can look at nerves and anxiety with sports competition. Either you’re so nervous you are going to shut yourself out, or your going to take that energy and turn it to adrenaline. It’s important to have a good mindset for pre-competition anxiety. Which is why you need to prepare for success. Which is why I’m training with 2020 Armor.”
How Training with 2020 Armor Makes Her Faster for the Paralympics
She’s currently training harder than ever before. With lockdown her training schedule shifted completely. She started doing more strength, conditioning and flexibility training. With CP these are all problem areas for her. She’s been using 2020 Armor’s reaction game to get faster.
“Being that I do have CP, I need to stabilize myself before I kick and that takes time away from my reaction time,” says Salinaro. “I put on the reaction game. It allows me to work with my weakest point. My reaction time has already improved by a lot just by taking away unnecessary steps.”
The Fit Test: Five Minutes to Stay Accountable
Salinaro is also one of the first elite athletes to regularly institute 2020 Armor’s monthly Fit Test. The Fit Test is a 5 minute standardized test that shows athletes where they are with their reaction, stamina and power with measurements provided by 2020 Armor.
“You do that once a month and you can see the progress you are making in the areas,” says Salinaro. “It’s great to be able to see the progress without a guessing game. I think competitions are big markers of whether I’m getting better. Now I don’t have to wait for competition to kind of guide me. It’s important to me to know I’m getting better. With 2020 Armor I have the numbers to prove it.”
Her Future with Data Driven Training
2020 Armor are incredibly excited to work with incredible athletes like Brianna Salinaro. We’re going to meet with her coaches and give them tips for leveraging our analytics system to give her an edge as she trains for Tokyo 2021. Stay tuned for more details.
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