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Noah Lyles is changing the way athletes talk about themselves

Noah Lyles is changing the way athletes talk about themselves

During the first episode of the series unseen journey, Available for free on YouTube, Noah Lyles at a promotional meeting. It must answer questions from a heterogeneous audience, not exclusively associated with the world of sports and the world of USATF, which is short for USA Track & Field, the athletics federation of the United States of America. So it is not surprising that, at the end of the impromptu press conference, he is asked about the recipe he has used, over the years, to manage frequent conversations. challenging days, That is, it is inevitable hard days This is what happens to an athlete at his level.

For Ailes, the answer to this question represents an opportunity: to enhance one’s discipline and image, of course, but also to get out of the comfort zone. In his words, in fact, the bombastic wrestling odyssey of the athlete who must not allow himself to be influenced, on pain of descending into failure, is completely absent. Instead, Lyles narrates his unexpected fragility in a disarming way: a way to defuse, even with some simplicity, the contemporary narrative according to which some risers are—or should be—like the superhuman, without flaws and foibles. “I’ll call my mom. Then my therapist. “And apparently my mother is going to call my psychiatrist to find out what we talked about.” That’s the surprisingly dry and dry response from Noah Lyles. Which will then be carefully expanded upon and teased in the first episode of the second season – which is highly anticipated, at least among fans – Invisible journey: «If audiences only see triumphs, victories, and glory days, they may find themselves thinking there’s something wrong with having bad moments and bad days. We must show our “up and down” so as not to make them feel lonely. So they don’t feel wrong.”

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Perhaps the uniqueness of this athlete, originally from Gainesville, Florida, lies precisely in the nature and maturity with which he knows how to confront his role in the spotlight. At a time when everyone feels like a superhero, and is described as such, this anti-discourse is able to derail outside the norms we have become accustomed to associating professional athletes with. It can only satisfy those who watch sports or are not interested in it, whether they are Noah fans or not, whether they follow athletics or not.

In Budapest, a few weeks ago, Lyles won the world titles in the 100 and 200 metres: only four runners before him had achieved the double feat. In addition, he also won gold in the 4×100 relay. All these victories, for Noah, also have another meaning: he uses them as a tool to promote the global growth of athletics. Despite the (justified) ambition of surpassing Usain Bolt and his world records, in reality, the real goal of Nojo18 – the pseudonym Lyles uses to regularly post his music – seems to be the desire to provide an entirely new platform for Nojo18. His discipline, so he can reach as many people as possible. «Ours is a sport, and therefore also entertainment. I want people to enjoy coming to see me live. If there’s one thing I can brag about, it’s that if you come to watch one of my races, you’ll have the opportunity to watch something different every time, I assure you. “There’s always going to be a moment you’re not expecting,” he said. Long interview to GQ Sports.

Lyles’ program can be said to be broad in scope. Who wants to revolutionize the world of athletics forever. Hence sports. Starting with event management: “I believe it is necessary to organize activities to make athletics competitions more enjoyable. I find it limiting to provide only two hours of entertainment to our fans when a day lasts 24 hours. I like every meeting to be a party. We should take inspiration from the NBA from that point of view.” We then move on to the question about professionalism: “I agree with Michael Johnson: We have reached a point where everyone is turning pro. I know how hard I worked to get where I am today. I have to We set a line, a standard that we must reach in order to be and define ourselves as professionals.”

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To achieve his goals — and also to get people talking about himself and athletics — Lyles is also willing to hit some low, off-kilter shots. as He saidIt is still talked about in the NBA that “the team that wins the title defines itself as the world champion.” But the United States is not the world.” After questioning the habit of winning NBA teams boasting the title of “world champions,” he, as was easily expected, sparked reactions from some of the league’s most prominent stars: Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Aaron Gordon, Draymond Green. For To Lyles, who saw his dreadlocks – the hairstyle had been carefully studied before Budapest, so that Noah had as much aerodynamic comfort as possible – and his now famous haircut “World champions what?” It turned into viral content across Instagram, Tik Tok and Facebook, and was a huge commercial. So it is difficult to believe that everything was not foreseen and not studied by him and his entourage. In any case, even if it is an exit Really spontaneousFree publicity of this magnitude for athletics has not been seen since the days of Usain Bolt and his exceptional records.

Trailer for the second season of the series Unseen journey

Noah Lyles does it speak into existence, Confidence in the power of thought and the quality of one’s daily work are the main distinguishing features of one’s career and personality. Last February, before the 60-meter race at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston, he was able to visualize in advance how the race would go. He did this even before he reached the starting point. Credit also goes to Diana McNabb, his sports performance consultant — often known simply as “therapist.” However, the facts are that Lyles ran 6.51 seconds, his new personal best.

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In an age where we talk about sports and athletes in a very boring and judgmental way, where no one speaks poorly of anyone, and where uniformity and conformity always seem like the smartest choice to make, Noah Lyles is a breath of fresh air. .of fresh air. And for those who ask him what would happen if his revolution did not succeed He answers With a brief smile and honest, direct words, exactly in his style: “Who cares? I tried. If I don’t succeed, we’ll try again, again, again, again.”