Foundation junior Taylor Clayton stays incredibly busy as a three-sport athlete for the Lions. Right now, Clayton — who just led the Lions in a win over Lake Mary Prep last week in the weight room — is balancing weightlifting, basketball and club volleyball.
When did you first get into weightlifting?
Actually, I have only been doing weightlifting for a few weeks, and I got into it because Coach Christie suggested that I join the team, so I was like, “Why not?” She saw me squat for basketball, because I do weightlifting for basketball.
What’s it been like starting up in competitive weightlifting?
It’s definitely different, because I never work out my arms usually — it’s always my legs — so it’s different to work on my arms. And my arms aren’t used to it, so a lot of times, they’re really sore, so I have to make sure that I’m lifting right and have the right form. Also, weightlifting is all about form, and I never really worked on that, so it’s a really interesting transition.
Which is your favorite event — the clean-and-jerk or benchpress?
I like clean-and-jerk; I’m better at it than bench, and I haven’t really hit a max for clean-and-jerk yet — I just kind of add a few pounds each week whenever we do our meet, so that’s my favorite.
What has been your favorite thing about weightlifting?
I think my favorite part is going against everyone competitively. It’s like an individual and a team sport, so not only am I doing it for my team, but I’m also doing it for myself, so I can always set goals every week. My least favorite part is form, because I just started learning form, so I have to really focus on it to make sure I do it right.
What’s it like balancing three different sports all at once?
It’s really hard to balance all three sports, but I just have to make sure that I give equal time to each sport. My No.1 is volleyball, because I’ve been playing it the longest, and I just started doing basketball and weightlifting. I just have to make sure that I focus on every single one of them.
Is there a highlight moment for you playing one of these sports?
Probably when I was playing volleyball at Foundation Academy, because we made it to districts, and then we got to go to regionals — that was probably the highlight. It was really cool that I was part of a team that was going that far, and our team is really good, and we’re all close.
You still have another year of high school, but do you hope to participate at the collegiate level?
Possibly weightlifting for college, but right now, I’m really focusing on volleyball — I’m creating highlights, and I’m going to start going to showcases. I really want to play D1 at UF — that’s my goal — but of course, I’d be happy with D2 or D3.