Feb. 14, 2014
By Richard Finn
Special to BIG EAST.com
In our latest edition of “Getting to Know…” we sat down with DePaul shot putter Matt Babicz. The redshirt senior is having a career indoor season, having placed in the top three in all six outings this season. He has won four times and tossed a career best 19.43 meters at the Indiana Relays last month which was the ninth-best toss of the year nationally. After missing last year’s indoor season he will be one of the favorites at the BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Championships next weekend at the Armory.
You are having a great indoor season. Can you pinpoint one thing that you are doing that has led to your recent success?
Babicz: I think it is maturity in the sport and being well-trained. I am learning to relax in the ring instead of being overly aggressive which has really helped this year. I feel I am getting there in terms of technique. This year more than previous years I have a lot more confidence in my technique. I am more long and smooth in the ring now than rigid and overly accelerating.
While you still have one more year of eligibility left, are you beginning to think of continuing to compete after school?
Babicz: My goal was that if I hit 20 meters during my collegiate career, I told myself that I would like to continue on and give it a shot. I think I am going to achieve that goal. I would love to give it a try afterwards. I have thought about the Olympics, and we will see where time takes me.
What was it like growing up in a family where you’re the middle child of five?
Babicz: There was a lot of excitement all of the time. It was a very athletic family so we were going to a lot of sporting events all the time. I have a great support from my family behind me.
Your younger brother Anthony is also on the team. What’s that like having him there with you?
It is really awesome. I always have a solid training partner. He is able to pick things out that sometimes my coach misses. And I do the same for him. That is a huge advantage. I push him a lot and he pushes me a lot. When he gets better I get better and the other way around.
You were a center and defensive end on your high school football team in Mt. Prospect, Illinois. Why did you change to track and field?
Babicz: Football was my first love, I would have loved to have played in college, but I was a little bit injury prone. After thinking it over with my family I decided to pursue track. If I had to do it all over again I don’t think I would change a thing. I have really fallen in love with the sport.
You are finance major and twice have been named to the BIG EAST All-Academic team. Do you have a professional career path in mind?
Babicz: I really have a deep interest in risk management, investment banking or even financial advising. This summer I hopefully will have an opportunity to get an internship in one of those fields to better get a feel of what I would like to do.
If you had a chance to invite any three people to dinner, whom would you want to have at the table?
Babicz: Michael Jordan, George Washington, and probably choose (Olympic shot putter) Reese Hoffa to pick his brain. Jordan is one of my favorite athletes and I would like to pick his brain about how his competed and how he was able to maintain his competitive nature throughout his career. George Washington was one of the founding fathers of our country and would really make for a really interesting two-hour dinner.