People always asked my ‘Why do Triathlon?’ my response is always ‘why do one sport, when you can do three’.
This blog is to introduce myself, provide a background in the sport and to share my beliefs and goals of being a coach.
From a young age I was influenced to give triathlon a go as I had experience in the three disciplines. (But I was always so obsessed with football).
When I was 21 (now 28) I had a serious injury playing football and decided that week in hospital that I wanted to do triathlon. I spent many months after this incident putting on weight, feeling unhappy and missing something. But as soon as I was cleared to start swimming, attend cycle classes and run some laps around the oval, I started training and then six months later I did my first race.
My first triathlon was a Gatorade race when I was 21 years old, I had no idea what I was doing or didn’t know anyone who did the sport, but I was hooked straight away.
I competed in a couple of more races that season, loved the challenge to improve and was determined to do so. Physically triathlon is great, having three sports to focus on creates many areas to work towards, keeps the mind busy and develops a lot of purpose for each session you train. For me this improved my happiness and self-worth massively.
One of my most memorable experiences was when I volunteered at the Melbourne Ironman. Seeing athletes push themselves to its limits was inspiring. This lead me to sign up for Challenge Shepparton the next day and race my first half iron distance later that year.
This meant that it was now time to get some coaching and give this race a red hot crack! Through a mutual friend I was connected with a coach. I loved the process and the relationship a coach has with an athlete in triathlon. Having a coach who openly communicates one on one and alongside the athlete, working together taught me a lot and I still use these same practices today.
As I continued to participate in the sport I competed a Diploma in Sport Development in Geelong, this taught me a great deal about conducting sports events and developing athletes. I completed a Bachelor in Sport Science where it gave me a great deal of knowledge behind human development, body physiology and sport psychology just to name a few. After my Bachelor I also completed a Masters of Teaching and have been teaching for the past four years.
Teaching has given me the experience with working with big groups, on an individual level and all of the many areas involved with development. I have also ran Triathlon Programs (TRI2gether) with students to train them up and organize a triathlon event for them to be involved in.
Throughout my studies as I gained more experience in triathlon, I developed a keen interest in writing training programs for myself. This interest has also created a habit of mine to persuade people to start triathlon and this is what started my coaching practices. Having others around you also taught me how beneficial both socially and mentally it can be for the individual to be in a social environment, even if it is an individual sport.
Since joining GPC under coach Steph in mid-2019, it has taught me with greater lessons about the coach/ athlete relationship. Training and completing in my first Ironman is an amazing experience! The process in the journey towards an Ironman is one that everyone should try and experience. I could talk all day about it all day (would be keen to do so)
My goal as a coach is see people love the sport, stay healthy, be happy, have fun, set a challenge and to have another purpose in life. If this is achieved it could not bring any more joy and satisfaction for me.