Up until now I have been involved in Ginninderra purely as coaching support. This week was the first week I decided to take part in a training session for with my athletes. Admittedly I have suffered shoulder injuries recently. As a consequence my fitness level is not as good as it should be. So I decided to take part to a) connect with my athletes on a more personal level. Because if i know the pain they go through every session i will have a greater appreciation not just for the theoretical side of the exercise but also the practical side. B) to improve my own fitness. Initially I was quite nervous about participating because I knew all of my athletes were in better shape than myself and figured they would leave me in their wake. I was also rather embarrassed about how unfit I was given that I am an exercise physiologist in training and have the knowledge to become much fitter than I am. However once again the attitude that is bread at Ginninderra athletics club means that there is no need to worry about trivial things such as fitness. All of my athletes supported me making the effort to join in. They all took me under their wing and gave me small little tips about race plans and techniques. It was wonderful to feel supported and nurtured when I was worried about being left behind. I had multiple athletes come up to me when I was panting and obviously dying from exhaustion, congratulate me and reassure me that we have all been where I am now . Not to feel bad about it because it gets better every time you participate. I even had one athlete thank me for participating and running my hardest. Thereby pushing him to run harder and faster. This athlete is only 15, that just goes to show the overall attitude among this great group.
As I mentioned in my Week 3 post I was tasked with creating a gym programme. Well this week was the first week of implementing that programme. I was also running it with my athletes by myself. This was the first taste I have really had of coaching a team one-on-one. The fact that Steven didn’t feel the need to show up or be there gave me a sense of confidence. Because if he believes I don’t need supervision he must be confident in my abilities as a coach. This approach I think is a great one because it gives me the intern enough autonomy to make my own decisions and then also learn from my own mistakes. Whilst knowing that I still have the senior coaching staff as a support network. I look forward to seeing how the gym workout i have prescribed is going to improve my athletes. I am also excited about getting to know my athletes on a more personal level to. Once I know them a bit better on a personal level it allows me to tailor their training sessions more individually to their likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses.
On the weekends competition for my athletes I witnessed a few of the athletes beat their personal best times (PB’s). It was unbelievable to see them not just beat their PB’s but beat them convincingly. The look of joy and satisfaction on their face before they got their times back was priceless. They knew they ran a good race they felt good and confident that they just beat their PB. I’m sure the feeling they got after crossing that finish line knowing they ran a great race was like no other. From a coaches perspective that look is all the satisfaction or validation you need. Knowing that the work that you are putting them through is paying off not just for you but for them. Seeing the improvement from week to week and then seeing it all pay off in this one race was amazing.