This week was another amazing week with UC Ginninderra Athletics club. Learning under Steve has continued to open my eyes on the technical necessities of sprinting as well as how to coach athletes and meet their needs. This Tuesdays session involved doing wind sprints and boy were they fun. Wind sprints involved running 100m at 75-80%, then jogging back 50m as the only recovery between each run. We repeated these 8 times and as you could imagine the fatigue was setting in. This was also the first time I had tried on a pair of spikes and I have to say they feel amazing. Running with these on compared to running with normal joggers felt lighter, almost like I was flying as I ran. This helped in understanding the importance of appropriate footwear when training and that spikes I felt made it easier to keep running form and staying on the balls of your feet as your run. As well as this this session reiterate the importance of pacing yourself and as it was a hard session it is always important for the athlete to run at their own pace in order to finish the last leg. Not only is it up to the athlete but it is also up to the coach to ensure that the athletes are running at a pace that they can physically accomplish, not to fast and not to slow.
Saturday morning was the first day of the winter program which included Tiny Tots, Tiger Cubs and Winter Training. I had the absolute pleasure to be taking the Tiger Cubs with Alex through their designed program for this week. I was at a loss at first as I had never coached kids that young before, so It was an amazing experience to coach them through the fundamental movement skills used in a range of athletic events. The program was designed with multiple games aimed at addressing skills used in running, jumping and throwing with an element of stretching and an event specific activity towards the end. All the young tiger cubs seemed to have had a lot of fun during this first session and I have to admit I did to. Towards the end of the program, I was taken back by one of the kids coming up to me and thanking me which I have to say brought a massive smile to my face. At the end of the day this first session of the winter program was an awesome learning experience. I learnt through practice how to talk to the kids and that showing is better then explaining when it come to kids aged 6 to 8. Not only this but getting everyone involved including the coaches, junior coaches and the parents. The main learning point from this day was to have fun and be enthusiastic cause this will help in getting all of the kids involved and for them to have fun as well.
I would like to thank all of the junior coaches for helping on that day, the other interns, Steve and Fiona for their hard work and to the parent for getting involved and having just as much fun.
On Sunday was another session with Steve out at Stromlo Forest Park. This session was definitely one of the toughest sessions that I have ever done due to it involving running a 500m loop that included a couple hills. The idea behind this training was to focus on building and improving an athlete’s endurance levels. The key coaching aspects that I took away from this session is the importance of techniques and that arms will help drive the knees when your fatigued. Also, to modify the training session to meet the needs of every athletes. This is extremely important as this individualises the training modality to suit athletes that are injured, not use to that sort of training and for those that are of an elite level.
This week was another amazing week of learning and applying some of what I learnt. I can’t wait to see and be a part of the course of this winter program.