What was the reason you became an athletics coach?
I became a coach initially to help my daughter with her throwing. I now continue coaching because of the people I meet and coach within the Athletics family.
What events do you coach and how many years have you been coaching?
I currently coach Shotput, Discus and Hammer and have been coaching for about 5 years.
What is it like to coach your own daughter in the throwing events? What kind of challenges do you face from being both father and coach?
To be honest, I learn from her as much I hope as she does from me. As an athlete she is talented, dedicated and challenges me to be better. Having other athletes in our squad allows us to develop both our personal and coaching relationship as I find she is able to explain and demonstrate concepts to others where I sometimes struggle. We treat our situation as “coach and athlete”, not “father and daughter” and both work at that relationship and not let it affect our training group.
Can you list some of the qualities of a good thrower?
Desire – it is easier to coach someone who wants to be there to learn and work.
Ability to Relax – The Ability for the athlete to relax also helps as they will not meet their own goals if they are tense when throwing. This also includes the ability to perform under pressure.
Work Ethic – Athletes who have a great work ethic will always work hard to understand concepts and do reps as required to improve their technique.
Supportive family – Though not directly an athlete quality, I find it as important. If an athlete has family who are invested in them, then they will continue to support them for what they need to do to reach the ability. I have been very fortunate to have athletes with this quality.
I have been very lucky to have worked with athletes who have Desire and a strong Work Ethic and together we have worked to develop their ability to relax and perform under pressure. Supportive family is a bonus.
As a coach what has been the highlight of your career so far?
To date seeing my daughter Hannah and other athletes I have worked with make the Queensland team in 2019 to compete at the National Secondary Championships in Perth. Further to that, seeing them make the Finals at those championships for most of their events and seeing their satisfaction with their results. As many coaches know, you can only prepare an athlete for so much but there are other things needed for the best outcome at championships.
What is the most satisfying thing about being a coach?
Seeing Athletes get Reward for Effort from throwing. Placing at a Competition is part of it but I get more satisfaction seeing them get a concept or PB at training. This is because I see closely how determined they are to reach a goal they have set and how much work they will continually do to get there. Unfortunately, I see athletes who work hard at throwing but are not rewarded for that effort.
Coaching education can come in both formal and informal ways. When you first started coaching was there anyone who helped you acquire more knowledge or help you on your coaching journey?
When I began coaching, I was fortunate to meet a few coaches through coaching courses who helped me to develop my ideas and inspire me to coach. The knowledge they passed on within these courses started me on the coaching path and encouraged me to continue looking for other information. They include Eric Brown, Peter Hannan and more recently Brett Green. For the past couple of years, I have been fortunate to be able to learn and work with Warren Galligan who I have tried to include within my coaching philosophy. I continue to look for other coaches both here and overseas to continue to learn from so I can continue to grow my knowledge and skills to contribute to maintaining and also growing the sport of athletics, particularly throwing within the ANQ region.
Coaching can be a stressful job at times. What down time do you have and what sort of time do you take off at the end of the season to recharge?
As I come from a Non-Teaching background, I find coaching to be cathartic and inspiring. Yes, it can be stressful but I find it very educational as my athletes inspire me to learn more to be better for them. Unfortunately, as our season does not align with that of other parts of the country and some of my athletes aspire to compete at the National Level at both School and Club, our down time is limited. I am fortunate that I feel coaching is part of my down time and I enjoy the challenges and rewards it brings as opposed to my profession.