Written by Ashleigh Lyons (Northern Districts Gymnastic Club)
On 1st-5th August I attended the WAG Team Future Advance Camp at the AIS in Canberra, with my athlete Hannah Tarzan.
This was my first time attending TFA Camp, and I had an unbelievable professional development experience.
Hannah and I were lucky enough to be grouped with coaches and athletes from Manly Warringah Gymnastics in NSW, and Waverly Gymnastics in VIC. The coaches have produced exceptional athletes time and time again, and so I took every opportunity to ask questions, watch them and learn from them. I learn a lot about daily training environment, expectations and sportsmanship etc. I also discovered that I share very similar values towards my coaching with these coaches so I connected very well with their coaching style and ideas.
Each day varied, but there was either 1 or 2 training sessions each day. On the shorter training days we had other activities such as recovery, lectures for the gymnasts, and psychology lectures for the coaches. Most days started with a 6:30 or 7am breakfast, which included a very cold (-5 degrees) walk from the accommodation to the dining hall. Each training session comprised of dance, trampoline, vault, tumbling, beam and bars. Our gymnasts worked hard on developing their beam series and dismounts, as well as their tumbling skills. We managed to get an opportunity to play in the bungee, which was exciting as we do not have one at NDGC.
The coaches had a meeting that involved three coaches telling their story. It was very inspiring. One coach talked about how she built her club from the ground up, another talked about his journey through the American system and a gymnast and coach, and the third talked about their journey through the Russian system, and how the culture change was coming from Russia to Australia.
I have been so inspired by this opportunity to attend the Team Future Advance Camp, and cannot thank Gymnastics Western Australia enough for the High-Performance Grant, giving me a chance to attend this event. I am looking forward to developing the skills of our gymnasts.