One time, at sprint camp ...
I'm in Adelaide, looking after a bunch of NTID sprinters
For the last two days I've been over here in Adelaide, at the Superdrome and some motel close by, looking after the Victorian NTID sprint squad as part of the NTID sprint camp that's running here for four days.
I've been lucky enough to work with Sean Eadie (who regular readers will know of) and Bryce Mitchell who's one of the WA NTID coaches, running a couple of training sessions on the track and also generally looking after the squad. I've got 10 riders in my direct care, and while we have support from Josh (NTID co-ordinator) it's a daunting task. To put it in context, we'll have to do two days of racing (sprinting, which is very coach-intensive) with my squad having just me to look after them, after two days of training sessions and other 'camp stuff'. The state squad, which isn't that much bigger, has three coaches and two mechanics and a host of family people to help out. And they reckon they're over-worked! Heh!
This is not a complaint, I'm loving the opportunity to learn from these kids and also the other coaches, I roomed with Sean last night and we had some really good talks on sprint training philosophy and so on which I hope will end up with Sean and I co-authoring "the" book on sprint training ("the" book because there isn't one at the moment). I've got Gary West's (national sprint coach) list of sprint drills to add in to our standardisation project that you can see a glimpse of here. We have to dispel the old ways (no, sprinters do NOT need to do lots of road miles and race road in winter, that SLOWS THEM DOWN! FFS!). I'm thrilled to be on the same page as Sean on this and we'll be able to work together to drag a lot of the current coaching practices for sprint out of the dark ages.
I'm incredibly fortunate to have been given this opportunity by Hilton and the guys at the NTID. Today I got to assist (in a very minor way, I was just a start-line holder for a drill) the AIS team training, getting to work with champions like Anna and Kaarle is just brilliant.
We're going to be seriously under the pump tomorrow, the racing starts and there's a full afternoon-evening's sprinting for all my guys and also research to carry out on how the other guys are racing and so on. The kids have to manage their food for the afternoon/evening on their own, we're taking them on a 'guided shopping trip' tomorrow to help them choose foods that they can race on during a long block of track time, then lunch, then in to the track at ~1pm. We don't expect to get out of there 'till 10pm or so, then a very late dinner and back at 8am on Sunday for more.
It's my job to look after them all, get them in the right state of mind, manage any incidents, provide pre-race tactical support and post-race debriefing. I'm very excited by the opportunity and the pressure and it's going to be a blast. I have a great team of riders to work with and we're all going to work together. Don't call me, I'll be busy! Bring it on.