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Coaches paving development pathways for our athletes

Coaches are an essential part of triathlon in our state and around Australia. Coaches lead pathway programs, drive initiatives and opportunities so that our triathletes of NSW can progress through the sport.

Introducing Nicky Western: Nicky is the current Head Coach of the Hunter Academy of Sport program, a regular in our Triathlon NSW Camp environments over the years.

NickyW_NSWCoach

Introducing Ben Johnson: Ben is Head Coach of SMART coaching based out of Port Macquarie, a seasoned ITU Youth and Junior coach with athletes in our program for many years. Ben will be a familiar face to many, again as a regular Coach in our Triathlon NSW Camp environments over the past 12 - 18 months.

BenJohnson_NSWCoach

Nicky Western
How did you get into the sport of triathlon?
I was a runner and needed a new challenge.  The thought of open water swimming terrified me so I decided completing a triathlon would push me out of my comfort zone. I also didn’t own a bike at the time and hadn’t ridden one for many years.

Who and what influenced you into becoming a triathlon coach?
I am a gymnastics, athletics and swimming coach and was coaching myself in triathlon.  I completed the old level 1 course to enable me to self-coach more effectively.  My son was in the Hunter Academy squad and when their coach moved on I stepped in to the role.  I have been coaching triathlon since then.

Your opinion on athlete development in our state?
I think NSW is going from strength to strength as far as triathlon performance and the level of coaching is concerned.  There is certainly a more unified approach now than when I started, and I think we will see the benefits of that in our athlete performances in the years to come.

How these opportunities to 'Lead Coach' are positive for you?
Being part of the NSW squads is a great opportunity to coach in that “next level” camp environment where you need to be mindful of the holistic element of athletes’ well-being. It is hard not to parent young athletes but a great opportunity to let them make their own decisions about nutrition, rest and guide them when they need or ask for help,

Your role as a coach at home
At home I coach some juniors both face to face and by distance, but mainly age group athletes, and runners! I enjoy the challenge of coaching via the internet and giving more remote athletes the opportunity to access coaching tailored to their environment and daily situations.

Words of advice for aspiring junior coaches wanting to progress with their professional development?
Watch and learn from as many different coaches as you can, and then choose the style that sits well with your characteristics and personality. Coaching is not about writing sets and reps – its about understanding your athlete, where they are in their journey and where they want to get to.  Lastly remember it is about them – not you!

Ben Johnson
How did you get into the sport of triathlon?
I have a surf club back ground and trained with mates who were triathletes. One day I gave the local triathlon a go on a borrowed bike, since then I’ve loved triathlon. 

Who and what influenced you into becoming a triathlon coach?
I had acquired a small amount of knowledge over a lifetime of competing in one sport or another and was at a career crossroads. My wife had just began coaching and my mother in law is a longtime successful swimming coach so it just seemed a natural progression that also suited my personality. 

Your opinion on athlete development in our state?
I’ve been involved in the NSW junior pathway over the past 3 years. Seeing the depth grow over that short time is testament to the coaching development opportunities created by TA along with passionate coaches who love the sport and want to see it and their athletes grow and succeed. 

How these opportunities to 'Lead Coach' are positive for you?
I’m always looking to further my own development in order to evolve my home program. These opportunities are vital to give developing coaches extra responsibility outside of their home environment. 

Your role as a coach at home?
At home along with my wife we provide a holistic triathlon program from strength & conditioning, to online programming, a one stop shop so to speak. 

Words of advice for aspiring junior coaches wanting to progress with their professional development?
If you get the opportunity to coach juniors go for it. They’ll put you on the spot and out of your comfort zone forcing you to develop your program. 

Find our more about Coaching Courses in Australia. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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