A coaches perspective with Mick Ferris, Triathlon NSW Performance Coach.
Mick Ferris competed in his first triathlon in 1985 and in 1994 was the second Australian over the line at the IRONMAN World Championship, Kona, the pinnacle of long course racing.
Ferris progressed through racing and into coaching. Having come from racing to a coaching background, he is well equip to provide valuable direction, advice and implement strategies for our athletes in NSW, especially the juniors as part of our state pathway programs.
“I have a good feel for what’s needed for a junior athlete.”
We’re here at the Super Sprint Race Weekend, at Runaway Bay, what are these weekends made up of for our junior athletes?
“The main aims of these weekends are skill acquisition, process focusing, taking the mindset off the outcomes and big miles. It’s not about mileage. It’s about skill, speed and the mindset you have in the process. From a junior perspective, this is one of the best weekends they will get in the calendar year.”
How much emphasis do you put on the NSW pathways programs for the juniors?
“If they’re not in their state pathways program, they don’t get that opportunity to execute race demands skills. Jake Birtwhistle, Matt Hauser, they have all been here and now they are our Olympic prospects. The results show how important the pathway program is.”
Outside of the triathlon specific skills acquired, how notable is the comradery and friendships that are formed, from training camps and events?
“The comradery within weekends like these, is probably one of the most important thing for the kids themselves. They get to meet new friends, like-minded kids who share the same drive and aspirations and that’s the biggest thing they get out of it.”
There are many highs and lows for athletes within high performance, how do you manage expectations, especially at training camps like these?
“Taking the mindset of being an outcome focus and let’s go back to think about executing processes. It’s not about what place you’ve come. We go back to the basics and get the mindset right.”
What keeps you motivated?
“The kids. Their enthusiasm. Brendan Sexton, Australian Olympian, and I were only just saying how much of a kick we get out of watching these kids do really well and it’s equivalent to when we used to race.”
“Being second Australian in the 1994 IRONMAN World Championships, Kona.”
Greatest highlight as a coach?
“Josh, my son going to the Youth Olympics. That’s a spot that comes up for one athlete once every four years, so to secure that was exciting – as a coach and a dad. Also when Emily Jamgotchian was selected for the U19’s with a year to go in that was just as special.”
We are so fortunate within New South Wales and across Australia to have such experienced coaches and thank them for their patience, energy and dedication to our sport.