Manage today to enable tomorrow - WAG Virtual Clinic

Members of the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Australian Levels Community had the chance to connect and share their remote training experiences, the challenges they are facing and their strategies for maintaining a positive mindset during COVID 19 at a recent virtual clinic.

The session was instigated by the WAG coaching group and state association staff from Gymnastics ACT, TAS and NT. The coaching group has been meeting weekly with the Gymnastics Australian (GA) WAG Pathways Coach, Regan Molyneaux to discuss ways to maximise remote training outcomes, support athlete and coach wellbeing, proactively plan for return to training and performance and consider options for State Team Future/Development Clinics during the club rebuilding process.

The session was attended by 36 athletes and 13 coaches who planned to represent the ACT, TAS and the NT at the 2020 Australian Championships.

As part of the session the team from the Olympic Winter Institute and Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) Aerial Skiing Program, along with Regan hosted a session combining basic gymnastics elements and visualisation to support conditioning of the mind and body. Rachel Hunt, Aerial Skiing Program Manager supported coach Ryan Hatfield and development athlete Eleanor Higginbotham to plan and deliver an “Acrobatics Session” for the athletes.

Eleanor, also a WAG GA Registered Coach and VIS Aerial Skiing Development Athlete represented Tasmania on several occasions at the Australian Gymnastics Championships and understands the challenges for athletes during this time. Ryan, a member of the Australian Team who won a bronze medal at the 2017 Trampolining World Championships was able to connect with the athletes and provide strategies to maximise acrobatic training from home with minimal equipment.

In addition to the practical session Regan conducted a Q&A session with Laura Peel, the 2019/20 Crystal Globe winner, Freestyle Skiing 2015 World Champion, Sochi Olympian and was recently announced Snow Sport Olympic Athlete of the year. Before this success Laura represented the ACT on five occasions as a WAG Athlete before transitioning to the sport of Freestyle Aerial Skiing.

Supporting the rebuild of the gymnastics community by demonstrating quality training, making the most of the situation to improve weaknesses, setting and adjusting goals, maximising the skill of adaptability and visualisation were just some of the messages shared by Laura throughout the two-hour session.

Laura also reminded the girls to use their senses to help visualise themselves in the gymnastics hall and ‘remember the smell of the bars’ whilst training at home. She also shared strategies for overcoming fear or time-away from training due to injury and other ways to stay motivated during challenging times.

GA would like to thank the Aerial Skiing Program Coaches and Athletes for the genuine care shown towards our gymnasts and their coaches during this time and we look forward to continuing to share our learnings and strategies to assist athletes and coaches during this time.

If you have any questions or would like to share your daughters experience and learnings from the session, please don’t hesitate to contact your State Association or the WAG Pathways Coach [email protected].