Tri coach stokes in­ner drive

Inside Sport - - Clubbies 2019 - – Kathy Stone

Hay­ley Steven­son has just sent her squad out for an “easy run” when In­side Sport catches up with her at the Nun­dah Cri­terium. It’s a hard slog keep­ing pace with the 2018 Sportscover Clubbies Coach of the Year (even on the phone).

The seven-day-a-week dy­namo kicks off her per­sonal train­ing at 3.30am, be­fore pu‡ing her squad of uber-mo­ti­vated ath­letes through their laps: swim­ming, run­ning and cy­cling. By 6.30am when most are still in bed, the Wil­ston Grange squad is tow­elling down aŽer a gru­elling ses­sion.

Steven­son, a mother of two who also jug­gles a de­mand­ing full-time job with the ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment, knows some­thing of what it takes to be a great coach.

“It’s all about cre­at­ing an at­mos­phere where peo­ple feel com­fort­able and are also chal­lenged to get the best out of them­selves,” she says.

“I re­ally try to fo­cus on that in­ter­nal mo­ti­va­tion as op­posed to be­ing that coach on the side­line yelling. I don’t want them to be do­ing it for me ... [I want] them to be do­ing it for them­selves.”

Steven­son can never be ac­cused of mon­ster­ing the side­lines – she’s oŽen in the thick of the ac­tion. The Sun­shine Coast Half Iron­man and the mas­sively pop­u­lar Noosa Triathlon com­pletes the squad’s 2018 sched­ule be­fore a core group takes on the Cairns Iron­man in June. Steven­son and two oth­ers then head to Ger­many for the Iron­man Frank­furt.

But be­ing a coach means her com­pet­i­tive ex­pec­ta­tions some­times take a back­seat. “I can’t get in all the train­ing I’d like to – that just re­ally isn’t pos­si­ble with the time avail­able,” Steven­son adds.

“It’s about hold­ing onto the per­spec­tive that I do this for my health and my men­tal health and work-life bal­ance.

“It’s to be an en­joy­ment in my life and that’s what I try to bring to the other guys as well. Re­mem­ber why you’re do­ing it.”

Win­ning the Sportscover Clubbies na­tional ac­co­lade has been a huge boost for the Queens­land-based triathlon club and the as­so­ci­ated Go­ril­las footy out­fit, not to men­tion for Steven­son her­self, who has urged oth­ers with in­spir­ing coaches to nom­i­nate them.

“Ab­so­lutely,” she says. “You do it for the love, and what you see the ath­lete get out of it, but it’s also nice to get that recog­ni­tion as well.”

Nom­i­na­tions for the 2019 Sportscover Clubbies Awards close on De­cem­ber 19. For more in­for­ma­tion go to www. in­sid­esport.com.au/clubbies

Hay­ley Steven­son: “You do it for the love, and what you see the ath­lete get out of it, but it’s also nice to get that recog­ni­tion as well.”

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