To start off with...what a day!
Last Sunday 60 #ENGINE Athletes (including some flying interstate) braced themselves for a jam-packed day of training and learning on the Gold Coast for the annual #ENGINE Athlete Training Day.
As an ENGINE team, it’s a highlight of our year gathering some of the best in the sport for a day of team building, learning, and growing together. Let’s deep dive into the day…
Starting the early morning off, Olympic Gold Medallist and now coach; Ashley Callus prepped Somerset College’s 10-lane outdoor Olympic sized aquatic centre, for a 90-minute power session with ENGINE’S very own; Andrew Lauterstein and Toby Haenen.
Using their extensive Olympic careers and knowledge throughout the morning, Lauterstein took the squad through a #2K session before breaking into two groups of males and females to workshop skills. Using both ends of the pool, Heanen led his group through underwater games from the 90’s called ‘High School Fire Drill’ and ‘Golden Bananas’, whilst Lauterstein focussed on underwater dolphin kick, breath control, vertical kick, and staying calm under pressure.
With the session ticked off the list, athletes fuelled up with Kellog’s ALL NEW Nutri Grain (Less Sugar), bacon and egg rolls and BBQ meats for breakfast, whilst taking in the beautiful GC sun before making their way to the second location of the day.
Stepping into ACTV Gym in Burleigh Heads, none other than Ali Day (owner and pioneer in the sport) and Lauterstein had a tough circuit waiting for them. Think stretching routines, core body strength work and challenges. The highlight of the session? Breaking into groups of three and competing in a ‘Calorie Cardio Challenge’ using the Assault Bike, Ski Erg and Rower; three of the deadliest machines of fatigue.
Exhausted, hungry, and thirsty our athletes dug into protein shakes and bars from BODY SCIENCE and some cold sparkling water to keep them going.
With noon rolling by, the crew arrived at Mermaid Surf Life Saving Club for lunch including sandwiches, pastries, wraps and other finger food. Not only was it a chance to get out of the sun but also a chance to mix and mingle with everyone – especially those visiting from interstate.
With full stomachs and feeling re-energised, Haenen ran a Q&A with arguably two GOAT’s, Surf Life Saving athletes; Ali Day and Georgia Miller, plus Young Gun; Finn Askew. What started off as a learning session quickly turned into a room full of laughs and egging each other on with a contest of who could quote the most quotes from famous people. We’re talking from Winston Churchill to Muhammed Ali and all the big names you’re thinking of. Yet the day was far from over.
After lunch, Haenen ran athletes through breathing, relaxation and visualisation exercises, and techniques. With athletes sprawled on their backs across the floor, Haenen guided them through controlling their anxiety levels, the importance of visualising their perfect race before comps, the lasting impact this can have on them and achieving their best results come race day. For some it was a brand-new skill, whereas for others an opportunity to add another layer to their existing practice.
From Mermaid Beach SLSC, it was time to head over to the beach. Phil Clayton known for his attitude of ‘ocean swimming for everyone’ and Georgia Miller broke the group into older and younger competitors. With mastery surf-swim skills under Clayton’s belt, as well as the ‘gift of the gab’, he spent the session teaching athlete’s tips and tricks with his usual flair. Insert his ‘Baywatch’ style run along the beach (to the entertainment of public onlookers) and heading into the water and out the back, enjoying the 1m onshore surf conditions.
Meanwhile, Miller ran her crew through a board session in the challenging water with a strong running sweep and messy conditions. Onlooking from the beach, we wouldn’t blame you thinking it was a party wave rather than training, yet we were here for it. Having some pool swimmers give the waves a go for the first time was great to see – especially for Matt Bevilacqua and Brielle Cooper who joined the team for the remainder of the session (fresh off a plane from Sydney).
With the clock ticking, our 90 min beach session ended with a gifted final stop at RMC Miami for some much-needed recovery. RMC Miami is a unique and elite training recovery centre, providing an extensive range of recovery services including assorted heated and cold baths. The benefits of using baths to assist recovery from training and events is unmatched. From baths sitting at as little as 10 degrees it’s not surprising some struggled with submerging body parts into the water. After an hour at RMC, it a last-minute chance to have a laugh, share some stories and get to know one another, before departing home for the day.
We are extremely thankful so many turned up for the day with an awesome attitude and grateful to everyone who make this day possible. A special shout out goes to the team behind the camera; Karlee Nurthen (Midnight Rise Studio) and Ella Tubman (Ella Tubman Films) who captured the fun and spirit of the day.
That’s a wrap from the Goldie and we can’t wait to put on our next training day next year!