May 2023, Articles

Bouncing to the top of the podium

If you want to get your athlete on top of an Olympic dais, you get the best in the world to help you achieve that goal. That’s the strategy of New Zealand Olympic Trampolining coach, Angie Dougal, as she works with Tokyo bronze medallist and current World Champion trampolinist Dylan Schmidt on his quest for gold in Paris.

Using her HPSNZ Prime Minister’s Coach Scholarship, Angie brought legendary Canadian trampolining coach, Dave Ross, to Aotearoa New Zealand for two weeks to work with Dylan while she learned from his coaching style.

“Dylan invited me back to be his coach three years ago and we are both thrilled with the results in that time. But we want more and that’s gold in Paris. So our challenge is what can we do to make gold happen in 2024”, says Angie. “I want to challenge Dylan and myself on the assumptions we make about what it will take to achieve our goal.

“Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with arguably the top seven trampolining coaches in the world. But Dave is quite simply the most decorated and successful of them all and it helps that I’ve had a longstanding friendship with him for many years.”

Angie has been in regular touch with Dave via monthly Zoom calls to discuss and challenge ideas and ways of working. The gold dust though, was the opportunity for Angie to use her PMs Scholarship to bring Dave to New Zealand and have him work one on one with Dylan.

“As a coach I want to develop my own style and a critical starting point for me is how can I be the best coach in the world if I don’t know what the best in the world does. That’s Dave and it’s a no brainer to involve him in our journey.”

While the group spent a lot of time in the gym and on the trampoline, Angie says it was the one to two hour car commute to the gym with Dave that was especially valuable for her. “The time in the gym was Dylan’s time. Car time was mine. And that’s when I was able to pick, unpick, absorb, question and learn from Dave.”

For Dylan’s part, he says his time with Dave was invaluable. “He knows his stuff and is very passionate about coaching trampolining. He wants me to be the best in the world and at the same time recognises the importance of focussing on my wellbeing with Angie.

“He is super technical and has the most knowledge about trampolining from a bio-mechanics perspective as well as coaching style.

“Dave does things differently from the other leading world trampolining coaches like the Russians and Chinese,” says Dylan. “He gives me little nuggets that are gold, that help with my technique and, most importantly, adapt my routines so I can achieve the biggest total score.

“I can see Angie soaking up everything Dave is doing with me and I’m excited for her, for me and for our Paris campaign.”

Dylan embarks on a five-month European campaign shortly which includes Qlympic qualifier World Cup events, the British Nationals and World Championships in Birmingham. Angie will join him for the major competitions which takes the pair from Portugal to Florida, Montreal and the UK.

Angie Dougal, Dave Ross and Dylan Schmidt