April 2018, Articles

Team Behind the Team: S&C

Assisting one of the final pieces of the high-performance puzzle

In his role working out of the Athlete Preparation and Recovery Areas at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, High Performance Sport NZ strength and conditioning coach Guy Mothersole hopes he can play an important part in assisting one of the final pieces of the high-performance puzzle.

Mothersole will oversee the setting up and operation of a gym for the exclusive-use of Kiwi athletes in a corner of an underground car park in the Gold Coast Athletes’ Village. The facility will be one of four areas – alongside a physical preparation and recovery area, a quiet space and nutritional support area – set up by High Performance Sport New Zealand in partnership with NZOC.

The expectation is the Areas will mimic and simulate the athletes’ daily training programmes as closely as possible, leading to less potential disruption to the athletes’ critical preparation period both in the final days leading up to competition and during their competitive schedule.

Guy Mothersole | Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Mothersole, who works as strength and conditioning coach with Yachting NZ and Netball NZ was keen to be involved in the project, which was first set up as a pilot at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and improved upon at the Rio 2016 Olympics, to play a more central role during a major international sporting competition.

“Working in high performance sport there is a lot of hype around the big events whether that is Commonwealth Games, World Championships or Olympics,” he explains.

“Everything seems to come to a standstill when these events are on, so just to be involved in a behind-the-scenes role will be great.”

The gym equipment which includes two squat racks, two lifting platforms, two portable squat racks, two benches, a full dumbbell rack, kettle bells, medicine balls, Swiss balls, skipping ropes, bands and three wattbikes are being shipped to Gold Coast in containers.

Arriving in the Village on March 20 – four days before the arrival of the first Kiwi athletes – it is Guy’s job to set up the gym by laying down turf and then positioning the gym equipment to create a “good vibe” and up to the facility to the standard a world-class athlete would expect.

Once the athletes arrive nightly meetings will be organised to determine gym usage, which he expects will be utilised daily from 6am until at least 8pm.

Expecting team sports such as rugby sevens, hockey and netball and individual sports such as weightlifting and athletics to make the most regular use of the gym, Guy believes the facility will play an important part in New Zealand athletes’ podium push.

“There is an off-site gym where the athletes can train but this is shared with many of the other attending teams,” he says. “So you might find it doesn’t quite have the right equipment. By setting up our own specific gym for the Kiwi athletes is it will give them a chance to continue to train as they would have done at home and not worry about booking in space at a shared gym.

“My role is to be inside the training area and assist where possible,” he says. “I’m not there to train people. It is to be a helping hand and to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Naturally Guy insists the power-based sports will benefit most from the facility although all of New Zealand expected 250 athletes are welcome with the strength and conditioning specialist always open to share advice.

With long working ahead of him before and during the Games, Guy does not anticipate he will get to see any of the action but his main motivation will come from the quiet satisfaction of playing some small role in helping the athletes’ final preparations.

“Just to be there and play a part in what I hope will be the most successful New Zealand team at a Commonwealth Games will be a huge buzz,” he adds.