LESSONS FROM CHAMP: Lifesaving club members (from left) Tanika Morley, Mariah Vaughan and Georgia Grosskreutz with former ironman champion Trevor Hendy on Thursday afternoon at Tannum Beach.
LESSONS FROM CHAMP: Lifesaving club members (from left) Tanika Morley, Mariah Vaughan and Georgia Grosskreutz with former ironman champion Trevor Hendy on Thursday afternoon at Tannum Beach. Jen Tybell

Hendy gives young guns heads-up

GETTING the chance to get tips off one of the country’s most admired athletes was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for local surf club members.

Four-time ironman world champion Trevor Hendy was happy to hit the beach at Tannum Sands during his visit to the Gladstone region on Thursday.

Listen to Hendy talk and it’s clear there’s nowhere else he’d rather be than in the surf.

He held a session with the Tannum Sands Surf Lifesaving Club on Thursday afternoon and his main message was to keep a positive mindset.

“I want to encourage them to go for their dreams, as well as teach them some skills,” Hendy said.

The ironman was aware of the strength of the Tannum Sands club, as he competed alongside one of the club’s successful members during his junior days.

“Michael King, who was at the 50th anniversary, was the Queensland Ironman Champion the year I was runner-up to him some years ago,” Hendy said.

Competing in ironman events around the world for 15 years, Hendy learnt in his late teens the importance of setting goals and striving for them through hard work, commitment and dedication.

In a short time after deciding to compete in Ironman events, he was at the top of the sport.

Working with board paddlers and swimmers during his session, Hendy was intent on imparting skills members may not usually encounter in regular training.

“I run through the bits and pieces they wouldn’t get from an ordinary coach,” he said.

“There’s no use coaching them in things they already know, so I teach them the things I learnt from my coach that make a difference.

“These include attitude, breath training, skill at getting over waves and through the break, not that there’s much of that today, and transitions.”

Hendy said these are very important aspects of ironman competition.

“It’s about tying them all together and making you go from one leg to the next really fast so your momentum carries through,” he said. For Hendy, the sessions he holds with lifesavers are as much a learning experience for him as for those taking part.

“It’s something different every single time I stand in front of a group of kids, take a clinic or coach someone, it always reflects back to me,” he said.

“I can’t get up and do the same thing every time because every group’s different, so when I stand up there and talk about something, if it reflects back you know you’re on the right track.

“I get a lot of self-satisfaction out of it because it’s an alive thing.

“I love the feeling I know I’ve connected with someone. There are a lot of things put into people’s minds that are rubbish, so I can at least put a few good view-points in.”



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