Abby Walsh, Assistant Coach
After finishing a BSpEXSc in 2016 Abby Walsh joined Ace Swimming Club. She has completed the Teacher of Competitive Strokes Certificate and the Swim Teachers Award.
Abby believes that coaching gives her the ability to make a positive difference in someone’s life. As a young swimmer it was her own coach that seemed to be the most inspriational person in the world. “She was a powerful woman and I wanted to be just like her.
Open Water Swimming has been a big part of Abby’s life for many years. She has competed regularly in the Ocean Swim Series and won her age group several times. Clearly a highlight has been her 3 victories in the Taupo 10km event. Her endurance is clear, she still holds the record for the fastest woman to swim across the Apolima Strait in Samoa. It was made all the more impressive given that it is 22.3km point to point!
More recently Abby has been turning her skills to learning to run and bike, admittedly like a fish out of water. “I’ve completed several half Ironman’s and recently finished my second Ironman event.”
Abby enjoys freestyle, she considers it her personal favourite…only because it is hard to do butterfly in the open water let alone 10km. However she firmly agrees with Paul Dowey (Director of Coaching) that the athletes should be taught a range of strokes and drills in training. “I don’t really have a favourite training set, but I do like 10 x 100 freestyle and kick test sets.” (Who doesn’t?!?) “I think they are good indicators whether we are on the right track from an aerobic training perspective.
Why do you coach and do what you do?
Swimming is part of who I am, as a child it gave me direction and created many opportunities in life and I hope to offer the same to others. I aim to provide a safe haven for kids to discover their athletic talents in an encouraging and supportive environment. What I enjoy most about coaching is seeing the kids do their best. Of course, everyone likes to win – but for me, the most important part of any sport is self-development. If you can learn and be better than what you were the day before then I consider that a win!
Why should swimmers listen to you especially?
My goal for our swimmers is to develop their swimming technique, commitment and self-confidence. I aim to create an atmosphere where the swimmers continuously improve and learn through structured practice with consistent feedback, so they can not only set goals but achieve their goals.
What can swimmers bribe you with?
Anything is possible if you’re prepared to do the work!