History of “The Māia Method”
As a skater, and developing coach i was often left with the same questions;
Why did my skating career look different than my peers who choose to play AFL, Rugby, Swimming or Gymnastics? Why was it not mandatory for me to partake in strength and conditioning classes or nutrition classes? Why did they know so much more about their body’s physiology even though i had reached a higher level in my sport than they had in theirs? How come they were fitter than I was, even though i trained more than they did? But most importantly, why was I not considered to be an athlete by the external world, let alone the head coaches in my own sport?
I left the competitive world still confused, and entered into the New Zealand Skating Community where after working with top skaters turned coaches Macarena Carrascosa (BSc Sport and Exercise Science and Psychology), Mercedes Carrascosa (Bachelor of Communications – In Progress), Anna Harris (BHSc Physiotherapy) and Madison Collis (BSc Sport and Exercise Science and Psychology), i found the answer. I was brought up in a skating environment that was focused on developing skaters and not athletes.
The current progression method widely accepted in Australia & New Zealand is wrong. We are raising skaters instead of building athletes.
During my last few months in Auckland, and my first few months back in Melbourne i spent a lot of time reflecting on why we were still implementing such an old method? And more importantly one that obviously was not working, evident from the recent decrease in quantity and quality of skaters across Oceania. In particular the significant decline in youth – senior skaters due to personal injury or mental health problems.
The conclusion i came to was that that the majority of our coaches across both Australia and New Zealand were not being sufficiently supported. Yes they were given some opportunities to continue learning about our sport in particular, but where was the documentation to teach the coaches how to coach certain skills, how to communicate with skaters and parents, how to develop mental resilience in their skaters and as a coach, what foods to each before and after training or how to develop their own personal knowledge? Whilst there were a few options out there, unless you had a disposable income and the ability to take time off your full-time job and leave your family at home at any given time, our coaches and skaters really had no opportunity to up-skill and learn.
Our coaches are expected to take on the role of personal trainer, nutritionist, choreographer, technical specialist, sports psychologist and friend all whilst significantly unqualified and limited in time and resources.
So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and develop a method of coaching that would prioritise a skaters athletic needs first, and in the process produce an abundance of easily accessible information for every coach that wanted to develop knowledge in other complimentary areas.
Over the next few months whilst I take a personal hiatus from coaching to focus on childbirth and my personal recovery, I will be releasing how to guides, made in partnership with various experts in nutrition, sports science, roller figure skating and more, to help develop both our coaches and skaters. Additionally i will be giving snippets into my Māia Method, my personal progression pathway developed to build athletes first and skaters second.
I look forward to this journey ahead, and hope that these posts can inspire other knowledgeable people within our beloved sport to release their knowledge to the world so we can better our coaches, skaters and Oceania Teams together as a community.
Founder of Māia Fitness