Athlete in Profile: Sonia Commins

Our newest athlete on in the CPC Team. A mother. A business owner. A wife. And a farmer. For most that would be enough! But there’s nothing like having your own personal challenges and goals to keep her physically and mentally happy and healthy, not only for herself, but also for her family…..

Name: Sonia Commins

Nickname: Although I beg to differ Flash was given to me by a former coach it was ironic because that was my sons nickname given to him for his run speed she said the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and so the name stuck

Age / Age Group: 48 naughty forties age doesn’t embarrass me it’s just a number!

Lives: Junee in the Riverina NSW

Targeted Sport: Running and triathlon

Years in the Sport: 8years of competitions but always ran recreationally

How did you get started: Always ran for fun, and I had some friends starting to do running races so I tagged along and then just kept going !

Why I choose CPC: I knew of Sarah during my time at holistic endurance so was aware of the same training principles that appeal to me.

What I ‘get’ from my sport: It simply gives me the enjoyment of doing something for myself to make me a better person through mind and body of which benefits can then flow on to my family…

Ultimate Goal:  To continue on in my chosen sport for as long I can

What I couldn’t live without: My family

Biggest love: Also my family !

Pet peeve!: Selfishness and jealousy

Interesting fact about me: I like to make quilts at night by hand in my “downtime” and own a patchwork store in Cootamundra. 🙂

Athlete in Profile: Lincoln Stephen

Joining our supporting membership and getting some mentoring from Coach Sarah, Lincoln has ambitious goals and is looking to find the missing piece to his puzzle. He is passionate about triathlon and sport in general as well as health and the human body and is keen for racing to return like the rest of us !

Name: Lincoln Stephen

Nickname: I’ve had many but a long standing one is Stinkin‘. it just rhymes. :-p

Age / Age Group: 35-39

Lives: Bendigo, Vic

Targeted Sport: Triathlon

Years in the Sport: 12

How did you get started: A work friend asked if I wanted to do the Melbourne Corporate Tri in 2009 because one of his team members pulled out. It was love at first tri !

Why I choose CPC: I met coach Sarah in 2009 when I started my first full triathlon season in Melbourne. I had entered the full Gatorade series and got a 6-week try out with Tri-Alliance who Sarah was with. I’ve been aware of things she’s done in coaching and racing since then and really love her philosophies and attitude. I’m keen to be a part of a triathlon community more than I have been and connect with other like-minded people.

What I ‘get’ from my sport: Sport has been the one constant in my life since I was very young. I have played many different sports with Hockey being my number one sport of choice for many years prior to triathlon. Sport and competition gives me great joy and purpose as I aim to be my best whenever I am competing. I love pursuing a competitive goal and the structure that training for it can provide me in life. Feeling great in life always involves consistent and productive training.

Ultimate Goal:  Ultimate goal is to race as a professional triathlete but I’m a fair way off that. However, I will first aim to win my age group in a half ironman event. When I can get everything to click on race day, I thing I have a big shot.

What I couldn’t live without: Not including my wife and kids, it would be sport.

Biggest love: Not including my wife and kids, it would be sport as well. ;-p

Pet peeve!: Drafting in a non-drafting race.

Interesting fact about me: Raced at the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mont-Tremblant, Canada. It didn’t go well…

Want to follow me?
You can find me: Instagram Facebook

Athlete In Profile: Peter Romanis

Our newest member to team CPC, with coaching guidance and support, Pete is keen to get his niggles under control and work towards his ultimate triathlon goal….

Name: Peter Romanis

Nickname: Pete or Pedro

Age / Age Group: Nearing the 40+

Lives: StKilda, Vic

Targeted Sport: Triathlon!

Years in the Sport: Sporadically over the past 6-7 years

How did you get started: Inspired after stumbling across the finish line at the last Melbourne Ironman in 2015 (not me personally, just figuratively – I happened to be walking in the area and went to check out what was going on!) . Atmosphere and the endurance of the athletes competing was infectious.

Why I choose CPC: The four pillars of Sarah’s coaching approach resonated with me – Commitment, Balance, Purpose, and Passion.

What I ‘get’ from my sport: It is somewhat an escape from the day to day world where you can invest in yourself. It is a tremendous stress relief that also promotes a much better overall lifestyle.

Ultimate Goal:  Ironman 140.6 !

What I couldn’t live without: A goal to work towards

Biggest love: Travel and discovery

Pet peeve!: Ignorance

Interesting fact about me: Nothing overly special. Probably my one claim to fame is being an undefeated premiership winning Captain-Coach of the Ealing Emus Aussie Rules team in London. 🙂

Want to follow? You can find me on Strava

Athlete in Profile: Emily Bence

Last year during lockdown, she rediscovered her love for running and now looks forward to her runs as her form of meditation! Like most runners, she is also a lover of great food (and wine!) and aims to complete her first marathon next year….

Name: Emily Bence

Nickname: Em (original!) ;-p

Age / Age Group: 25-29

Lives: Melbourne, Vic

Targeted Sport: Running!

Years in the Sport: Just over a year 🙂

How did you get started: I was always into running when I was younger (little athletics, school cross country) but rediscovered my love for it during the lockdown last year when options on exercise were very limited. It’s continued to be my saviour during these non stop lockdowns!

Why I choose CPC: My nutritionist recommended Sarah and after a few injuries, I decided I needed the extra help to get me back on the right track – best decision I’ve made 🙂

What I ‘get’ from my sport: I genuinely look forward to my runs everyday! It’s the one time of the day that I can just zone out of the chaos of real life and not think about anything other than putting one step in front of the other. It’s my form of meditation!

Ultimate Goal:  A full marathon – aiming for next years Gold Coast marathon. Fingers crossed!

What I couldn’t live without: My mum

Biggest love: So hard to choose! Running (obvs) tied closely with food.. and wine!

Pet peeve!: Smoking

Interesting fact about me: Another big love of mine is music! I’ve been to over 80 concerts, gigs and festivals in my time. I’m always making different playlists for my runs too! Running to a good playlist can make all the difference 🙂

Athlete in Profile: Regan Hollioake

With a background in competitive swimming Regan has the discipline and the drive, but doesn’t take herself seriously, doesn’t know where her nickname came from, and doesn’t mind a glass of red! 😉 New to the CPC team, Regan has already seen performance gains in a short period of time, not to mention is already happier and enjoying her training so much more. We look forward to seeing what’s to come!

Name: Regan Hollioake

Nickname: I usually get Ree (no explanation needed!) or Gally of the Fam. I couldn’t even tell you where that one came from though! (CPC: that needs some further investigation!!) 😉

Age / Age Group: 30-34 a couple more years left in this one 😉

Lives: Nathalia, Vic

Targeted Sport: Triathlon

Years in the Sport: 3

How did you get started: I went to watch my partner, Wade, race for the first time at the Batemans Bay 70.3 a few years ago. I found it to be a very long day on the sidelines and made the decision then to give a triathlon a crack. We both signed up or the Geelong 70.3 together a few months later. With beginners luck I came in quicker on the day and he hasn’t raced a triathlon ever since haha! From then on in I was hooked.

Why I choose CPC: In the past, I have been intimidated by the intensity of some of the Triathlon Die Hards I’ve come across, which has prevented me from getting a coach to this date. I was training on my own with absolutely no method or plan. This was fine initially as I had some pretty good results straight off the bat but found my performance plateaued pretty quickly. I was drawn to Sarah’s balanced approach to training, racing and life and respect for athletes wellbeing as a whole to drive performance. I have only been with Sarah for a few weeks but I’ve found myself to be an overall happier, healthier and better athlete for it already and am so excited for what is to come!

What I ‘get’ from my sport: Being a competitive swimmer growing up taught me the value of discipline, dedication and commitment, resilience and time management that have shaped me into the person I am today. Triathlon, and its community, has now replicated this as an adult and provides me with an opportunity to switch off from life’s stressors, improve my health and wellbeing, satisfy my competitive streak and socialise with a like minded bunch a crazies who give up their Sunday mornings to swim, ride and run!!

Ultimate Goal:  Complete at full Ironman (fingers crossed for Busso in December!)

What I couldn’t live without: Good food and (the occasional) glass of red wine!

Biggest love: My family, friends and Fur babies

Pet peeve!: People who cant park within the lines or unnecessarily back into car spaces holding up traffic

Interesting fact about me: My first job at 15 years old was as a taste tester for McCain foods. I haven’t had such job satisfaction since haha! (CPC: ha! this is the best! )

What is athlete self confidence and how can it be fostered?

If you had all the confidence in the world – then imagine what you could do? Imagine what you could achieve. Imagine what you would DO. So why then do some athletes have a higher self confidence than others? Why can some athletes push themselves to exhaustion, to near failure, to the depths.. While others take the other road? Some would say the ‘easier’ road? It all comes down to self belief, and the self confidence that comes with that.

No one would argue that self-confidence is the cornerstone of all great sporting performances. But self confidence is made up from both self belief AND evidence (ie proof). We all have varying levels of self belief, but the level of self belief in athletes can vary widely. So to improve an athletes self confidence, we look at an athletes self belief and marry that up with EVIDENCE so they can improve their self confidence. As soon as you do that – PERFORMANCE will improve.

Self Confidence = Self belief X Evidence

Self belief on it’s own is hard to change. It is an athletes core beliefs, their values, their character. Ultimately it is who they are as a person and how they feel about themselves. This is established from a young age. The environment and early experiences shaped our individual belief systems.

So athletes with strong self belief often require little evidence to create self-confidence. They have an innate belief that they can do anything, achieve anything and can perform when needed. They believe that they can achieve the goal they set out for regardless of what they hear, what others say, and any other obstacles that may be impeeding their way.

Whereas athletes who lack self-belief require more evidence to prove to themselves that they can. They require ‘evidence’ from their preparation, or even past performance to BELIEVE before they actual do perform to their full potential.

I had an athlete who over the last season (maybe longer) starting doubting her ability. She would train consistently, hit great numbers in training, but come race day, was falling short of what she was capable of. She didn’t believe that she could race to a certain level – to a certain power number, or hit a pace target we set. And having those targets were actually causing anxiety around trying to hit them. So to begin with, we took away the expectations, to lower the pressure she put on herself. But that in itself didn’t help. So another change was needed. She needed a shift in her mindset….

So this season she has taken a step back from racing, to take away the pressure, and the feelings that were coming along with that and so in the background, we could work on mindset. So to do this, I started working again on the EVIDENCE for her. Without her necessarily realising, I wanted to create more evidence (proof) for her that she was capable. That she could achieve. So I set about writing a program for her that would allow her to SEE that evidence. We had repeatable, progressing sessions over weeks and months. Ones that she could see and ultimately feel the improvements. I’ve been throwing challenges at her in other ways, including virtual races. But NO expectations. To simply go out and RACE.

Well she had a breakthrough race last weekend: “I’ve got my belief back that I can push myself on the bike… a lot of that comes down to you. Thanks!”

It did not matter at all where she came in the race (although as a side note she came 1st) 😉 what mattered is she believed in her ability. She believed she could push herself. Because the EVIDENCE was there. The numbers, the data – it was all SHOWING her she could. So her CONFIDENCE in her own ability increased to a point here she was able to perform the way I knew she could… 🙂

THIS was a very proud Coach moment. As it was an area of my coaching that I have been developing and working on. Coaching isn’t simply about developing the best training plan, the best periodised programs, or the ultimate individual sessions. Of course, that is all part of the process. But a Coaching environment should be about developing real self confidence. Genuine, resilient self-confidence, which, when pushed (like in a race scenario) can withstand the pain, the pressure and the fatigue of both the training preparation and the race performance. As a Coach, we CAN improve an athletes self confidence, through the high performing culture we foster.

So – as an athlete, if you feel you lack self confidence, maybe you just need to right environment to shift that. Feel free to reach out if you want to learn more..