Coaches Learn from UK’s Best – Eddie Van Hoof

Anna RobertsonCompetitive Gymnastics, e-News, International, Men's artistic gymnastics

Last month several coaches from around the country had the opportunity to attend a High Performance Sport NZ workshop with the UK’s head MAG coach Eddie Van Hoof.  David Phillips and Jarrod Heriot attended the Auckland workshop, and Toby Levine, Terry Walker and Paddy Kelly attended in Christchurch.

An Olympic gymnast and Coach for 20 years, Eddie’s UK programme success was evident most recently as he guided Max Whitlock to two gold medals in Rio, followed by the accolade of UK Coach of the Year 2016.  Check out Eddie’s life in gymnastics video below.

It was a great chance for our coaches to hear how Eddie took a program that in 2006 was ranked 16th in the world to being number one in 2016.

There were a number of key points that the coaches took away from the workshop that we can adapt to our programmes here in New Zealand:

  • The need to invest in Juniors
  • Share knowledge to keep things sustainable
  • Athlete and coach development at training camps
  • Treat every kid that comes through your door as a potential champion
  • We need to encourage a wide pool of talent to produce an end product at Senior Level


And some words of wisdom from one coach to another:

  • Have clarity around the roles of the coaches in your programme
  • Don’t let your EGO get in the way of results
  • And probably the most important – Every decision must be made for the benefit of the athlete in mind


All of the coaches came away with a better understanding of what it means to run and be part of a high performance programme along with some great ideas to implement in their own programmes..