Meet the exercise physiologist

Tayla Hadden is part of the team working behind the scenes to ensure South West Academy of Sport athletes stand the best chance of long and successful sporting careers.

The Maximum Results exercise physiologist works with the academy’s athletes on strength and conditioning to ensure they compete in optimum condition.

“In their off season, we identify the athletes’ weaknesses and spend time completing specific strength and conditioning programs to reduce these deficits,” Hadden said.

“And then when they’re going into competition, we need to be able to taper their program to make sure they’re not overloading and are ready to compete at their peak performance.”

Hadden designs sessions for individual athletes as well as group sessions for players in the hockey program, with injury prevention, power, strength and muscle control areas of focus in order to give participants the greatest advantage for their chosen sport.

“What athletes will do in general when they are training for their sports is they’ll only use certain muscle groups, which makes them prone to injury because they are overloading muscles that are used repetitively in their sport and are not using the opposing muscle groups at that time,” Hadden said.

“We work with the athletes to help them to compete for a longer period of time at a higher level, with a reduced risk for injuries can frequently occur.”

Hadden, who plays soccer and hockey, has long been interested in sport and this background helps her to further assist young talents she is helping.

Having access to support services in the region through SWAS, reduces the need for the young talents to travel to Perth in their crucial formative years.

“It saves their parents taking time off work to travel to training sessions, and the athletes are not having to miss school which is highly important when they’re completing Year 11 and 12,” Hadden said.