They're training the sports stars of the future

It takes a team to support an elite-level athlete – and among the essential players is the coach.

Two coaches in the South West who are playing leading roles in assisting young sports men and women to fulfill their potential are Jamie Douse and Nicole Arrold.

Both oversee high performance talent development programs at the South West Academy of Sport, a not-for-profit organisation which supports up-and-coming athletes to take their game to the next level.

Douse, who heads up the SWAS football program, said it was fantastic to have a positive impact on the development of players both within the sport itself and their lives in general.

He has seen now-household names like Durak Tucker, Connor Blakely and Jonathon Marsh go through the ranks, along with other players who have competed at WAFL senior and colts levels.

Douse said he was happy for players who achieve their goals.

“I’ve seen the work that they’ve done – and for them to come out the other end and to achieve what is every young sport person’s goal, which is to make the elite level – I’m really happy for them,” Douse said.

Arrold, a former Hockeyroos captain and assistant coach who now mentors the next generation of potential hockey stars through her hockey coaching role at SWAS, said it was a privilege to work with talented athletes.

“Aside from their talent and ability, they are also keen and motivated and they’ve got the right attitude about trying to improve – not only in their hockey skills but also to become better people as well,” Arrold said.

“And I think that is what I like to invest in – that holistic kind of development.

“Being able to work with the youngsters as a group and bring them together to see what can be achieved as part of a squad is a privilege for me. This extends beyond that squad to their parents’ involvement as well – they’ve been really supportive.”