22 May Who needs a surf coach? Me!
When I first started my little blog, I interviewed the owner and founder of Chix Surf School, Gee Cormack. Her enthusiasm about women’s surfing and life in general is the reason I had to meet her and really see for myself what she was like as a specialised women’s surf coach. From the moment I met her, I could see why the women of the northern beaches in Sydney gravitate to her. She was instantly welcoming and full of energy. I couldn’t wait to get in the water with her and see if she could really help me and other women who share my passion for surfing!
I have had several coaches in my life (mainly for ice hockey), and I know what sort of coach works for me. I need someone that is passionate and enthusiastic who can push me past my limits and, most importantly, someone who I can trust. This is exactly what I got from Gee. She knew as I paddled out with her that I lacked confidence in so many areas. She gave me a firm talking to and simply told me to “get out of my head and go for it”. She wasn’t mean, intimidating or aggressive when giving me advice. Rather, she was fun and excited whilst still remaining professional. I felt safe to try a few pointers she gave me and even had a few laughs as I tumbled over the falls several times. Then there was a cracker wave that I usually would shy away from, but Gee coached me through it and I made it. I was thrilled and on top of the world. I walked away from my session with Gee feeling more confident, with a head full of things I needed to work on, but also SO jealous that the Sydney girls had access to her for on-going coaching!
The next day, Gee invited me to join her for an on land surf training session. It was then that Gee introduced me to the Smoothstar Surf trainer board. For those who haven’t seen these boards before, they are similar to a skateboard but yet very different. The concept behind them is to replicate the feeling of riding a wave and help you improve your surfing. I was somewhat reluctant (as I’m not very confident on a skateboard) and the Smoothstar initially is super unstable. Therefore, the thought of making myself look like a turkey wasn’t very appealing!
Once again though, Gee’s subtle coaching techniques and enthusiasm made me jump onto the board and throw myself into it. I can’t tell you how much fun I had, but I also got one hell of a work out. My legs were like jelly but I couldn’t stop smiling! I spent the rest of the day with Gee, learning more about her surf school and ways she coaches her local girls. It was really interesting to discover the diversity of women but also the age range of ongoing clientele with the youngest being 4 years old and the eldest being 62 years old (this lady is also one of most dedicated). I also learnt that Gee was starting to run weekend camps to train with her and other women from 7am to 7pm. These camps included in-water sessions, Smoothstar training sessions, video analyses and surf-specific fitness sessions. If I wasn’t jealous of the Sydney girls before, now I was beyond jealous. That day was when I had a ‘light bulb’ moment…if I couldn’t get to Gee, I determined to bring Gee to the far South Coast and introduce her to our surfing community!
To be continued…….