Wikinews interviews Australian Paralympic assistant coach David Gould
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Gould told Wikinews he retired from playing after the 2002. He said he began coaching able bodied at schools and clubs in . He was awarded a scholarship by and the , and became assistant coach of the Under 23 Men's team in November 2011. He is now national wheelchair skills coach, assistant coach of the men's and women's national teams, and coach of the Under 23 Men's and Under 25 Women's teams.
He noted the Gliders have another training camp coming up inin August. This is to be an open development camp any player can attend. Twelve players are to be selected for the Asia Oceania Zone (AOZ) Wheelchair Basketball Championships in in November. The top three teams then qualify for the World Championships, to be held in next year.
He is acutely aware the Gliders have never won a World Championship or a. But he has won a gold medal, with the , the Rollers, in . "We went on a tour of the beforehand", he recalled. Facing the United States in the United States was daunting. There was a huge crowd. So how did they do it? "We had confidence in ourselves, and stuck to our plan," he recalled.
This, he said, is what he and Glider's head coach Tom Kyle are trying to teach the Gliders. To believe in the process. They take them out of their comfort zone, show them the right techniques, the right way to do things. The idea is to get the principles right.
Gould told Wikinews they have to look not just to thein in 2016, but further ahead to . They have to recruit new players and develop them. He said he took a Gliders team to the with only four members of the 2012 team, in order to give members of the development team experience with international competition. He set up a mentor system whereby the six newcomers were each paired with one of the old hands.
Wikinews was shown how the games are videoed and critiqued by the coaches. Special software allows the videos to be edited. Effects such as circling players can be added, along with captions and audio from the coaches. The edited video can then be downloaded by the players. Gould said there is a weekly video conference with the players.
He considered video of other teams is an important training tool. He noted the Gliders had to playin the first match of the , which was very tough, because so little was known about them. As it turned out, Brazil has a great program, and he thinks it could be a contender in front of a home crowd in Rio in 2016.
Wikinews noted one of the Gliders,, had her arm in a sling. Gould said her arm had been scanned, and the doctors will make their evaluation. Like most elite athletes, he knows about injury first hand. He told Wikinews he had injured his shoulder during the , and had to have it operated on afterwards. He said he did not want players playing injured, and sometimes it was better just to lose a week if you have the flu. He expected his players to be honest and up front with themselves, their coaches and their team. "We need everyone on the same page", he told Wikinews.
Gould told Wikinews the Asia Oceania Zone championships will feature Australia,, , , , and perhaps . The venue in Bangkok is well known to him, as the U23 Men's team have already played there. His plan is to arrive early, to allow the players to acclimatise to the high humidity and the food. Some of the U23 men got sick. He does not expect difficulty qualifying, but it is "one of the I's that have to be dotted and T's that have to be crossed."
He said Australians intend to apply full pressure, but one of their objectives is also to help the competition. One of the problems in Australia is that it takes a long time to go anywhere, he told Wikinews. By building up the teams in the Asia Oceania Zone, he hopes Australian teams will not have to travel so much or so far to meet first class competition.