2 September, 2013

Jaguar Academy Talent Day focusses on Competition Simulation

The second Talent Day of the Jaguar Academy of Sport Mentoring and Education Programme took place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on Monday 2 September attended by over 35 Rising Stars, their parents and coaches.

Boosted by the inspiration of meeting Patrons Denise Lewis and Dame Kelly Holmes, the talented athletes were also lucky enough to talk to Ambassadors Jade Jones London 2012 Olympic Taekwondo Champion and Premiership footballer Rio Ferdinand, attending the event to pass on their advice to the next generation.

The theme of the Talent Day was ‘Competition Simulation’ with a series of Sport Education workshops for the Rising Stars, parents and coaches divided into groups alongside the Mentors. The topics covered were Mind Training, Sports Nutrition and Anti-Doping procedures for testing with our expert tutors Mhairi Keil, Katie Page, Michael Schofield, Lesley Bryant and UKAD tutors Peter Evans and Melanie Wright.

The day culminated with a Competition Simulation session to rehearse the steps and routine for each Rising Star in the final countdown before they compete to maximise their ultimate performance.

Britain’s youngest Olympic Champion at London 2012 at just 19 years old, Jade Jones, Olympic Champion Denise Lewis and Rio Ferdinand shared their experiences in an insightful Q&A session. They talked about dealing with the pressure of major championships, preparing effectively and lessons learned on their journey to the top. Amongst the Rising Stars learning first-hand from the British sports stars were Gemma Bonner and Jordan Nobbs who played for England this summer in the 2013 UEFA Women’s Championship.


Rio Ferdinand, Jaguar Academy of Sport Ambassador said: “Preparing mentally is just as important as preparing physically for a game. I have a set routine I follow in the days leading up to a match which puts me in the right frame of mind to perform. I visualize my opponent, the first touch, the first tackle, so that nothing is a surprise.

“On the day you have to distance yourself from the emotion, otherwise you’ll lose focus. Learning the self-discipline to stick to your plan and concentrate on the end game even when things aren’t going to your way is essential to compete at the highest level.”

Jade Jones former Rising Star and now Ambassador for the Jaguar Academy, met 15 year-old Asia Bailey who is hoping to follow in Jade’s footsteps and one day and reach the podium at an Olympic Games. The pair spoke about the preparation required ahead of a major competition and Jade talked to Asia about some of challenges and sacrifices she has made to become Olympic Champion at such a young age.

Former Rising Star Jade Jones, Olympic Champion said: “I’m always delighted to be invited to the Academy workshops, not so long ago I was in their position taking on all the advice of the Ambassadors and I’m honored to now be able to share my advice to help all the Rising Stars on the road to success. At just 15 years of age Asia is already demonstrating all the attributes of a fantastic athlete both physically and mentally, she is a very determined young athlete.”

Many of the Rising Stars have already moved up to World Class competition in recent months and produced some outstanding results on the world stage. One of the highlight performances this summer was Scott Jones, only 15 taking a surprise Gold with a new World record in the F34 Shot Putt at the IPC World Championships in Lyon, France.

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