I attended the Hockey Academy for 6 weeks initially, but chose to extend this to 10 weeks after arriving. I really enjoyed the professional aspect of the academy, and cherished the opportunity to train full time. The strength and conditioning sessions were brilliant, really expanding my knowledge and by the end of the 10 weeks I felt incredibly fit.Graeme, the 1 to 1 coach, was also fantastic. Having played nationally and internationally, he always had something to add to my game and I thoroughly enjoyed all his sessions. The access to a very high standard of hockey was amazing, and on my return home from the program I found myself playing a significantly higher standard than before. It gave me a massive confidence boost and the difference in playing style really improved my game
The Academy was my first glimpse of how professionals live. The intense training in the gym, mixed with ice baths and the spa gave a full professional experience. However, the biggest challenge in the gym came from the climate chamber which really tested your physical and mental boundaries. The sport side of the academy was excellent. We trained in amazing facilities and had first class coaching, which lead to an increase in my performance both in Australia and England. There are also little perks that come with the academy which are also very enjoyable, such as being shown around a professional Aussie Rules training facility and watching them train. Overall an incredible program, which I thoroughly enjoyed
In April 2016 I decided I wanted to enhance my skills in the sport I love, Hockey. For three months I took part in Sports Lived academy, where I was fortunate enough to be coached by one of the top coaches in Australia. Each week we learnt different skills, and what made this academy unique was the one to one attention, which you would never get at the level of school or university. Not only did the academy focus on broadening my skills, but I also learnt how to maintain my fitness with a personal trainer, which we met twice a week. This gave me the advantage over other players in my club, as I was physically fitter which helped me to perform at my best throughout the whole game. Away from the training there were lots of social activities which everybody joined in, and this made my experience more memorable because the people were so friendly and inviting. I would definitely want to have this experience again, as it prepared me to go to the University Hockey trials with the confidence and knowledge of the game
I was part of the 6 week Cricket Academy programme but ended up staying in Melbourne longer than my academy programme because I enjoyed my time so much. Although I was in recovery from an ankle injury the academy coaches and fitness instructors were excellent in adapting sessions and activities so I could still take part. I still follow some of the fitness and eating plans during the cricket season now I have returned home and have gone on to study in sport business at Worcester University. When I have finished my studies I have plans to return to Melbourne and have kept in touch with many of the sporting contacts I made when I first started my gap year.
I really enjoyed the Academy, the sessions were nicely spaced out and you still had time to yourself to see Melbourne. The coaching was extremely useful and I learned so much in a small space of time - the Academy helped me afterwards as I went straight to the U.K. to play cricket. It taught me how to train like a top athlete and prepare well. I learned a lot about the small things, whether it was with the bat or ball and definitely learned a lot about my own game