Why teenage national champion a joy to coach
AS a current Australian recordholder, Mark Sills knows an exciting talent when he sees one.
Ipswich and District Athletic Club all-rounder Charlize Goody is a perfect example.
The Australian and Queensland under-15 heptathlon champion has enjoyed a superb season, setting personal bests everywhere on her way to collecting an impressive medal haul.
Sills, who holds the national under-16 high jump record (2.14m) set in 1992, also came through the ever-productive Ipswich athletics system.
He's one of the club's high quality coaches helping Goody improve her high jump, long jump and sprinting.
"It's her hard work and dedication,'' Sills said, when asked why Goody had advanced so far over the past 12 months.
"She's a talent. She definitely puts in a lot of hard work.''
Ipswich Girls' Grammar School year 9 student Goody has a background in multiple sports including swimming, basketball, volleyball, badminton and cross country.
But in recent months, she focused on her number one target of winning the national heptathlon title. She did in Brisbane earlier this month.
"I reached my goals that I set for myself,'' said Goody, who turned 14 in January.
Although she was unable to complete the season with another Australian championship success due to coronavirus cancellations, Goody has achieved more than most teenagers can dream of.
"She has been a standout in the last 12 months,'' said club official and coach Vic Pascoe, who previously helped Goody with her hurdling.
"I don't know how she actually can do so much that she does. She really works hard.''
At the recent Queensland championships, Karalee-based Goody won a gold, silver and five bronze medals in her under-15 competition.
That followed her earlier heptathlon title victory in the same age group at the Australian Combined Events Championships in Brisbane. She accumulated a personal best tally of 4493 points after a seesawing battle.
Other reputable Ipswich club coaches helping Goody this season include throws mentor Mick Moore.
"She does a lot of work on her throws,'' Sills said. "So individually, going down to nationals, the main concentration was going to be on her throws.
"She works well with Mick.''
Goody was previously assisted by another Ipswich club achiever, personal trainer Darrin Norwood, before her latest group of coaches.
The quietly-spoken Ipswich club athlete appreciated all the support of her coaches and especially her parents Kym and Tyne for "encouraging me every single day of my life''.
She rated javelin her favourite event because "it's the easiest and it's the funest''.
But training every day, she welcomes the big heptathlon programs she often tackles.
"I enjoyed most the Australian Combined championships. It was really fun,'' she said.
Sills said Goody deserved her incredible success.
"She's just naturally progressing really well,'' the coach said.
"It's just her attitude that she puts into training.
"She's easy to coach because she's a very relaxed athlete so she doesn't really let too much pressure get to her.''
Training reset plans
WHILE the current sporting shutdown denied elite athletes a final nationals campaign this month, Ipswich coach Mark Sills offered one positive.
It's given the athletes an early rest before preparing for the next season when everyone is cleared to compete again.
"With nationals being called off, we were kind of put on to a bit of an enforced early break,'' Sills said.
"Where we would have been having April off, we started it a couple of weeks ago when the ladies state titles were cancelled.''
He said athletes would start light training next week on their own or in small groups, following the current coronavirus guidelines.
"We just have got to make sure we put the social distance in and proper precautions in place and that,'' said Sills, who has been coaching at the Ipswich and District Athletic Club for the past four years.
Apart from national heptathlon champion Charlize Goody, Sills has been working with other top prospects like Madison Wells, Monique Williams, Lily Vine and Laylani Va'ai at Bill Paterson Oval.