This short case study highlights the role that iyarn and our system of innovative check ins has played in supporting young paddlers on the road to international success.
WAIS: Fostering Success on the International Stage
The Western Australian Institute of Sports is designed to foster success on the international stage. Scholarship athletes typically receive access to coaching, strength and conditioning, physiology, sport science services, psychology, sport medicine and athlete wellbeing and engagement.
This year, WAIS incorporated iyarn as a performance management tool for a dozen athletes in the Canoe program. The WAIS Canoe Program runs a daily training environment for sprint kayak and Paracanoe for emerging and developing athletes.
Checking in with Elite Paddlers
Head Coach Ramon Andersson used iyarn with this group of athletes aged 17 years and up to ensure athletes exhibited high performance behaviours.
Ramon: “Overall the group responded well to using iyarn. Athlete reflections would often align with my observations in a daily training environment, but iyarn helped to open up a number of discussions with athletes in those areas behaviours that I wouldn’t ordinarily see.
For example, a number of athletes scored themselves low on sleep and we were able to discuss sleep hygiene with them. Other athletes struggled with overall wellness from time to time, and discussions on the impact of external stressors like uni, work and family made for a more complete picture of athlete performance and wellbeing.”
iyarn plays a vital role in building a more complete picture of performance, surfacing issues that might have been missed or wouldn’t come up in a typical conversation. This holistic mindset can also yield new solutions. It’s an important philosophy that leads to higher levels of performance and deeper connection between athletes and their coaching/support teams.
“iyarn has played an important role in supporting individual athletes to reach their potential. For example, there was one athlete who really struggled as a result of COVID. Regular discussions about how this athlete was feeling lead to the athlete seeking professional help. This athlete has rebounded amazingly well and is going as well as ever. This kind of support highlights the importance of getting on the front foot with these discussions.
Empowering Young Paddlers
Developing each athlete’s resilience and self-empowerment is a major focus for the support staff at WAIS, and iyarn was seen to have an important role in this regard as the next Summer Olympics appears on the horizon:
“Personalising the check ins is also very important. By aligning the check ins to the personal interests, values and drivers of performance for the athlete, we have a powerful tool to influence athlete agency.”
iyarn was designed with simplicity and ease of use as a key consideration for coaches and program leaders. This focus through the design process was evident in Ramon’s program:
“The experience was very simple in terms of setting up iyarn and tailoring the platform to meet our needs. New athletes could be added simply, and it was easy for athletes to understand and complete their check ins each week.”
For Paddlers and Many More!
iyarn is in use in schools, businesses, community groups and sporting programs across Australia. Demonstrations are available.