SNV Juniors at the AIS Centre of Excellence!

SNV recently caught up with former junior players Alex Lyndon & Ethan Garrett who moved to Canberra this year after an invitation to join the Centre of Excellence at the AIS. Here’s what they had to say…..

Alex Lyndon (right)

Age: 17
Been playing: 3 years
Position: Setter

Best thing I have done in volleyball:
Travelling to Thailand and Myanmar with the Australian Youth Team for Asian Championships

Now you are at the CoE! What is that and how did you get there?
The CoE is a high performance training program for young volleyballers in Australia, to provide a pathway to college and professional volleyball contracts and scholarships, and eventually for some to transition into the Volleyroos.  I was seen playing AVL with UTSSU last season and was asked to come down and train at a camp in November. During that camp I was offered a place to come to Canberra and train full time.

A day at the COE….
A normal day for a CoE athlete consists of a possible morning skills training, then heading to school for the day. In the afternoon we’ll usually have a practice session for anywhere between an hour and 3 hours, and every second day a strength and conditioning session in the gym. After that, we’ll come home to eat, study and complete homework and relax. A quick stretching session followed by an early night, ready to do it all over again the next day.

What’s good at the AIS?
The AIS has amazing facilities, and access to the best that sport in Australia has to offer, including technology, support staff and resources. The physio’s, nutritionists, coaches, doctors, psychologists and support staff help to maximise the development of each and every individual.

What’s hard about being in Canberra?
The hardest part about being in Canberra is being away from my family, and the cold weather isn’t fantastic either.

What are your volleyball goals?
At the moment I’m working towards a spot in college overseas for next year, and from there potentially a professional contract.

Who do you like playing with?
I love playing with friends; nothing beats getting together with a nice bunch of guys and girls and just having fun. Also love playing with my team mates from Sydney North, such an amazing club and awesome people!

Who is your favourite player?
My favourite player would have to be Bruninho Rezende from Brazil; he is truly a master setter, and a natural leader with incredible grasp of skills and knowledge of the game, such a treat to watch and so much to learn from his playing.

Ethan Garrett (left)

Age: 16
How long have you been playing volleyball? About 3 years, I started playing in a Sydney North social comp with my Dad. Then last year I played SVL for Sydney North in the Division 1 and under 19 teams.
What position? Pass Hitter (outside)

Best thing you have done in volleyball?
I have been to Thailand in the Australian U17 Junior Men’s development Tour in April 2017. Going to National Juniors and U16 Australian All School Volleyball Championship’s

Now you are at the CoE! What is that and how did you get there?
The Centre of Excellence is the elite volleyball program at the AIS; athletes are between 16 and 20, there are about 20 athletes from all over Australia, mostly from Queensland. There are three from NSW. I went to a development camp at Bendigo in December 2016 and at that camp I was told that I was being considered for a place at the AIS COE and after that I attended camp in Canberra in January 2017 where I was told that I had been offered a spot.

A day at the COE….
Each day I go to school – year 11 at Lake Ginninderra from 8.30 to 3.30 then I catch the bus to training at the AIS, and I train from 4.30 to 6. Training includes Monday is weights gym, Tuesday is court session from 4 then from 5 to 6 in the weights gym, Wednesday is a court session then hydro recovery, Thursday is the same as Tuesday, Friday is the same as Wednesday.
On Saturday have nothing at the moment, but sometimes that’s a 9am weights session and Sunday at the moment we play for COE in the Canberra League.

What’s good at the AIS?
Everything that a professional athlete needs is provided; dietitians, physio, strength and conditioning and excellent coaches.

What’s hard about being in Canberra?
Managing school work around training, being motivated to train 6-7 days a week is hard.

What are your volleyball goals?
I have many goals, this year is to play well at Nationals and be in the all-star seven, win AVSC, make AVL finals. I hope to be in Canberra til 2019 2020 and then I would like to go overseas, Canada, US to play or get a contract in Europe.
Of course in the long term that main goal is to play at the Olympics in 2024 or 2028.

Who do you like playing with?
My mates; Deua Berry or Armaan Dosanjh from NSW

Who is your favourite player?
N’garpeth – the French player who won the MVP at World League and for Australia Luke Smith, he’s been at the AIS in the same position as me and it’s great to get advice from him.