Gary Thompson

"On a personal level I see this very much as investing in my child's education. Setting them up for their future. It's the, "I can do it!" attitude that I love."

It was about 18 months ago that my daughter Phoebe was feeling the need to make a change in her approach to her cycling. She loved the sport of cycling but felt she had more to give on race day than had been tapped into so far.

Our main objectives were to find a coach who understood the needs of a developing athlete, could work on both strengths and weaknesses to draw the personal best out and of course someone who had a passion for the sport of cycling. As a parent I also wanted a coach who was straight talking, easy to communicate with and someone who would be a good role model.

Donna had an excellent reputation and loads of experience and was the obvious choice. Fast forward 18 months and there is a very good reason why Donna Dall has a great reputation.

Since joining PCS I have been able to see constant growth in my daughter as an athlete, competitor and on a personal level. There are so many nuggets of experience and wisdom that Donna has been willing to share on the journey. Anything from setting up reliable pre-race routines, constant support during the good and not so good times, personalised training programs and how to travel through different time zones are a few amongst many.

I have seen first hand how the time and dedication Donna puts into her athletes transfers into the athletes dedication to train and compete at the highest level. From modest beginnings and with hard work, came improvement in performance which began to reshape the way my daughter saw herself. Along the journey came greater opportunities to travel, not only nationally but internationally. These next level opportunities to travel, compete and mix with like minded people 18 months ago were only for someone else’s child. Yet now, we have been the recipient of experiences we thought were out of our reach.

It’s not only the program that Donna sets that empowers her athletes, but also the support network she can create to form an extremely well rounded training experience. If Donna doesn’t know it, she knows someone that does. From dieticians, strength and conditioning coaches, skills development coaches and sports psychologists, together with a network of contacts within the cycling community.

On a personal level I see this very much as investing in my child’s education. Setting them up for their future. It’s the, “I can do it!” attitude that I love.

We have benefited so much from our association with Donna. I say “we”, as even though Phoebe is coached by Donna, her willingness to share and openly communicate ideas has allowed me as a parent to also learn along the way. And all this from being coached remotely, although you wouldn’t know it.

Thanks Donna, this has been such a rewarding experience, with a lot more to come I am sure.

Regards Gary Thompson.