TAP selection marks big finish to 2015 for Mikaila

Current MWAS Athlete of the Year Mikaila Watson is finishing her second year with the MWAS strongly. Mikaila has been offered a place in the Talent Accelerant Program (TAP) run by Hockey WA. High Performance Manager at Hockey WA Jason Butcher explains how the TAP program works

 “The Talent Accelerant Program has become a key component of our High Performance Program, ensuring opportunities for a broader group of athletes are in place to access High Performance support and exposure, and an opportunity to accelerate athlete development and to support targeted long term development areas in the off-season.’

Mikaila is excited at the prospect of joining the TAP program. One of the challenges for athletes from the Mid West is travelling to Perth for the many sessions offered by TAP. This barrier will be lessened for Mikaila as she will be moving to Perth in 2016 to start a physiotherapy degree at the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA). In what was a big week for announcements, Mikaila was also offered early acceptance from UNDA and can focus on the impending Year 12 exams with a slightly lowered stress level.

The two years in the MWAS program have prepared Mikaila well for the increase in training intensity she will encounter in Perth and particularly for the “extra” requirements that go with higher performance expectations. Skills developed during sessions with the Developing Champions program and with Sports Psychology consultations give Mikaila confidence. “I believe the skills I have learned and awareness of the challenges outside the technical side of training will really help me” she said. “I feel more confident now to deal with issues that come up during a game”.  Mikaila has also benefitted from committing to sessions offered by MWAS in strength and speed training.

The chance to regularly show what she can do in front of the higher level coaches is another positive aspect for Mikaila in 2016 “I feel well prepared to take this opportunity and do my best in front of the state coaches on a regular basis. To progress I need to get my name out there”.

Mikaila is an excellent example of how the MWAS works to assist young pre-elite athletes to be ready to move to higher levels as opportunities arise. The MWAS looks forward to following the continued progress in sport and life for another of our growing alumni in 2016.