Top coach Lawler impresses Ipswich brigade

INNOVATIVE TRAINING:  International coach Peter Lawler supervises as Ipswich and District Athletics Club competitor Ashlee Stieler demonstrates some exercises.


AS a retired teacher, Peter Lawler OAM knows how to share valuable information.

However, he offered a lot more than tips during his first visit to Ipswich over the weekend.

The respected international coach presented practical demonstrations on javelin and strength and conditioning techniques with a touch of humour and in an entertaining way.

During sessions on Saturday and Sunday, Lawler enjoyed helping regional athletes and coaches broaden their training knowledge.

“My whole philosophy is based on taking exercises that already exist in other sports, like weightlifting, and transforming them into more efficient, more specific exercises for athletes,” he said.

During Sunday’s session inside the Bill Paterson Oval clubhouse, Lawler had athletes trying a range of his methods, only using a piece of carpet, a weightlifting bench and barbell.

“It’s not based on how much you can lift at all.  It’s extreme movements with no loading,” he said.  “A lot of times, people disassociate weights and athletics.  I’m trying to say they are all one and the same.

“I can bring hurdle work into here (inside) and I can take hurdle work out there (on to the training field).

“This is based on my own experience, coaching myself.”

The Ipswich club athletes called up by Lawler did a fine job picking up a new array of push-ups and exercises they can do any time, or incorporate in their training schedules.  After a wobbly start, the athletes quickly made Lawler’s exercises useful.

Wollongong-based Lawler said his techniques require no equipment and are free.

The Commonwealth Games and Olympic coach and author has worked overseas, training Australian athletes and sharing his techniques as a guest speaker.

His next stop is Melbourne to present a case to the National Technical Committee of Little Athletics Australia.

“There is a dogfight on with high jump whether the kids should do flop or scissors,” he said.

“This national committee knows it’s got to be consistent across the states.  They are going to try and push for it to go back to scissors.”

Ipswich and District Athletics Club president Bailey Pashley was glad he invited Lawler along for some productive sessions.

“He’s given us some new ideas in fitness and in the sport, things just to think about,” said Pashley, who has been friends with Lawler for more than 20 years.

“He’s done a program with taking young people from six years old to senior athletics.”