Jordan Wong is one of our three Brisbane staff members currently completing a Coaching Internship with Delta Gymnastics. We sat down with Jordan to get some insight into this intern program, to see where he is hoping it will take him and to get some background on why he has chosen gymnastics (and Delta) as his career!
At the start of 2018 Jordan moved to Brisbane to join Delta from Central West NSW. With a varied background as a performer, competitor and teacher, Jordan has been involved in lots of training environments throughout his life and decided coaching was his future.
As a child, Jordan played many different sports, including gymnastics, swimming and soccer. It was this exposure to different training environments, along with a strong sense of drive, which made teaching & coaching a passion for Jordan and something he wanted to pursue as a career.
Jordan has been a drama teacher since the age of 16 and in 2008 became a general gymnastics coach. Along with gymnastics, he has coached dancing, acro and hip hop. His healthy and active lifestyle has seen Jordan compete as a B-Boy, work as a contempory dancer and as a hip hop dancer.
One of Jordan’s mentors is Dan Aubin, who is the founder of Daring Humans. Dan calls himself a “moving academic” and is known to deliver his university lectures on communication – upside down! Dan coached Jordan as both an athlete and as a coach and pushed him to always aim high. While Jordan certainly takes this advice in everything he does, and while he still loves performing – he realised he is more passionate about the coaching side of things and this is where his focus needs to be.
So… he thought, how do I do this and make this my career? A browse on the Gymnastics NSW website saw him stumble across Delta Gymnastics. He was intrigued by a job advertisement and found himself reading through the Delta website. Before he knew it, he had made a phone call – which ended up in an hour-long conversation with owner Megan Mitchell.
Jordan visited Delta and was offered a job, before being asked to join the Delta Internship program – which he happily accepted! More chance to learn, more chance to develop his coaching skills.
What is the Delta Internship Program all about?
The Delta Internship is a 9-12 month coaching program. As an intern, Jordan has time allocated into his full time position specifically for learning. For Jordan this is so valuable as so often it can be had to fit additional learning in when working full time.
He works alongside high level and successful coaches at Delta and has senior coach, Briohny Griffin as his mentor. He meets weekly with Bri and co-coaches a 12 hour group of level 5 and 6 gymnasts with her. Jordan feels so lucky to work with Bri, not only for the coaching knowledge she imparts but also because as an FIG Judge, Bri teaches him to look at things from another perspective and teaches a high level of detail.
Each week he attends a lecture from Delta Director John Mitchell, or another senior coach. Some of the topics include learning about creating a great training atmosphere (the Delta spirit) and what as coaches, we want to achieve in the gym. They have had apparatus lectures, breaking down skills and looking at equipment, recognising issues and fixing. Most recently they have completed a lecture on competition preparation, which included what to do in the lead up to competitions, on the day, trouble shooting, equipment checks and preparing kids.
In his role, Jordan feels privileged to work with some amazing Delta coaches including Lauren Norton, who he believes has an incredible training atmosphere and great trust with her gymnasts. Wendy Gilliver is another of the coaches he has the opportunity to work with and Jordan says Wendy has an incredible ability to understand and prepare athletes. He also has a great working relationship with Josh Parker-Sloan, Delta level 8-10 coach and Facilities Manager. Josh is like an older brother to Jordan and Jordan feels he learns so much from the way Josh is able to analytically break down skills and look at the biomechanics of a skill.
Jordan commented that one of the biggest things he has learnt at Delta is the way coaches don’t band aid a symptom when a skill is going wrong, but rather look 10 steps earlier and fix that first step.
Currently in his internship, Jordan coaches Gym Kids, from our Preps right up to Aspire level 8 and 9 gymnasts. This gives him the full exposure not only of what Delta offers kids, but also allows him to work with a variety of children of different ages, abilities and with different goals.
Recently he and the other Delta Interns had the opportunity to attend the closed State Team Training Camp at Delta Kedron. Jordan was able to spend time with some of the State’s most senior and successful coaches, as well as the top gymnasts in Queensland as they prepared for the Australian Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne.
Jordan’s ultimate goal is to be a High Performance Gymnastics Coach and to follow in the footsteps of Sasha and Olga Beloussov, Delta’s international coaches. He feels it is a privilege and an honor to witness Georgia Godwin’s journey and to work alongside such incredible coaches and athletes.
We asked Jordon what he loves most about gymnastics?
Jordan likes the coaching mentality. He loves that gymnastics teaches kids to be courageous, confident and willing to take a risk. It teaches kids to work hard and to focus – and – it’s fun to be upside down!
Jordan still trains himself and is very active. Like his gymnasts, he too is always upside down and he has a goal to hold a one armed handstand for 30 seconds!
Jordan’s love of learning and hard work is evident in all he does. It’s no wonder he lives by these quotes:
“Teachers can only open the door, but students must enter themselves”
“Do today what others won’t, so you can do tomorrow what others can’t”
“Don’t train to get it right, train until you can’t get it wrong”.
If you’re interested in the 2019 internships with Delta Gymnastics, please register your interest with firstname.lastname@example.org.