Life as a rowing coach is made a lot easier by the people Bella Logie-Smith works with and the places she gets to call her “office”.
The Class of 2016 graduate has held several coaching roles in the School’s netball and rowing programs since 2017.
A bit over six years ago, Bella started as a rowing coach before becoming Junior Rowing Co-ordinator, Junior and Intermediate Rowing Co-ordinator and Netball coach.
The 23-year-old is now the Senior Rowing Co-ordinator, a role she has held since July last year.
Bella took some time from her “chaotic” coaching schedule to be our guest on the first Alumnae Spotlight of 2023!
In this edition, Bella talks about her role at MGGS, being a coach and how this year’s crop of Senior rowers are faring ahead of Head of Schoolgirls.
You are currently Senior Co-ordinator in the School’s rowing Program; what does this entail, and what does a typical week look like for you?
My role as Senior Co-ordinator involves overseeing the Senior rowing program, managing the Year 11 and 12 rowers and coaching staff, designing the training program, and a range of logistical and administrative tasks. Our senior rowers train six times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings on the river, Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons in the gym and on ergos. Saturdays are either a weekend away racing or training on the Yarra. On top of these training sessions, I also spend time at School during the day completing any additional work, so I have a pretty chaotic week!
What do you love most about what you do?
What I love most about what I do is the people. I am supported by an amazing team around me that makes those early mornings, long camps and regattas worth it.
I also have the best office in the world! I’m incredibly lucky to spend the majority of my day outside and get to experience some of the most amazing sunrises and rivers, travel around Victoria and Australia (heading to Perth for Nationals this year) and see all the scenery the world has to offer that a lot of people don’t have the pleasure to see every day.
What made you want to be involved with the School’s rowing program as a coach?
Having been through the program, I can see the incredible life skills and character-building the MGGS rowing program nurtures. Rowing played a pivotal role in shaping who I am today, and I wanted to be a part of carrying this through and provide the same opportunities and experiences to current MGGS students and assist in shaping them into the incredible people I have no doubt they’ll all become. As we always say, “we’re not just here to make good rowers; we also make good people”, which I think is an amazing thing to be a part of.
Head of Schoolgirls is fast approaching; how are the senior crews going ahead of this major regatta in their season?
The senior crews are going well! We just had a very successful regatta in Nagambie on the weekend and are looking to build on this at Australian Henley and Senior State Championships. All the crews are starting to fine-tune their race plans and enjoying crew bonding opportunities. You can really feel the momentum building and the excitement around Head of Schoolgirls rising!
All the crews are starting to fine-tune their race plans and enjoying crew bonding opportunities.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into coaching?
Don’t ever feel like you have to know everything about your chosen sport. Coaching is so much more than just understanding the technical elements behind the sport. Relationship building and earning their trust is important, and how you carry yourself around your athletes. At the end of the day, the athletes won’t remember how well you coached goal shooting technique in netball or the catch in the rowing stroke; they’ll remember how you made them feel every time they rocked up to a training session or a game and the relationships you built with them along the way.
What do you know now that you wish you had known during your time as a student at MGGS?
I wish someone had told me you don’t have to have it all worked out in School or your final year. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or be when I grew up (I still don’t know!), and I would have loved to hear, “you don’t need to know!”. Explore, be curious, and be passionate about whatever you end up doing. I’ve chopped and changed my mind so many times, but it’s allowed me to realise what I enjoy doing and what I don’t. No matter what you choose to do, make sure you enjoy it and that you’re excited to get out of bed every morning.