High Jumper Nicola McDermott soared to new heights when earning her Silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, in addition to her Silver medal, Nicola reached both a personal and a National record height of 2.02m. This was an unexpected win for Nicola as she had just become the first Australian woman to reach 2.0m a few months prior in April 2021. With this, we think it’s safe to say that Nicola’s brother – Ben McDermott said it best, “Nicola’s meteoric rise continues”. Not only does it continue but we have a feeling she is only just getting started! With immense dedication and strength, we have no doubt that Nicola will continue to soar higher and higher.
As a Central Coast local, Nicola joined us at Coast Sport and a patient of Coast Sport Director, Brett Doring’s in 2018. As the years have gone on, Nicola continues to use our Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiology services on a weekly basis.
From 2018 to now (2021) we have recorded the following:
• Improved total body strength
• Awareness and movement control
• Improved knowledge and awareness of how to manage recovery
• Improved soreness and niggles
Physiotherapy sessions with Nicola usually involve detailed communications about how she is coping with current training in a context of the stage of the season and current training and performance goals. We then help Nicola to produce solutions to ensure she is able to complete consistent high quality training, uninterrupted by injury in order to maximise gains and translate this into improving competition performances.
We also informally monitor Nicola’s overall athletic wellness (e.g. sleep, stress, motivation, enjoyment) and provide advice and education on managing and improving these variables.
Nicola used to get a sore back and neck from competitions, through consistent treatment and progressive exercise prescription targeting strength and resilience, she is now able to cope with back to back competitions without back soreness.
Nicola has suffered multiple sprains and strains around her feet and ankles, we manage these promptly to minimise lost training time, and prescribe solutions which include building strength, power, balance and control as well as managing footwear and training variables.
We regularly screen specific ranges of motion, strength and movement patterns related to high jump and compare these measures with established normal values and address any deficits that may influence injury risk or performance.
Leading up to the Tokyo Olympics, the most important thing to work on with Nicola was avoiding injury to achieve consistent preparation – particularly avoiding foot, ankle and achilles injuries through close monitoring of training and response, as well as preventative measures. In addition, improving Nicola’s trunk strength and mobility to get a better arch over the bar was a crucial part of training prior to Tokyo. Last but not least, improving knee drive and triple extension at take off played a big role in Tokyo as well- this mostly involved working on hip strength and power.
Crucially, we stay in close and regular communication with Nicola’s Coach, Matt Horsnell, S&C and other service providers, to identify and address injury risks, and opportunities for performance improvement. This might involve attendance to gym or jumping sessions, or collaboratively reviewing seasonal programming.
You will find us participating in quarterly meetings between Nicola’s Physio, S&C, Coach Matt and Nicola to review the current quarter as well as the quarter ahead. In addition, we will perform week to week casual communication between all parties regarding minor tweaks and edits to the training plans and Nicola’s schedule
Nicola practices advanced pilates style exercises at Coast Sport under the prescription and supervision of our Accredited Exercise Physiologist Leigh-Anne McBride. This targets her high jump specific movement patterns and physical capacities and helps Nicola to improve her movement awareness, neuromuscular control, range of motion and trunk strength as well as providing a low impact active recovery session to break up the training week.
Amongst many wonderful things, Nicola is truly a wonderful athlete. She demonstrates consistent focus on finding opportunities for improvement across all aspects of her athletic development including: nutrition, performance psychology, strength and conditioning, biomechanics, injury prevention, and of course, jumping!
She understands how all of the different aspects of athletic development can combine to produce a peak performance. She and her Coach, Matt are experts in meticulous season planning, reflecting and learning from experiences, mistakes and successes.
We are thrilled to be able to be a part of this journey with Nicola, as well as so many other local athletes here on the Central Coast.
Coast Sport is passionate about helping to develop local sporting talent on the Central Coast.
We want to see the Central Coast producing world class sporting teams and athletes into the future and we want to make a valuable contribution to this process.
We understand that to succeed at the highest level, you need access to world class training and support services.
Coast Sport is dedicated to supporting athletes that embody its culture and core values: