Training without Skates - Phoenix Reid Q & A

Phoenix Reid is a talented artistic roller skater in the Massey University Academy of Sport. We caught up with her recently to talk about her training life in lockdown, what she misses about skating and what Netflix shows have been getting her through the weeks at home.

Phoenix Reid Skating

Pictured: Phoenix Reid in action skating. 

Thanks for taking the time to speak to us Phoenix! It’s not an easy time for athletes at the moment. How have the consequences of COVID19 impacted you specifically?

All of the competitions within New Zealand for the 2020 season have been cancelled. We are still waiting to hear about the international competitions in September/October, but without a season of preparation for these, we have to evaluate if we still want to go, or wait until next season. We are also unable to travel internationally for training camps and seminars, and many training venues are closed until further notice. 

The precautionary measures taken to eradicate this virus would have significantly affected your training regime as well. How have you navigated training in lockdown and how different does this look to your normal training?

Levels three and four are the same for us, rinks are still closed so all of our training is off-skates. I’ve been doing lots of strength and conditioning training instead, as well as using some balance and skating specific equipment to try and replicate the movements we do on skates. We’ve also had to utilise remote coaching, and communicate with coaches over the internet, so there has been lots of video recording of my trainings!

Are there any learnings you have taken out of this period that you believe will positively impact you when you return to a more familiar training schedule?

I’ve learnt more about my body’s capabilities (strength and flexibility), so I’m excited to continue pushing limits with off skate training, and then implementing that on skates. 

It sounds like you have remained really focused. What are your tips for staying positive and motivated during such uncertainty?

Stay in contact with the people who motivate you! Coaches, friends, teammates- having people holding me accountable and encouraging me has definitely been the thing keeping me going. They help to make training fun and exciting when some days it feels otherwise pointless.

What are you missing most about your sport?

The feeling of being on skates! It’s a difficult thing to describe, but I haven’t had this much time without wheels since I started at four years old! I’m also missing all the kids I get the pleasure of training alongside and coaching every day. They keep me young and remind me every day why I started skating (for the love and the fun) and why I continue it (to inspire and be a role model for them). It’s always a laugh hearing their stories and it’s a privilege knowing they trust me enough to come to me with their problems.

We have been impressed at the content you are producing to help others on your social media including your own insights into the likes of self-confidence, training, nutrition, and motivation. What drives this uplifting content - have you always been passionate about sharing your experiences to help others?

Yes definitely. Being involved in a minority sport, it has always been seen as an important thing to share our insights and experiences for younger skaters all around the country, because the number of senior skaters still involved in the sport is very small. 

You’ve achieved a lot on both the national and international stage. What do you consider your proudest achievement so far?

Not a competition, but when I was 15 I went to Italy by myself for two months of training with a world renowned coach. I went with a student exchange programme (so stayed with a host family, learnt the language and went to school) and trained in my spare time. The journey over was somewhat terrifying (big airports) and being away from home had its challenges on top of the training programme I was doing. It was the best experience of my life, and I made some great connections so I go back to train any time I’m over in Europe for a competition! 

And finally, for all those people out there running out of things to watch during this period, what are your greatest lockdown Netflix recommendations?

The most important question, haha. I’ve been watching The Blacklist, 10/10 recommend. Too Hot to Handle is good for a light hearted binge, and Tiger King (although it’s not that great) has to be watched so that you can understand all the memes.

We wish Phoenix all the best as competitions resume and as she works towards her Bachelor of Science at Massey University.