Cliftom Park Olympic BMX rider Lauren Reynolds has set her sights firmly on the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and believes new coach Sean Dwight from Sydney is the secret weapon in her quest.
Last weekend’s world championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands, was the first international event for Reynolds with her new coach – unfortunately she was unable to defend her position as silver medallist from last year.
Fellow Australian Caroline Buchanan snatched silver with Netherland’s Laura Smulders claiming the women’s title.
Dwight, a former BMX Australia coach, coached the Australian High Performance team in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics and since then some of the world’s best BMX racers.
Reynolds said the past year had been tough after lacking fitness following knee surgery, but her new coach was helping her be better prepared mentally.
“I used to just get worked up about everything and that was putting pressure on me, ” Reynolds said.
“It showed up in my racing. Sean just says it how it is, he sees things in a whole different way.
“He’s so calm – basically there are only minimal words spoken on race day.
“That’s the winning edge – to worry about what’s important.”
Dwight said he was working with Reynolds on being aggressive and executing a plan and he was pleased with the progress she was making.
“She passed a top rider over the challenging pro section at her last race in America and that hadn’t been done before, ” he said.
According to Dwight, Reynolds will have a distinct advantage at the Rio Olympics because of her previous Olympic experience.
“Many athletes don’t get the chance to get there once let alone twice, ” he said.
“This time around she’s not just going to the Olympics to just be an Olympian again.”
Another bonus for Reynolds is the influence of Dwight’s training squad which includes London Olympic silver medallist, Sam Willoughby.