“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”
At the age of 10 Matt Wallace was set for 10 years of Motocross racing before starting a long and successful cycling career which is spanning 18 years and now continuing in a new phase as a cycling coach.
Matt’s chosen disciplines of cross country Olympic distance MTB and road cycling took him across many world and international stages. Under the initial guidance of his father and uncle, both accomplished cyclists and training partners, Matt was not coached until entering the AIS. Partly on the belief that he was not good enough to warrant a coach this regret has changed Matt’s thinking and desire as a coach learning from his own short comings of “A coach can add an objective point of view”. “Dedicated riders need to be told when to rest as they are vulnerable to overtraining”, something Matt has now structured into all his programs and openly shares with others he shares cycling with.
Retiring in 2000 from competitive cycling Matt worked towards coaching accreditation and four years into this role is seeing success. Specialising in aerobic conditioning for road, mountain bike and track, his approach is very holistic. Something Matt loves is sharing and teaching technical skills on the mountain bike to all levels of riders. “Teachers teach more by what they are than by what they say.”
Matt sets programs that assists his athletes how to train the mind and how to stress body correctly but the dedication, desire and discipline has to come from within the individual. When this partnership is accomplished there are endless possibilities that can be achieved regardless of age. Matt is an encourager of others to see that there are a lot of opportunities in cycling now after a cyclist retires and not to hang the bike up too quickly.
At the other end in starting out with correct training a rider can easily get to the pro ranks whilst studying a degree or working a part-time job. Matt has watched many make the mistake trying to train full time before their body can take that type of work load.
Matt is not quick to share his past pedigree of cycling prowess but from the mid 1990s the cycling history books local international and on the world cup circuit echo the name long and clear. Matt shared many events with team member Cadel Evans in both MTB and road. Matt balanced a dynamic program of both MTB and road and was set for selection in the Olympic team but that’s a story in itself and Matt can share how dealing with disappointment can grow a rider like that of success.
Any journey has people that make it memorable and Matt’s Dad, training partners Tony Hughes and Chris White, then to the VIS, then Damian Grundy the cross country mountain bike coach at the AIS all played a significant role along with many elite riders on the way.
Matt’s rewards comes in is seeing self belief develop in a rider, “If you believe you can achieve something – it is amazing how the brain and body will find a way to make it happen.” Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing.