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November 2021

Sling Shot.

The Art of Speed with Maddie Coates.

Maddie Coates standing on track warming up with Myovolt Back

In an age when you barely have to leave your couch or your bed to do your job, order your food and groceries, binge watch Netflix, and basically have access to any guilty pleasure, I don’t think very many would put their hand up for sprinting if you polled 100 people, or a thousand or more.

Moving isn’t high on the agenda in 2021, and moving your body as fast as humanly possible must be somewhere near the bottom.

That’s probably because by the time we are teenagers, most of us have given-up on that childhood dream of becoming the world’s fastest person – imaginations running wild and all. One of a growing child’s biggest milestones is walking, and shortly after that toddlers become rapid and hard to catch. The fastest show their colours at a young age, evading punishment with flash-like reflexes and body swerves. So by the time you reach high school, it’s quite obvious who the quickest kids are, and the rest of us can carry on with crushed dreams by parking our butts on the couch, or finding another way to stay active.

We recently spoke to someone who hasn’t given up on that dream though. A swift and sophisticated sprinter named Maddie Coates.

Maddie flashed onto the scene as a 15-year-old in 2013, when she recorded a blistering time of 24.58 seconds to win the Australian National Under-17 200m title. Seasonal improvements of her personal best time since then has seen Maddie qualify for two World Junior teams, the 2018 Australian Commonwealth Games team, and a World Championships team, among other notable achievements.

That has all come with hard work of course, as Maddie has had to keep exploding out of the blocks for eight hard years since her breakout performance to stay ahead of the pack, and aches and strains will find their way to ruin the day of even the most finely-tuned athletes. It’s all about managing those niggles and threats to your next big race as best you can, before lining up for another sprint.

“I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, not ideal for a sprinter trying to tick their legs over as fast as possible.”

While the world-changing news of the Covid-19 pandemic was hard enough to swallow early in 2020, Maddie’s sporting world was in for a shock as well.

“I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at the beginning of 2020. Hip dysplasia is when your hip socket doesn’t fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone, and this allows the hip joint to become partially or completely dislocated, which is obviously not ideal for an athlete, and definitely not ideal for a sprinter trying to tick their legs over as quickly as possible.” Maddie tells me about the problem that popped-up last year, and one that she is still dealing with. “This injury has by far been the most painful and the hardest to get rid of.”

Commonly occurring alongside hip injuries is lower back pain and stiffness, which is something that Maddie has had to deal with since the onset of her hip dysplasia. 

“One injury can often lead to a secondary compensation injury,” Dr Philip Nel, a biokineticist expert tells us. We asked him why Maddie has developed back issues after her hips were diagnosed as problematic.

“Following an acute musculoskeletal injury,” Phil explains, “the body naturally tries to continue to function in order to perform daily activities or maintain performance. The human body is connected holistically by bones, muscles and tissues in a chain between joints, and when one of these connections of the chain doesn't perform correctly the other parts jump-in and try to over-perform to make up for it, which ends-up in a case like Maddie’s, where a tender back is the result of a problem in another area.”

Maddie standing on track turning on Myovolt back

November 2021

Sling Shot.

The Art of Speed with Maddie Coates.

Maddie Coates standing on track warming up with Myovolt Back

In an age when you barely have to leave your couch or your bed to do your job, order your food and groceries, binge watch Netflix, and basically have access to any guilty pleasure, I don’t think very many would put their hand up for sprinting if you polled 100 people, or a thousand or more.

Moving isn’t high on the agenda in 2021, and moving your body as fast as humanly possible must be somewhere near the bottom.

That’s probably because by the time we are teenagers, most of us have given-up on that childhood dream of becoming the world’s fastest person – imaginations running wild and all. One of a growing child’s biggest milestones is walking, and shortly after that toddlers become rapid and hard to catch. The fastest show their colours at a young age, evading punishment with flash-like reflexes and body swerves. So by the time you reach high school, it’s quite obvious who the quickest kids are, and the rest of us can carry on with crushed dreams by parking our butts on the couch, or finding another way to stay active.

We recently spoke to someone who hasn’t given up on that dream though. A swift and sophisticated sprinter named Maddie Coates.

Maddie flashed onto the scene as a 15-year-old in 2013, when she recorded a blistering time of 24.58 seconds to win the Australian National Under-17 200m title. Seasonal improvements of her personal best time since then has seen Maddie qualify for two World Junior teams, the 2018 Australian Commonwealth Games team, and a World Championships team, among other notable achievements.

That has all come with hard work of course, as Maddie has had to keep exploding out of the blocks for eight hard years since her breakout performance to stay ahead of the pack, and aches and strains will find their way to ruin the day of even the most finely-tuned athletes. It’s all about managing those niggles and threats to your next big race as best you can, before lining up for another sprint.

I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, not ideal for a sprinter trying to tick their legs over as quickly as possible.”

While the world-changing news of the Covid-19 pandemic was hard enough to swallow early in 2020, Maddie’s sporting world was in for a shock as well.

“I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at the beginning of 2020. Hip dysplasia is when your hip socket doesn’t fully cover the ball portion of
the upper thighbone, and this allows the hip joint to become partially
or completely dislocated, which is obviously not ideal for an athlete, and definitely not ideal for a sprinter trying to tick their legs over as quickly as possible.” Maddie tells us about the problem that popped-up last year, and one that she is still dealing with. “This injury has by far been the most painful and the hardest to get rid of.”

Commonly occurring alongside hip injuries is lower back pain and stiffness, which is something that Maddie has had to deal with since the onset of her hip dysplasia. 

“One injury can often lead to a secondary compensation injury,” Dr Philip Nel, a biokineticist expert tell us. We asked him why Maddie has developed back issues after her hips were diagnosed as problematic.

“Following an acute musculoskeletal injury,” Phil explains, “the body naturally tries to continue to function in order to perform daily activities
or maintain performance. The human body is connected holistically by bones, muscles and tissues in a chain between joints, and when one of these connections of the chain doesn't perform correctly the other parts jump-in and try to over-perform to make up for it. Which ends-up in a case like Maddie’s, where a tender back is the result of a problem in another area.”

Maddie standing on track turning on Myovolt back

We asked Maddie how she deals with aches and pains, niggles and injuries that are all part and parcel of the professional sprinter’s life.

“I work closely with my physio and coach to ensure I am doing the correct rehabilitation work and training to help make my body strong and pain free.” Maddie says, before outlining her methods. “From yoga, to hot and cold recovery methods, to recovery boots, and Myovolt strap-on vibration treatment, each method plays a critical roll in my daily recovery sessions after training.” She says, before explaining how her Myovolt Back has helped her. “The Myovolt technology promotes circulation and stimulates blood flow, which helps to flush out the toxins and tender areas recover faster in turn.”

And it’s not just for recovery that the tech can be useful. For warm-up and prehab, to get your muscles activated, Myovolt comes to Maddie’s rescue as well. “I find that Myovolt helps to free my lower back up with the vibration, and warms-up my muscles” she tells us.

Leaving the bad news of back pain and hip dysplasia behind, we asked Maddie to explain what it is about sprinting that she loves.

“I get asked this question a lot and it’s something I need to dive into more. I believe this was what I was born to do. Running runs in my blood, it chose me.” She tells us matter-of-factly. “It’s the only thing I’ve been so sure about growing up. I love it so much because the training never fails to challenge me. I’m always working towards hitting new targets and bettering my skills day-in and day-out. Then when you are finally able to have those moments of success where every aspect of your training and hard work pays off, it is the most incredible ‘pinch me’ feeling in the world. You feel so incredibly proud of what you have accomplished with such discipline and drive.”

With success coming at a young age and at every level as Maddie progressed, the drive to keep winning races has always been there. The next chapter though, in which she aims to qualify for the Olympics in 2024 while managing hip and back pain, is the next trial for Maddie to endure. By the sounds of it though, she thrives on a challenge.

To get a better understanding of her art, we ask Maddie to describe her feelings before a race, while she is running flat-out, and after she crosses the finish line.

“I feel a sense of calm before the storm ahead of one of my more typical races,” Maddie begins to explain. “During my warm-up, I know I have to keep myself cool, calm and collected, so that I don’t burn any nervous energy too early. I stay focused in my little bubble with my coach and sometimes my physio. Taking every drill and run through step-by-step, and any tightness or niggles as they come. Focusing my mind on the present situation.”

We take a deep breath and try focus as well, while Maddie describes the start of a race. Show time!

I find that Myovolt helps to free my lower back up with the vibrations and warms-up my muscles.”

“I’ll talk to myself during a race, especially if there has been an area that I feel hasn’t been my strength that season. Lately it has been my block start. So I try clear my mind in order to react to the gun as soon as I hear it without any distractions. Then I’m telling myself to ‘stay down and drive! Push, push, push! Use those arms and keep your feet strong, while pushing through your big toe!’ These are all cues that I’ve found have worked during training.”

“Then usually my body and natural instincts take over, and I feel as though I don’t have to think a great deal,” Maddie continues, describing ‘the zone’ we find ourselves in when we’re doing something familiar that we excel at. “I just focus on my body position, and if something feels off, I start to give myself cues again.

A cue that has been a staple for me for years in a 200m race is ‘sling shot.’ That’s where I take a big breath in as I enter the last part of the bend, then exhale and maintain a tall posture coming off the bend and into the straight. Running from the inside of the bend to the outside of the straight, and making that part of my race as fluent as possible.”

It's surprising that a 20 second race can be broken down into such detail, and that there are even tactics involved. For the average spectator it can seem a whole lot more simple. Just watch the athletes pump their arms and legs as fast as they can till they cross the line. Easy to say from your armchair, but clearly ill-informed.

“As for the last 50 meters of the race, I’m just making sure I am staying relaxed and holding the best form possible without tightening-up and slowing-down too much.” Maddie says, as we hit the final straight. “When I cross the finish line, my thoughts are usually extremely positive, and a lot of affirmative self-talk happens. Usually something simple like, ‘you did it! You executed the best race possible in that moment”, or ‘that felt great, I felt strong, I felt fit!’”

“It’s not until I debrief with my coach that I have the time to over think things, or nitpick over aspects of the race where I know I can do better. But that’s all part of the process because I am a perfectionist, and I want to be the best at what I do and work so hard at. I believe that when it is done in a healthy way, it’s a necessary part of becoming the best version of yourself.”

As we say cheers to Maddie the mad fast Aussie, we get the feeling that she’ll have an incredible season if willpower alone was enough to win races. But we’ll have to see how her trusty Myovolt Back and her body perform as well. Hopefully we’ll get to watch Maddie sling shot around the last turn in Paris in 2024.

We asked Maddie how she deals with aches and pains, niggles and injuries that are all part and parcel of the professional sprinter’s life.

“I work closely with my physio and coach to ensure I am doing the correct rehabilitation work and training to help make my body strong and pain free.” Maddie says, before outlining her methods. “From yoga, to hot and cold recovery methods, to recovery boots, and Myovolt strap-on vibration treatment, each method plays a critical roll in my daily recovery sessions after training.” She says, before explaining how her Myovolt Back has helped her. “The Myovolt tech promotes circulation and stimulates blood flow, which helps to flush out the toxins and tender areas recover faster in turn.”

And it’s not just for recovery that the tech can be useful. For warm-ups and to get your muscles activated, Myovolt comes to Maddie’s rescue as well. “I find that Myovolt helps to free my lower back up with the vibration, and warms-up my muscles.” she says.

Leaving the bad news of back pain and hip dysplasia behind, we ask Maddie to explain what it is about sprinting that she loves.

“I get asked this question a lot and it’s something I need to dive into more. I believe this was what I was born to do. Running runs in my blood, it chose me.” She tells me matter-of-factly. “It’s the only thing I’ve been so sure about growing up. I love it so much because the training never fails to challenge me. I’m always working towards hitting new targets and bettering my skills day-in and day-out. Then when you are finally able to have those moments of success where every aspect of your training and hard work pays off, it is the most incredible ‘pinch me’ feeling in the world. You feel so incredibly proud of what you have accomplished with such discipline and drive.”

With success coming at a young age and at every level as Maddie progressed, the drive to keep winning races has always been there. The next chapter though, in which she aims to qualify for the Olympics in 2024 while managing hip and back pain, is the next trial for Maddie to endure. By the sounds of it though, she thrives on a challenge.

To get a better understanding of her art, we ask Maddie to describe her feelings before a race, while she is running flat-out, and after she crosses the finish line.

“I feel a sense of calm before the storm ahead of one of my more typical races,” Maddie begins to explain. “During my warm-up, I know I have to keep myself cool, calm and collected, so that I don’t burn any nervous energy too early. I stay focused in my little bubble with my coach and sometimes my physio. Taking every drill and run through step-by-step, and any tightness or niggles as they come. Focusing my mind on the present situation.”

We take a deep breath and try focus as well, while Maddie describes the start of a race. Show time!

“I find that Myovolt helps to free my lower back up with the vibrations and warms-up my muscles.”

“I’ll talk to myself during a race, especially if there has been an area that I feel hasn’t been my strength that season. Lately it has been my block start. So I try clear my mind in order to react to the gun as soon as I hear it without any distractions. Then I’m telling myself to ‘stay down and drive! Push, push, push! Use those arms and keep your feet strong, while pushing through your big toe!’ These are all cues that I’ve found have worked during training.”

“Then usually my body and natural instincts take over, and I feel as though I don’t have to think a great deal,” Maddie continues, describing ‘the zone’ we find ourselves in when we’re doing something familiar that we excel at. “I just focus on my body position, and if something feels off, I start to give myself cues again. A cue that has been a staple for me for years in a 200m race is ‘sling shot.’ That’s where I take a big breath in as I enter the last part of the bend, then exhale and maintain a tall posture coming off the bend and into the straight. Running from the inside of the bend to the outside of the straight, and making that part of my race as fluent as possible.”

It's surprising that a 20 second race can be broken down into such detail, and that there are even tactics involved. For the average spectator like it can seem a whole lot more simple. Just watch the athletes pump their arms and legs as fast as they can till they cross the line. Easy to say from your armchair but clearly ill-informed.

“As for the last 50 meters of the race, I’m just making sure I am staying relaxed and holding the best form possible without tightening-up and slowing-down too much.” Maddie tells me, as we hit the final straight. “When I cross the finish line, my thoughts are usually extremely positive, and a lot of affirmative self-talk happens. Usually something simple like, ‘you did it! You executed the best race possible in that moment”, or ‘that felt great, I felt strong, I felt fit!’”

“It’s not until I debrief with my coach that I have the time to over think things, or nitpick over aspects of the race where I know I can do better. But that’s all part of the process because I am a perfectionist, and I want to be the best at what I do and work so hard at. I believe that when it is done in a healthy way, it’s a necessary part of becoming the best version of yourself.”

As we say cheers to Maddie the mad fast Aussie, we get the feeling that she’ll have an incredible season if willpower alone was enough to win races. But we’ll have to see how her trusty Myovolt Back and her body perform as well. Hopefully we’ll get to watch Maddie sling shot around the last turn in Paris in 2024.