6 months in – Gmax coach talks past, present and future of his love for it all
Experience with GMax, what you have been doing, what you want, where you want to be
How coaching has changed yourself?
How has GMax benefited you?
Relationship with certain people
What’s your passion?
What’s your end goal
The wonderful thing about a passion is that it’s never too late to make a career out of it. I was always on the podium of being one of the fastest kids wherever I went, especially in schools that I attended. The dangerous confidence in knowing I could cause any trouble I want and escape by foot was my favourite adrenaline-hungry activity in the playground setting. In South London, we youths have successfully kept alive our ongoing culture of what is called ‘birthday beats’; a tough love tradition where we bless a friend with a number of punches according to their new age on their anniversary. This tough love grew me into a road runner; after all, I’m not much of a contrarian.
At age 15 years old was when I finally gave in to my talent and began my athletics journey. My go-to maladaptive daydream was to be an athlete and to embody my favourite athlete Usain Bolt, with Asafa Powell trailing close ahead as my second all-time favourite. S Factor Academy was the first time I’ve ran into real competition, but if anything, it inspired me to pick up the pace. I was clocking times of 12.6 and 25.8 seconds in the 100 and 200 metre sprints, which was very decent for 15 years of age. After a while my father gifted me my first spikes: the Nike Zoom Superfly R4s (splendid piece that was), and was amazed of it’s instant effectiveness and increase of traction and stiffness. For an active person like myself, I was always quite a clumsy person. I’ve suffered fractured fingers, dislocated shoulders, but unfortunately over time, it was my several sprains and fractures in both my ankles that fed off my motivation to continue sprinting; you could say I didn’t want it that bad. Although I wasn’t yet soft-tissue-ready to make a return back to sprints, I continued my involvement in sports when I took up Sports Science at Shooters Hill Sixth Form College. The merging of previous practical experience and my newfound theoretical knowledge of biomechanics often left me star-dazed with epiphanies. There I found in the classroom the understanding I sought on the track. While I am very hands-on, I am also one to always seek the knowledge of the ‘why’s’ of all things and appreciate the ‘art’ and intricacies of skill-learning. There stemmed my passion to discover the root of Bolt and Powell’s speed, which journeyed me to the present day, where I am fortunate enough to have acquired a role of Assistant Coach for GMax Trackstars Athletics Academy.
Like all start-ups and new initiatives, there’s always only a slight downhill to get the ball rolling, but once it picks up speed it really starts to roll! The chance to work with young people like myself doesn’t come very often, although it’s both very easy and hard to work well with age-mates in a corporate environment. What helped was that this new role served as a surprise reunion with an old friend from who I attended Deptford Green School with together. The rivalry was rekindled, evolving from playground punching now to a competition in coaching prowess. Because of my existing training and early volunteering, I was lucky enough to take on the role of ‘coach recruiter/trainer’ at GMax, using my specialised experience and understanding to pass onto new employees the fundamentals of how to achieve marginal gains in sprints. I love taking learning as I go to new heights, as I’ve learned that novelty holds potential to change fear into thrill. What comforted this intrusive pressure for this new role were the acquired transferable leadership skills gained from my VYG (Victory Youth Group) prevailing. So, while passing down the baton of sprints, I coach athletes with the philosophy of improving mindfulness and confidence, while breaking down the basics and simplifying intricacies to understand the ‘whys’ of biomechanics. Although my passions also extend to physiotherapy, sports science and psychiatry, I’m hoping that one day my lifetime dreaming will come to fruition and that maybe one day John Bada will be the nation’s greatest coach… or athlete.
My name is John Bada and I am a Sports Coach Assistant for GMax Trackstars Academy. Because my involvement with athletics is rooted from childhood, I went through the journey of wanting to fulfil my ability and potential in to becoming fast.
During my sporty and creative upbringing, I have experienced the amazing relationship that mindfulness and wellbeing have on accelerating performance. With this philosophy, I dedicate my expertise in biomechanics, mental health and physiology to provide a fun progression of bodily coordination, optimism and the emotional confidence required to maximise technique, endurance and speed in sprints.
Through my years of involvement within youth development communities and education in sport, my holistic approach ensures an enjoyable and memorable learning environment, while balancing enthusiasm and professionalism required to take athletes at GMax from playground to podium.