Twenty of New Zealand's elite triathletes have experienced training with one of the world's foremost coaches in the Western Bay.

Tauranga Triathlon junior coach and North Island co-ordinator for Tri New Zealand, Chris Willett, organised Australian Wayne Goldsmith to run an intense three-day camp that began on Friday.

"We are lucky to have Wayne over from Aussie to run a camp with our Junior Triathlon Academy. He is a world-leading coach and we are lucky to have been funded in part by Sport BOP to make it a possibility," Willett said.

"As part of the three-day camp we have a cycling session down at the Blokart Recreation Park in Papamoa which they kindly donated to us to make it happen.


"We have opened it up to 20 of the North Island's top athletes from Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Hamilton and Tauranga. We are just coming up to the crux of the race season so the majority of the weekend is about executing race skills within triathlon.

"So with the bike session we are looking at cornering skills at race pace with nice, tight technical racing. These guys race in big groups with lots of corners so this is the perfect opportunity.

"I don't think there is a more credentialed coach than Wayne in the world. He was the head coach of Triathlon Australia back in the heyday when they were winning gold medals at the Olympics. He now consults for the NRL, the ARL, the Wallabies and most recently he worked with the US swim team at Rio."

Goldsmith said he liked to focus on the mental and emotional sides when he worked with groups of talented young athletes.

"I talked to the group today about the time I spent last year in the United States working with swimmers about the concept of self-belief," he said.

"I want them while they are here to get better at something. If they come here and think they are a good Bay of Plenty athlete, what can they do to become a good regional athlete or the best in the North Island? What sort of behaviours do they need to put in place to be the best nationally and internationally?

"They are very switched on, they learn very fast and are very aware of their own skill strengths and weaknesses. They are very comfortable talking about it and are a very open, very honest group about the things they need to know and do to get better."

FOCUSSED: Triathlete Jamie Shields training at Blokart Recreation Park in Papamoa on Friday. PHOTO: ANDREW WARNER
FOCUSSED: Triathlete Jamie Shields training at Blokart Recreation Park in Papamoa on Friday. PHOTO: ANDREW WARNER

Goldsmith knows first-hand how good New Zealand triathletes have been in the past.

He was coach of the Australian team in Athens 2004 when New Zealand won the men's triathlon gold and silver medals.

"I remember how good they were and how tough they were to beat so don't remind me. I think you can get back to those days. I think every team in Australia and New Zealand that has been successful, with the exception of the All Blacks, goes through a period of rebuilding.

"If you look at what's happening with High Performance Sport New Zealand and the results that the nation got in Rio, there is a good framework for talented athletes to come through and show success.

"You definitely have got great coaches here - there is no doubt about that. When you see the level of talent of these athletes, there is no reasons some of these kids here today are not at international standards in a few years."