Coach tips Bull to charge hard at state championships
ALEXANDRA Headland coach Shane Dalziel believes Alyssa Bull's disappointing Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series is just a "glitch" and the teenager can win the Queensland ironwoman title at North Kirra this weekend.
Bull (pictured) stormed on to the elite surf lifesaving scene in the 2012-13 season, winning an exhausting round of the ironwoman series at Noosa Heads and finishing in the top 10 overall.
The 18-year-old struggled to recapture that sort of form in the 2013-14 edition, finishing 12th overall (of 15 competitors) and slumping to second-last spot in two rounds.
Still, Dalziel has no doubt she can perform well at the state championships.
"We weren't happy with what happened in the series, but we know it was only a glitch and she's definitely going better than the results show," he said.
"She just couldn't take a trick in the summer.
"Things were going wrong, but that's our sport and you've got to be able to take it on the chin," he added.
"BUT she's actually trained a lot better and her times and her strength is substantially up on where it's been in previous years."
Dalziel said his charge had been stung by her series results and was itching to bounce back.
"She's gets a little bit stroppy on herself occasionally if she doesn't get the results she wants," he said.
"She's a high achiever. There's only one place she's aiming for and that's first place in everything she goes in."
Bull is set to compete in an array of events, including the ironwoman, this weekend.
She is coming off a great kayaking campaign at the Sprint Oceania Championships last weekend, when she earned a spot in the Australian under-23 team for the world championships in Hungary in July.
As a result of Bull's focus being split between kayaking and surf lifesaving, Dalziel said she had toned down her surf training and her skills had changed.
"She just doesn't get the opportunity to swim as much as what she needs to," he said.
"But her ski paddling has improved dramatically. It's a Catch- 22. You take from one hand and give something with the other."