No matter what your skill level is, everyone can do with some coaching tips to improve their riding and their enjoyment in the water.

With the world of bodyboarding clinics growing in popularity, the latest to throw their coaches hat into the ring is none other than Lilly Pollard.

The women’s Pipeline Pro champion and five-time national champion is planning to put her wealth of bodyboarding knowledge to good use by helping bodyboarders of all ages and skill levels improve on their skills.

Riptide Magazine caught up with Lilly to find out more on her latest venture.

All photos by Shannon Glasson Photography

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RT: Firstly, tell us about the Bodyboard Academy?

LP: It’s personalised bodyboard coaching, based in Cronulla, but hopefully soon to be mobile for just about anywhere, I’m pumped!

I offer coaching for all levels and ages, with a program catered for each individual’s needs. The focus is on fun, progression and good functional style.

With a maximum of four in a group it means it’s super safe for the kiddies, super personalised for the elite, and when necessary, I can also take my clients in my car to the best location that day.

Everyone gets taken care of with boards and fins and suits (if they need them), free GoPro pics of themselves in action, nutrition tips and bodyboarding specific exercises and stretches, and of course I like to instil fun and positivity and kindness and embracing your own individuality into each session. 

That kindness is not only for each other but also for our environment. Every little bit we can do to help take care of our beaches is huge; even if it’s just picking up a few bits of trash after your surf. 

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RT: What does your coaching entail?

I really value getting to know each person’s needs and tailoring sessions to suit them.

Basically, for the Wave Ninjas (groms) it’s all about fun, surf awareness, and learning about the boogie.

Wave Warriors (13+) generally get a bit more focus on skill sets.

Mermaids are for girls that just wanna have fun! (And improve their bodyboarding!).

And for the more serious, we get into the Drills For Skills program; a definite progressional program with video analysis and mentoring.

To progress in bodyboarding you have to work on your weaknesses, and that’s what is perfect about having a coach right there to correct you, you’re going to improve way faster than trial and error on your own or just having a mate yelling “you’re shit!” at you. 

I’m here to help you improve and give you confidence to go for your goals.

RT: What made you want to start a bodyboard school?

LP: Well, it’s something I’ve thought about doing for a long time but I was always travelling and competing on tour so I just didn’t make the time for it.

I moved to Cronulla last year and realised what an awesome area it is for bodyboarding -so many sick reefs and beaches to choose from, and such awesome bodyboarding people and history! I realised it’s the perfect place (and timing) to do it.

I really feel like I’ve just learnt so much about bodyboarding that I’m dying to pass it on. And it’s not just about the tricks! I believe the mental preparation, the fitness, the food, they are all a part of it. And anything I don’t know, I’ll research it for you.

I’ve been working as a surf coach the past year and seriously love taking the kids sessions, they are so funny and so much fun. It has been good practice for me to prepare for the bodyboard coaching.

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RT: Is it aimed solely for girls?

No not at all! Of course I massively love coaching the “Mermaids” but I am here to pass on my knowledge and experience to anyone and everyone. I have beginner programmes and also “Drills For Skills” mentoring and training for the higher level riders.

RT: Are you trying to encourage more girls to give bodyboarding a crack?

LP: Most definitely! I can see that in other countries where bodyboard coaching is offered, the numbers of girls taking up the sport dramatically increases, and their level is fast improving. I’d love to help find and fine tune the next Aussie female World champion! 

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RT: What makes your school different to other bodyboarding schools?

LP: Well, in all seriousness, what other bodyboard schools are there? Ryan Hardy is the only one in Australia really doing a coaching school, and he’s in West Oz and Bali (love his work by the way!!). But yeah on the East Coast of Australia, there is none fully dedicated to it like “The Bodyboard Academy”. This is a legit professional business. 

I’ve put a lot of work into this and I know that anyone who joins me is going to get a lot out of their session!

You want to learn a skill? Let’s do it! You wanna just have some fun and get pics for facebook? Let’s do it! You wanna learn to scoop big lefts? Let’s go!

I’m here to make it all happen.

RT: What skill levels do you think would be ideal for your school?

LP: Honestly, all skill levels!  I have 20 years of bodyboarding knowledge to share. I know how to prepare for big surf, big contests, travel smart, how to eat well on a budget, how to work with sponsors. I’ve lived in a car for a year, chasing waves around Australia. I’ve paddled 10ft plus bombies alone… I’ve been around and seen a lot, and anything I dont know, I’ll research and study it for you. 

I have a lot of coaching practice and have developed great progressional programs for all levels. 

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Lilly takes time out of her coaching to catch a morning shorey. Photo by Shannon Glasson.

RT: Any last words?

LP: You know what, anything is possible. Don’t be afraid to set yourself the goal of becoming the next world champion. And if you see someone on a sick wave, give them a hoot! Share the love! Thanks guys!

Find out more information at:

www.thebodyboardacademy.com

Facebook and instagram: thebodyboardacademy

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