Name: Etienne van Tonder

Age: 55

Residence: Melbourne, Australia

Occupation: Director/Owner of a software engineering business

Marital Status/Family: Married with 3 adult children

Years in Triathlon: 17 years. I did my first race in 1992 and competed in mainly sprint distance races till 2004. After tearing a calf muscle I turned my focus to riding Enduro Dirt Bikes for the next 10 years. Returned to Triathlon in late 2012 and have focused on long distance races since.

How long have you been with MKC: 3 months (Joined in June 2018)

What made you choose Matt Koorey over any other coach?

After completing Ironman Cairns 2018 I did a lot of soul-searching, I’d not reached the goals I’d set myself since returning to the sport. I was at the point of even giving the sport away and doing something else as I’m not really interested in just finishing, I want to get to a point where I feel like I’ve reached my full potential and done the best I’m capable of, at this stage I don’t think I’ve done that. I realised that I needed to change things otherwise I’d continue getting the same results.

I’d gotten to know about Matt on the Transitions forum where he posts from time to time, I’d also made extensive use of his YouTube channel which contains a lot of great information. I’d always been interested in his coaching approach which is very different from the coaches I’d had in the past. So it felt to me like Matt could offer what I needed, someone with a completely new approach to training and racing.

Some other reasons that convinced me Matt was the coach I wanted to include:

  • His no BS approach, he says it like it is which is really refreshing.
  • His vast knowledge on anything triathlon related, I watched every YouTube video he ever publicly released, what he shared helped me a lot.
  • I’ve not met anyone with his passion for the sport, amazing to see even after so many years in the sport.
  • He invests & commits a 100% to his athletes.
  • He practices what he preaches.

Matt only takes on a limited number of 1-1 athletes; he also does not just take anyone but looks for people that will commit 100% to his philosophy. I was unsure if he had spots available or would take me on. I decided to email him and I was fortunate enough that he had a slot available and was willing to take me on.

Where do you believe you derive the most value from being coached by Matt?

Philosophy: Matt’s approach of doing a large portion of the training at basic endurance intensity builds a very strong foundation. This is great for building the endurance I need for the long distance races but also helps with injury prevention. His approach has also allowed me to increase the number of hours I’m doing per week without being tired or getting injured.

Communication: I can contact Matt anytime via phone, text, email, and Facebook and know that he will respond quickly.

Responsiveness: If for some reason such as sickness or injury I need my program adjusted Matt will make the necessary changes quickly and with my best interests at heart in an attempt to get me back to full training as soon as possible.

Knowledge: Matt has such a vast knowledge that I know that no matter how hard the question is, he will have an answer for me. He helps me with day to day nutrition to maximise recovery, race nutrition, equipment selection (including running shoes, bike equipment, etc.), bike position, race planning, etc., etc.

Coaching: Matt does not just prepare my program and leave me to it, he will pick up on things that I’m not doing correctly from speaking with me, looking at my data, analysing video, etc. He has suggested a number of changes that have made a big difference already.

Personalised Service: I’m not just a number to Matt; because he only has a limited number of athletes he can provide a very personalised and customised service. He is genuinely trying to help me achieve my goals and will do anything to help me get there, he is committed to me 100%.

No BS: Matt says it like it is, if I’m not doing something or falling short he will say so, not because he is nasty but because he wants to see me succeed.