Between May and October this year, the 28-year-old Novocastrian spent an intense four months training at the Utah Olympic Park Aerials training facility, churning out the repetitions needed to ensure a smooth transition to the snow in the winter season.
Wells, who claimed second place at the 2016 Lake Placid World Cup make up event held in Deer Valley, says the gruelling training regime at Park City has left her confident ahead of the upcoming World Cup season and Pyeongchang 2018.
“My goals were to become confident in all the different ranges that I need to perform each of my highest and hardest tricks at, ready for competition, and I felt like I achieved that,” said Wells who finished 18th on Olympic debut at the Sochi 2014 Games.
“I am feeling confident and comfortable with the skills I am going to be transferring to snow this year, and will be heading into the winter confidently knowing that I can handle anything that is thrown at me.”
Wells’ aerial training at Park City was certainly no walk in the park.
Mornings began with pilates, injury specific strength and maintenance, a 20-minute high-intensity warm up, balance work, and visualisation in preparation for water ramp training.
Wells would then hit the water ramp for an hour and a half, honing her skills and jumps through repetition.
“In that time I would do about 10 jumps on a double, or 15 or so jumps on a single - depending what I was working on. But I spend most of my time on the double kicker working on my double somersault tricks.
“The water jump is a really good way of getting in the repetitions we need during the summer months to perform new tricks and skills in a safer environment before we transfer them onto the snow.”
After a quick lunch, Wells would spend another hour and a half session at the water ramp, then straight to the gym for a workout - either upper body, lower body, cardio, or another strength specific pilates session.
After a gruelling day of physical exertion, Wells would finally return home for physio treatment, relaxation, visualisation – and of course, dinner.
“It is pretty intense - but it is a great regime for feeling ready to compete,” Wells continued.
Despite returning to Australia in October, Wells’ schedule has only been getting more intense.
“I had two short days at home, and then I flew down to Melbourne for a fitness camp.
However brief, the time with family and friends was a welcome reprieve.
“Friends and family are the one thing that we really miss on the road - that social contact with all the people that we have in our lives. The internet is great, but in person can’t be beaten.”
Wells spent much of her time in the gym at the Victorian Institute of Sport, and refining her aerial skills in the bungee system at the Ski and Snowboard Australia water ramp facility near Lilydale.
“The main goal for the fitness camp was to keep my aerial awareness active while I was in the bungee, and to really consolidate the strength and conditioning training while I was at home."
As if the mental, physical, and emotional strain of preparing for the World Cup and the Winter Olympics wasn’t enough, Wells is also working to complete the final year of her Bachelor of Health Science.
Although the combined pressure of training for the Olympics and undertaking a degree seems daunting, Wells says she enjoys the challenge.
“I like to keep busy. Whether it is studying, working on some kind of handcraft, reading a good book, I always like to have something on the go - I’m not good at just sitting around and doing nothing.
In early November the Australian team will be heading over to Finland for preseason training, where Wells will be transferring everything she has learned on the water ramps to the snow in preparation for the first World Cup event in China
From there it’s straight onto the World Cup circuit and then, if all goes to plan, to South Korea for her second Winter Olympics Games.
Wells is determined to bring home some gold this year and will definitely be one to watch throughout the season.
“I’ve stood on every other block but the biggest one at the end of the day, and I’d like to stand on the biggest one."