The short story…
Born and bred in Cambridge I was fortunate enough to experience playing a wide range of sports before finally settling into athletics, jumps & short sprints. I was an above average club athlete at best, making the odd appearance at a national championship on a good day. Although that all came to a quick end due to tendinitis, so I turned my attention to coaching...
I began coaching as a junior with Cambridge & Coleridge Athletic Club and this set me on a path to study Sports Science & Coaching at Southampton Solent University where I first experienced working with interdisciplinary team environments, where I worked as a sports science consultant and strength & conditioning coach for disability and able-bodied athletes training and competing at national and international levels. This is where I took a particular interest in the development and implementation of plyometric exercises (jumping & sprinting).
Fast Forward a few years and I have been taught how to apply knowledge to practice...
Having spent some time as an assistant coach to a group of sprinters consisting of: Olympians, world finalists and commonwealth medallists at age group and senior levels, I quickly took note of how to build effective speed development programmes and the considerations around helping elite athletes’ transition from junior to senior competitors. After which found greater success in my own coaching practices and athlete performances. During this time, I also worked at Oaklands College, where I started as an intern and progressed to academy lead coach, I led a team of; technical coaches, strength coaches and therapists. It was here I learned the complexities of management and how to take on and accelerate the development of already established athletes in a short period of time.
Now I settle into my coaching career, I definitely have a passion and determination to work towards becoming a world leading long and triple jump coach and educator. I enjoy working at all levels of the sport, especially being fortunate enough to take knowledge and experience from already successful athlete development models and using it to build my own practices with those who are not in such privileged environments.
I am a firm believer in the fact that we never stop learning, and that we can take something away from every interaction. Truth be told, the more I learn the more I realise the less I know… This has gradually developed into a keen interest in coach education models and the content within them – can we better bridge the gap between science and practice? I believe courses put on by governing bodies are essential for a qualification, but my own education is now leading me towards reading more from current industry leaders and working through content which they create. This led to a great experience as I travelled to ALTIS as part of their apprentice coach programme in 2016 and now have a long list of coaches from around the world I am networking with and visiting to learn from their experiences. By doing this I am better understanding, firstly where there is a delay in organisations to keep up with current practice but also how fast the demands of coaching practice are evolving with a changing society.
As a coach I believe in being a specialist-generalist. This means having an appreciation for all fields that input into athlete development, which there are many of. For my own coaching, I integrate the areas of: Movement Coaching, Strength & Conditioning and Soft Tissue Therapy – where I actively pursue further qualifications. I feel this enables me to guide athletes in the most holistic way possible.
Aside from physical development, I have strong beliefs in the Coach-Athlete relationship. To me a coach is not just an individual who turns up to cater for physical exercise - we are educators, role models, councillors and confidants. Understanding this side of coaching has helped me form strong relationships with the athletes I coach, being able to build trust and buy-in to the programme has been a big factor in my successes so far.
Looking to the future it is my ambition to create an independent performance pathway that provides aspiring and developing athletes, a programme in-which we create an environment of confidence building, self-belief and success. Where we can bring world class individuals to support athletes at a development level and provide them with the best opportunity possible of achieving their dreams.