Pete was kind enough not to chase me up too much to write another blog during peak season in the fitness industry (which, in short, is hard work as I’m sure many readers will know...) But now we're coming to the end of peak season, and whilst enjoying a week's rest abroad relaxing, I have found the time to share some more thoughts.
Following on from the blog of 7th December where I finished by saying '...actually, I like to think of myself as more of a coach', this topic coincidentally came up in a manager's meeting shortly afterwards. And it got me thinking again...
So, why do I like to think of myself as more of a coach?
The main reason has to be the enjoyment I get from helping others to succeed. With a fair bit of experience under my belt, I really feel I can make the difference when applying a coaching framework, and working hand in hand with this is the confidence I have in giving effective feedback.
I have always wanted to be a coach…and I’d like to share the inspiration behind this as I think it’s important.
It began when I was coached elite swimming under the auspices of Terry and Mona Dennison - professional swimming coaches in Leeds. As chief coach to the Olympic team, Terry famously coached Adrian Moorhouse to Olympic Gold in Seoul 1988. As you can imagine, there are a million stories I could fondly tell about this period of my life and about Terry and Mona's coaching but I'll try and keep this brief. To me, Terry was an interesting guy. An ex-history teacher, he gave up teaching to become a swim coach and had a personal goal of coaching an Olympic champion. He achieved his goal. I would describe him as an introverted character - the opposite to me - which is perhaps why I was intrigued by him, his demeanour and his ways of coaching and managing the elite athletes. In summary, I really liked how he went about his role: both the way he managed his 'stars' and also how he nurtured new up and coming future talent. He drew on the best training principles from around the world that he'd spent time researching himself, and applied them within a great framework.
Leeds swimmers had a reputation at the time of being the best. This was great to be part of. It involved a lot of hard work in the pool and the successes that the group in Leeds enjoyed were hard earned by every individual. I learnt a lot from being a part of this elite group, and under Terry's coaching leadership, I learned the power of a committed, coach. It truly inspired me to go on and gain experience in the area - and strive to be the best coach I can be.