We are very fortunate to have the full support of the running club, which has funded the development of several coaches. These people give up a considerable amount of their free time to help members get fitter and better in all three disciplines. Regular training sessions are held year-round, but do vary, for safety reasons, with the seasons. Most sessions are geared to cater for all abilities and are aimed at members who seek to improve both their technique and fitness in a controlled and safe manner.
Meet the Coaching Team
From being a trainer in my professional career at the time, coaching was/is something I really enjoy. I started my coaching journey back in 2015 with the running club and the England Athletics Lirf qualification as was leading many club runs on a Tuesday evening. This started the ball rolling really and in 2016 undertook the more comprehensive Cirf set of courses and ultimately qualification. With this, I began to lead a Thursday evening structured training programme and the Tony Fandango became legendary as fold were seen performing weird and wonderful dynamic movements around the Dursley streets. Normal running always ensued, rest assured.
With the formation of the Tri team, I was heavily involved in supporting the first set of 30 recruits, with what was, for some, their first experience of swimming and cycling. Running was already a given for all.
To formalise this new journey in coaching and provide more background and structure for me, at the tail end of 2017, I attended the British Triathlon Level 2 certification programme. (Fortunately, with all my previous coaching experience, I was able to skip the Level 1 course, but this did mean a whole load of extra reading on the learning portal!)
For me, the biggest satisfaction in coaching is working with athletes who are really keen to learn, who listen, and then try to execute, question back, try again and begin the improvement process. Swimming being the most technical discipline and most triathletes’ Achilles heel, brings the most improvements and watching the journey from not even being comfortable putting face under the water for some, to then being able to swim 400m non-stop, is mighty pleasing, but so is working with existing competent swimmers, who through some technical corrections, have been able to significantly reduce their 400m times. My focus is encouraging that same focus principle in cycling and running as albeit not as obvious, can and will, bring significant improvements to performance.
Level 2 BTF Coach
I have been swimming since I could walk. My dad was a military water polo player and a competition swimmer, obviously we were always around water.
I coach at DRC Tri for 2 main reasons:
I believe triathlon has, within its disciplines, the ability to assist with some real life skills, swimming being a major contributor that every person of any age could and should enjoy being involved in.
I also enjoy coaching all abilities. I get such a buzz from helping athletes to reach their full potential, whatever that level may be.
As an ex-teacher, I am motivated by seeing others make progress in their development. I enjoy helping individuals identify personal goals and supporting them on their journey towards these. My experience as a communicator, along with my own personal experiences in triathlon make me believe that I have a contribution to make as a coach in our sport.
I competed in my first triathlon in Wotton-under-Edge in 2016. I wanted to give this multi sport a go after running with the club since 2010. I swam as a child for a local club so knew I could do this but had never ridden a road bike before. In this first tri, I just bought a second hand road bike for £100!! I jumped at the chance to get involved in the Tri club and help organise our team events. In 2019, I was offered the opportunity to train to become a coach. After completing my course I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the coaching team and helping to support the club’s athletes on their triathlon journeys. It’s really rewarding to see our club members compete in their first triathlon as well as training towards their next triathlon goals. As a Level 1 coach, I am able to coach swimming, running and support the Level 2 coaches with cycle/brick training. My personal triathlon goal is to hopefully compete for GB age group in sprint distance in 2022.
I became a newly qualified Level 1 triathlon coach in 2020. I feel extremely privileged to be offered the position within the DRC Tri family. My main reason for taking up the position was to give back freely what had been freely given to me. In the relatively short time that I have been in the club, since 2017, I have received nothing but encouragement and guidance from others. This gave me incentive and enthusiasm to be a coach.
My previous experience as a member of the armed forces helps to give me the enthusiasm, discipline and drive to not only encourage, motivate and inspire others, but also gives me the focus when I train and compete in events.
Level 1 BTF Coach
As a coach, I take great pleasure in helping individuals realise their potential and pushing them to and beyond their physical limits. I believe my military background gives me great insight into the mental aspect of coaching and that helps me push people to places they didn’t think possible.
I learn as much as I teach when coaching as everyone is different and presents different challenges for me to try and adapt my coaching style. I’m working towards my Level 2 coach qualification and I’m also fortunate to be a BTF strength and conditioning coach, as well as a Mental Health in Sport coach.