Last September I started my Level 3 coaches’ course up at Loughborough.  Arriving at the hotel the day before, I went for a short run to get some head space and calm the nerves.  Here I am again today at the same hotel, having just completed the final big assessment day, with just a few bits and pieces left to submit, and done a nice run once again.

What’s happened in between?  Well for one thing my running has improved considerably, largely as a result of the excellent session from top physio Alison Rose about Strength & Conditioning.  I’m feeling much more like I used to run, though sadly thirty years on the times aren’t quite so good anymore.  And those of you who receive coaching will know I’m a big convert to S&C, working with Blue Koala physio to incorporate it into training programmes.

Much more important, its been an amazing journey of learning for me.  I feel my coaching practice – both private and in Brighton Tri Club – has moved up to a whole new level.  And its only just starting as I begin to learn my craft with each client, club member and other coach who I am lucky enough to come alongside.

As I was running just now I was reflecting on all those who have helped me with the journey – so at the risk of this being like an Oscar’s acceptance speech, I’d like to mention the following.

Matt Honey started me off in the coaching journey, encouraging me to join the newly formed Brighton Tri Club and get qualified (well, he practically took my arm off when I said I wanted to get into coaching).  Graeme Cox encouraged me to think big and bold at the outset.

Leaping ahead, I’ve just presented a portfolio of the coaching support I’m providing to a wonderful athlete – I’ll let her tell her own story in time, but for now I’m very grateful for her putting her trust in me and filling out some of the BTF’s forms in addition to everything else I ask of her.  And of course I'm very grateful to everyone else who has come to me for coaching support, whether to overcome their fear of swimming, move off a plateau with their running or training or to plan for the performance of their lives at a big event.

I’ve also learnt so much from the other course members – seen here in our post presentation after glow!  And Simon Ward, Chris Roberts and Rob Moore have been exemplary tutors.  The guest speakers have also been terrific – very open and generous in sharing what they know.

And my partner Anne has also been so supportive through the ups and downs: largely her picking me up from my downs.

Right, that’s enough gush for one post.  Here’s a song I sometimes played in my head when I thought of Level 3.