Athletic Development Coach at the Jason Floyd Golf Academy in Sotogrande, Spain.
The course opened my eyes to the variety of career paths in golf.
With so few people in my field, I was lucky enough that from the start I was working with a county and national fitness coach. Assisting his work with these squads, I eventually took them on myself when he moved to the US. However, I did not limit myself to this experience. I also worked at an indoor golf centre in Paddington, The Shire London, and at a private gym in Essex.
I furthered myself by becoming qualified as a personal trainer, TPI level 2 fitness coach, UK Strength and Conditioning and attended many other seminars. I also completed a MSc in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics, with the intention of continuing on in the academic community and qualified as a PGA Sports Science Tutor.
I'm now 6 months into working as an Athletic Development Coach at the Jason Floyd Golf Academy in Sotogrande, Spain, and it's been quite an experience. On a day-to-day basis we work with a small group of elite players in the morning. These include a previous French No. 1 amateur, Ladies European Tour players, Challenge Tour players and European Tour winners. I’ve also had the challenge recently of working with, one legged golfer, Manuel De Los Santos. In the afternoon we work with a set of promising junior golfers from 14 up to 18 years of age. Again, these are elite players and include 2 Italian national players and a Ryder Cup player's son.
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
Working as an Athelic Development coach has been a massive step up for me and I have welcomed the challenge. It is still a matter of staying ahead of the game and making sure you are up to date with the latest training techniques and research. During my time in education and my research after, I have learnt a great deal about the best ways develop young players and train athletes for elite competition. Only now have I had the opportunity to see how this works in reality, and how attainable the highest levels are.
What was the best thing about your time as an AGMS student?
The people; you have to work hard while you are at university but socializing is just as important. Golf is a big social network, and being able to talk your way into a job is as important as the qualifications that back you up.
How did you grow as a person by coming to University? Did it change your life in any way?
When I started the AGMS course all I had was a love of the game and a misguided thought that the golf equipment industry was for me. The course opened my eyes to the variety of career paths in golf and I ended up finding that sport science in golf was my passion. I’d hate to think what I’d be doing now if hadn’t done the AGMS degree.
What were your expectations and experiences of Birmingham?
The night life was fantastic! The access to literature on golf was better than anywhere else I’ve been, and its association to the PGA meant we were given the most up-to-date knowledge on the game.
Advice for current students
Again, get as much practical experience as you can. Work in a gym with different types of people to get used to working on the gym floor. Also, there still isn’t one authority on golf fitness and biomechanics, so go to courses and conferences, read a lot of books and journals, and listen to everyone’s ideas because you are the one who’s going to have to explain why you train people the way you do.
Try to keep looking ahead. Staying ahead may mean a change in location or job. Just make sure you keep planning your future.