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Running shoes are for life, not just for Christmas

By Amanda Allman, sports coach UK Development Lead Officer

When the clock struck midnight on December 31 around nine million adults would have made a new year’s resolution to start exercise or improve their fitness.  So, as a coach you can expect new faces in your sessions.

New members are great news for the health of any club but it also represents one of the biggest challenges of the coaching year. Behind these new faces lie a multitude of different aspirations and emotions – excitement about a new challenge; confidence; apprehension; or even a fear of looking silly in front of others.

The coaching challenge is how to get to know all these different aspirations and then run a session that meets them, giving a positive experience and encouraging them to come back. Research suggests that when people’s aspirations are not met they are likely to drop out and the good intentions of New Year’s Eve will be lost.

I’m an adventure racer and had happily trained myself up for my events until I decided on a new challenge – an Ironman triathlon.  I needed a lake – so that meant finding the right triathlon club.  I didn’t chose the one closest to home – but the club with the friendliest members, supportive organisers and varied, challenging coaching sessions.  I find that the coaches understand the broad spectrum of abilities and attitudes to training and competing and produce sessions for all levels across three disciplines – quite a feat. 

That’s why I was so excited to join sports coach UK. My job is to work with the teams here to develop products to support coaches to do the best job they can to encourage the diverse athletes in their care: from young athletes trying a sport for the first time; weekend warriors; sporting veterans; and potential Olympians of the future.  What a responsibility and great opportunity! 

We have lots of options for coaches to build skills to create sessions which meet assorted group needs.  Do start off with reading about The Impact of Coaching on Participation and the Quick Guide to Coaching for Participation.  Additionally, we have developed two practical-based workshops (How to Deliver Engaging Sessions) that provide new tools to create informal and fun sessions which build connections and allow participants to develop with confidence and make consistent progress. 

See how Laura has applied her new skills and improved the attendance and retention to her sessions.

Use the Workshop Finder to see if one is running near you, or contact us directly at 0845 6013054 


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