Coaching in the UK

Colbourne Highlights Coach’s Role

Tue, 18 Sep 2012

Paralympic cyclist Mark Colbourne has sung the praises of his coach Tom Stanton, highlighting Tom’s technical expertise, and motivational and communications skills.

Mark – who won a Gold and two Silvers at the London 2012 Paralympic Games - says that he and his coach have an open and honest relationship. This means that they get the best from each training session. Mark said:  “Tom and I discuss every part of my training needs and talk about how we can develop each part of my cycling skills to improve my speed and endurance.”

This two-way communication ensures that the training schedule Tom puts together for Mark is flexible and can be adapted to how Mark is feeling. He said: “Tom and I discuss in detail how I feel on a daily basis, so he can change my training diary week to week, so not to over work me. This shows me he has good listening skills and empathy towards the athlete.”

Mark added that Tom gives the reasoning behind each drill and how it fits into the overall plan, commenting: “My coach explains in detail why he wants me to carry out certain training efforts, so I can understand the reasons behind each session. He shares his knowledge with me, so I can relate to changes in my overall well being when my body wants to give up.

“Tom’s expertise when writing my training programmes has helped me to improve the standards of fitness and speed on the bike that I don't think I could have gained without his knowledge.”

Mark says that Tom has also helped him believe that he can compete with, and beat, the best. He said: “By telling me that I have the ability to reach certain speeds, he proved to me that by taking small steps I could go faster over a long period of time.

“He has identified my strengths and given me the confidence to raise the bar in the short time I’ve had to become a Paralympic Gold medallist.”

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