• Some of our favourite athletes keeping the Olympic legacy alive!

    Posted in expert insights on May 11, 2015

    Last week part of our community descended upon the Olympic Park for some masterclass antics led by three-time Olympian Yamile Aldama and GB triple-jumper Julien Allwood.

    masterclass chat

    upmysport organised the masterclasses, in partnership with Nuclear Races and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to get competitors in ship-shape for an upcoming obstacle course event- The Nuclear Rush. It was pretty cool to have some some top athletes on board to lead our session, and there’s something about getting your sweat on at the Olympic Park that just feels right, you know?

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    And for Steve, one of upmysport’s co-founders, the masterclass was an exciting way to kick-start our new partnership with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust: ‘we were really excited to bring something a bit special to Londoners looking for a great workout. The Trust is literally teeming with inspirational, world-class instructors and mentors, and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to meet them.’

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    The warm-up was tasty.. We were pushed through some circuit training and all-body movements to get the heart-rate up at the start of the session.

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    There was some intense focus out there. With the event looming large, people were making sure they got the most out of this chance to train. Julien gave us his training philosophy: ‘elite performance is a combination of pushing through barriers, working closely with others and discipline. The Masterclass gave individuals an opportunity to understand this cocktail for success!’

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    Then, if there’s one thing world-class triple jumpers know how to do, it’s stretch.

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    Speaking to some of the guys there, it sounds like the everyone worked hard but had a giggle or two along the way.

    Instructors know that word-of-mouth and reputation are key to growing a successful business. That’s why we’ve brought the benefits of these marketing tools online; George, Alex and Anthony all left reviews on Julien’s upmysport profile.

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    It was also a good chance for us to get some feedback on our app. For Julien, the instructor app meant that he was able to accept people onto the masterclass, take payment and chat to his clients on-the-go. Julien is a busy dude; training himself, looking after his clients and growing his business all take time.

    We’re pretty stoked with his feedback: ‘before I was trying to arrange this stuff via whats app, the next minute I get a txt, then I have to chase a voicemail. It was all just a bit much. The upmysport app means that I never miss an opportunity, and the stress is taken out of organising a big group session.’ 

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    We’re always improving our tools, and based on the feedback we’re getting from some of our top coaches we know we’ve made a lot of progress towards making it as easy, and as simple as possible to manage an instruction business.

    But there’s a lot of sport to be played this summer; lots of new instructors to meet and lots of ideas to be shared. So if you’re an instructor that wants to join our community and help us build upmysport, or a participant that wants to be kept in the loop next time we organise some masterclasses- drop us a line! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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  • Do Athletes Make Good Coaches?

    Posted in expert insights on February 28, 2013

    Baz Moffat personal training and rowing instructor (including event training for individuals and teams), speaks to Annie Vernon, who after a successful rowing career picking up World titles and Olympic medals, is now embarking on a coaching career.

    Baz caught up with Annie to find out what she has to say about athletes being good coaches…

    Annie

    I spent eight years as a full-time international rower and following the London Olympics I moved into a temporary job coaching Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club. I never, ever thought I would become a rowing coach but the job seemed like it could be good fun and before I knew it I was sitting in a launch on the River Ouse at Ely, right in the Fens.

    If I could describe my life right now, it would be that I’m becoming that person I used to hate: I’m doing all the things that used to really annoy me about my coaches….

    It started one day when I found myself shivering whilst supervising a weights session, so I suggested to the girls that they close the windows of the gym. They looked at me in disbelief: I was wearing layer upon layer, whilst they were wearing shorts and vests.

    Then I started to notice that I was racking up an impressive list of all the things that used to annoy me about my coaches:

    standing around looking bored and playing on my iPhone when the athletes were doing tough sessions; not pressing the button on the megaphone properly so they couldn’t really hear what I say when coaching; accidentally running the oars over in the coaching boat; and making sarcastic comments when they’re screwed from a hard week’s training.

    So do athletes make good coaches?

    I’m not sure.

    On the one hand, I can really empathise with what the athletes are going through, both good times and bad. On the other hand, I will always tend to side with them when sometimes they do truly need a good kick up the backside.

    Thinking back to the relationship I had with my coach, I liked that he was always utterly uncompromising and although I often didn’t like it at the time, he absolutely got the most out of me. I’ve had to learn to see things from the outside rather than always taking the athlete’s point of view.

    As an athlete you’re only concerned with yourself. Your mind, your body, your motivation, your experience, your results. As a coach of a squad of thirty girls, I now have to deal with 30 different minds, bodies, motivations, experiences, and try to get the most out of each individual.

    Many thanks to Baz and Annie for sharing their conversation.

    What do you think? We’d love to hear from you on this and any other topics of interest for our community at hello@upmysport.com, or post a comment below for everyone to see!