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Friday, 15 June 2012 00:00

Business as usual

It is about time I updated everyone on the changes going on in my life, and how those changes are impacting on PBscience. I have recently decided to take a step back from my coaching work. I had already reduced my athlete base down to 5 in order to open up some space in my life, but I now wish to take a more complete break.

As well as personal reasons (one being to protect my health) the main driver has been my growing interest in working with the human being 'more directly'. In the past 6 months I have been undertaking meditation teacher training (travelling to New York for that instruction); and on the horizon I have two years studying to be a Humanistic Psychotherapist (closer to home at the University of Brighton).

I trained to be a Life Coach back in 2009, and I have always found helping others to pursue their goals a deeply satisfying experience. I think in truth this was a big part of me turning to cycle coaching. I have always regarded sport as a metaphor for life, life experiences magnified / intensified. Indeed, in my 6 years of cycle coaching I have been able to help athletes both on and off the 'performance stage'. Many people come to cycle coaching for their sport; but as our work together unfolds, so do the challenges that face us in everyday life...especially for the 'part time' athlete who has to combine many pressures alongside their passion.

I have seen deeper manifestations of the human experience too. Life is not easy and having a focus on sport can bring up many 'demons'. I know from my own experience, the pressure to perform, the expectations placed on self, the need to achieve. These aspects of personality were evident in all arenas of my life; but it was sport that highlighted them and made me look them directly in the face. During my competitive days, I was fortunate to have a coaching team around me who understood those lurking demons. Sport brought them up, but I had to leave sport in order to truly address them.

And for me as a coach - moving out of the sporting towards a life context has a similar motivation. I want to deepen my understanding of the human psyche and learn more skills that will help me to help others. My underlying motivation has not changed "to help others excel": it is the depth and medium that is shifting...for the time being at least.

Coaches_at_workThis has been an incredibly hard decision to make. I have loved building up PBscience, and loved working with the athletes I have had the fortune to meet (52 since PBscience started in 2008). I am grateful for each and everyone of those relationships: coaching is a two way process - I learn as much as the athlete does. But I know I must apply myself to the psychotherapy training wholeheartedly. As many of you know, I don't do anything by halves!

However, this is NOT a goodbye! I am still very much part of the PBscience team. Dan and Oli will be taking care of coaching services, whilst all 3 of us will be ensuring we keep PBscience at the front of the cycling coaching provision in the UK. My intention is to be available as a consultant for athletes, to work with Oli and Dan on their athlete projects when needed, and I am also hoping to keep a bit of writing going too. So much depends on the homework...returning to being a student may well be a shock!

Published in Blog