Fitness Conditioning Coach
As a child I was always heavily involved in sports, inspired by my Dad as one of the top footballers of his generation in Dundee, I used to love watching him play and since watching those games as a young boy, wanted to do nothing else other than play sports.
I began as most do in Scotland with football but didn’t enjoy it much, later discovering Roller Hockey, Ice Hockey, Indoor Hockey, Field Hockey, Badminton, Cricket and Athletics. Every night after school was a different sports club and I had a talent for most of them, competing in national school youth competitions in Hockey, Cricket, Badminton and Athletics.
I enjoyed this huge variety of sports my whole childhood and in my early teenage years but was surprised when moving to Brechin at the age of 13 to discover my choices in sports were very limited. As a result I searched locally for sports clubs to join and tried to follow my early passion for Hockey only to be told by my P.E. teacher at the time that Hockey was for girls. In my search for other sports clubs I came across Brechin Judo Club and under the tutelage of Sensei Mark Arbuthnott, began my journey into combat sports at the age of 15.
I was instantly fascinated by the difference in Judo to any other sport I had participated in before. The different aspects such as the level of respect for yourself and others, the aspect of self discipline and the controlling of both your aggression and the use of the opponents aggression to gain an advantage in competitive bouts absolutely fascinated me and I wanted to learn everything possible about the sport almost immediately.
I still practice Judo today and I’m proud to now be a coach at Brechin Judo Club now offering the same opportunities I had as a young man to other younger members of the same community. One of my old opponents and training partners Valentine Duke began training in Brazilian Jui Jitsu (BJJ) and invited me to train at a local club in Dundee. Within the first session I had reignited the passion I had for Judo in this similar yet different martial art and was immediately obsessed with learning everything there was to learn about BJJ.
I soon discovered that this lifelong obsession with sports and the yearning for knowledge of sports was the perfect focus in my pursuit of both an academic career and eventually my professional career. I met Steve Oakley whilst working at a part time job and after weeks of short but brilliant discussions he encouraged me to apply to Dundee and Angus College to study a HNC in Sports Coaching and Development. I instantly knew within the first week of my studies that this was to be my lifelong passion and professional pursuit.
A year later I progressed onto the HND and after that year was completed I began my my studies at Robert Gordon University (RGU) where I studied a Batchelors Degree in Applied Sports and Exercise and Science.
I then furthered my studies in my Honours year choosing the elective pathway of Strength and Conditioning, an area of study focussed on supporting and enhancing athletic performance across all levels of competition and across all sports. This choice in career pathway was inspired by Chris Simpson, who in my opinion is the best Strength and Conditioning coach I’ve had the privilege of coming into contact with thus far. I began coaching athletes from university level to professional level as an intern whilst studying at RGU and took those experiences forward after successfully completing my studies in supporting local football teams and individual athletes with basic strength and conditioning support. These opportunities not only benefited the athletes who trained with myself but also benefited me hugely by allowing me the opportunity to practice and improve my coaching ability. Chris Simpson continued and continues to this day in guiding me, always being on hand with advice, a chat or a different perspective on the best methods to adopt when supporting athletes in the development of their athletic abilities.
I was fortunate enough after my studies to become employed at Dundee and Angus College as a Lecturer in the same Sports and Fitness department I had studied in a few years prior and can only thank Stephen Mcgregor for the opportunity to pursue a career that i am still extremely fulfilled in today.
Throughout my time in supporting athletes with Strength and Conditioning I have been fortunate enough to work with professional teams as an intern, to working with both amateur and professional combat sport athletes from MMA, Judo and BJJ backgrounds.
I hope to further my knowledge in supporting the athletes as best I can at Brechin Community Boxing Club and would like to thank Jocky Mclean the Head Coach for approaching me to come on board the team.