Tracey Sample
Tracey Sample

Tracey Sample

For anyone thinking about coaching, go and talk to other coaches. Get out there and try it.

I have been coaching for 30 years over various sports. I mostly coach triathlon: Swimming, cycling and running in their individual sports and for triathletes.

Coaching started for me as a 16 year old whilst trying for my first lifesaving qualification, pool bronze. It was just expected that I coach the kids as part of this. I got my first Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) assistant teacher’s qualification as a 17 year old and have been coaching ever since.

I started coaching triathlon in 2005 whilst I was injured but still wanted to be part of the club sessions and I was lucky enough to have a great coach mentor who encouraged me to take on more responsibility.

I have since worked my through qualifications to become a Triathlon England (TE) Level 3 coach and most recently, a coach mentor. It was difficult to get the qualifications as the commitment needed to attend full weekend courses and it only became possible when I made it my highest priority and anything else I might have planned had to be moved to ensure I could attend all the courses needed to complete the qualification. The Level 3 work was equivalent to the work I did in getting my part time Masters Degree and was very happy to hand in the final submissions.

I am the Head Coach at Alnwick Tri Club and I’m proud that half our coaches are female with all current coaches (male and female) becoming coaches after being encouraged by myself. This was a complete accident as my only policy was to recognise talent where I saw it.

My passion is helping people achieve their aims and have been known to do little dances on poolside when a longstanding swimmers’ finally gets a movement pattern which will allow them to swim better. I’m also well known for getting in people’s heads and athletes have quoted me as being in their head giving advice whilst they are racing.

Although I’m quite good at triathlon, my injuries prevent me getting any better and in fact I battle every day not to get worse. And, due to this, from a coaching point of view, I love nothing more than when one of my athletes beats me for the first time as it gives them a new level of confidence.

I also have my own coaching business which allows me to work whilst still spending a lot of time with my volunteer coaching commitments.

For anyone thinking about coaching, go and talk to other coaches. Get out there and try it. Most coaches want help but don’t know you are interested. They’ll probably love you to death for volunteering to help them.