Coaching Lives – Profiling Borders athletic coaches: Week five – John Motion

PEEBLES, UNITED KINGDOM. - 24 / June / 2012 : 'Border Athletics Series'Peebles Beltane Sports'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance / � 2012)'Single UK Use; No Resale; Fee payable on Publication;
PEEBLES, UNITED KINGDOM. - 24 / June / 2012 : 'Border Athletics Series'Peebles Beltane Sports'''(Photo by Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance / � 2012)'Single UK Use; No Resale; Fee payable on Publication;
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Number of years as a coach: 15 in total. I began coaching at the age of 23 after suffering a serious hamstring injury which put an end to my running career. I coached in Innerleithen for 13 years. Now, following a 20-year break due to family commitments I am back and am into my second season with my new club.

Club: Leithenburn.

Base: Victoria Park (Innerleithen).

Number of athletes: 12.

Hours of training per week: We train two or three nights a week, but often do more depending on individual needs of the athlete.

Greatest achievement in coaching: I have quite a few, both past and present, but I think the most memorable ones were two wins in the New Year Youth Sprint at Meadowbank. Mark Brodie and David Dickson won on separate occasions and as a coach it must be one of the best feelings to see your runners achieve such a high goal. Starting up Leithenburn with Darin Dougal was pretty special, too, and the success which has followed.

Inspiration: The enthusiasm and dedication of the children that I coach and the support we get from the parents. They really get behind us by coming along to training and turning out at the games rain, hail or shine and it makes a big difference having that kind of support rather than feeling you are just being used as a baby-sitting service.

What makes a good athlete: Someone who is committed to training in all weathers. My motto has always been “you only get out of things what you put in” and this is something that I try and instil in my athletes.

Most enjoy about coaching: Watching the youngsters enjoy themselves and seeing their faces when they win or put in a good performance.

Least enjoy: When the athletes get injured, and this weather, they often go hand in hand. Also when athletes don’t turn up at training and haven’t the good grace to let you know. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen very often.

Aims for 2012: Leithenburn is a small club, rich with talent, and I want to build on that. We are looking to encourage youngsters to come along and take up athletics and support the Borders meetings.