Athletic Evolution

Andy Kirkland (University of Stirling): A wart’s and all guide to being an athlete in a “High Performance” environment.

Andy Kirkland has been working professionally in sport for the last 10 years, initially as a sports scientist at the Scottish Institute of Sport, then British Cycling and now as a Lecturer in Sports Coaching at the University of Stirling. He’s been involved at every level, ranging from teaching young children to swim, working with development and performance athletes, through to providing high-performance support to international level coaches and athletes.

As well as having a Ph.D. in Sport Science, Andy is a British Association of Exercise Sciences accredited sport and exercise scientist with chartered scientist status. His academic background, exploring mental health and wellbeing, influences the way he  think’s and attempts to solve problems. However, his experiences at the ‘coal-face’  are important to what he does. His developing expertise in behavioural change science helps him make sense of highly complex coaching environments.

In this episode Andy discusses:

  • How his experiences on council estates and in techno clubs influenced his coaching philosophy.
  • Why health, mental health and performance should all be the same thing.
  • Why wellbeing should not be sacrificed for performance.
  • How High Performance sport is ruthless.
  • Why parents are more important than coaches in the athlete’s sporting journey.
  • His 3 rules for dealing with the world of High Performance.
  • How to decide if a training/competition environment is right or not.

You can read Andy’s article “A warts and all guide to being an athlete in a “High Performance” environment here. You can keep up to date with Andy via his Twitter account: @andykirkland71 .

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