Feature: Andrew Kirkland
In recognition of the efforts many people put into the sport, we’d like to showcase some coaching profiles, to inspire others to get involved. In the latest of these profiles, Coaching and Education introduces Holly Seear, an inspirational coach from Twickenham Go-Ride Cycling Club.
Photo: Holly Seear shares her coaching experience
• DOB: 10/11/75
• Location: Middlesex
• Cycling club: Twickenham Go-Ride Cycling Club
When did you first get into cycling and coaching?
I came to cycling later in life after having my children, initially as a means to get fit, which then led to competitive cycling and coaching.
What initially inspired you to get involved?
I had worked as a coach and trainer in a business environment previously and once I discovered my love of cycling, I became passionate about sharing it with others and wanted to support other riders to achieve their cycling goals.
What type of environment do you coach within?
My coaching experience includes school children, afterschool clubs, ATC Cadets, grass track sessions, Twickenham Go-Ride Cycling Club coaching sessions, road racing skills, female-only MTB skills and female-only road racing sessions. I also teach Bikeability, both in schools and with adults who want to become more confident on the road. To top it all off, I am also a Sky Ride Leader and Breeze Leader!
Do you have a profession/day job?
I am also a Personal Trainer, National Standards Instructor, Studio Cycling Instructor and Nordic Walking Instructor.
Have you completed any awards or qualifications?
Yes,a lot! Level 1 Ride Leader, Level 2 Award in Coaching Cycling, Level 2 Road and Time Trial Coaching Award, Level 2 MTB Coaching Award, National Standards Instructor, Level 3 Personal Trainer (and various other fitness qualifications!).
Why did you choose to pursue your role as a coach?
It is immensely satisfying seeing others achieving their goals at all levels, such as riding without stabilizers for the first time, managing a ‘bunny hop’ for the first time and winning a road race.
What do you find most satisfying about being a coach?
I love the variety of coaching and the special moments when something ‘clicks’ for a rider.
We’re thrilled to see the number of women getting involved with coaching is on the rise. Do you have any thoughts on this?
I hope as a female coach I am open in my relationships with riders and able to support them as a rider and individual. Often riders are more prepared to ask what they consider to be ‘silly’ questions when working with a female coach.
Why do you think there is currently a gender imbalance in the sport?
Historically this has always been the case, but going forward the future is bright with more women riding, more females racing, more females coaching, women’s races with television coverage and equal prize money!
What are your future ambitions in coaching?
I intend to complete my Level 3 Road and Time Trial Coaching Award in the future to enable me to do more individual coaching and to complete my MTB Leadership award.
What advice would you give to other women considering coaching?
Go for it!