Bret Crossley is one of the GO TRI Ambassadors at WTS Leeds. Here is his story about getting into triathlon coaching…
Hi! My name’s Bret and I’m one of the GO TRI Ambassadors for AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds 2019. I’m also a Level 2 triathlon coach at Leeds Bradford Triathlon Club, as well as leading novice training days to help introduce new people to triathlon.
I'd been a paratriathlete since 2014 and had thought about becoming a coach at some point in the future. However, I only got into triathlon coaching after my swim coach, himself a triathlon coach of many years’ experience, suggested I give it a go – I’d wanted to do it for many years, but it was his suggestion that prompted me into action! He felt I had the skills to be a good coach and that I had the advantage of being able to see the sport from the perspective of a disabled athlete. I enrolled on a Level 1 triathlon coaching course soon after that, which I completed in October 2017, and I haven't looked back since!
My favourite thing about triathlon coaching is how personally rewarding it is helping and seeing athletes improve, whether it be coaching a new skill or developing their fitness. I really enjoy being involved with GO TRI and am excited to be an Ambassador for Leeds! You get to see people come into the sport for the first time; some with experience in one of the disciplines, some with no sporting background at all and I’m able to help them grow in their confidence and ability.
Being in a wheelchair, triathlon coaching has helped me get more involved with the sport by increasing my knowledge and understanding of the requirements for an able-bodied athlete. Much of the insight is transferable to disabled athletes and I’ve been able to apply it to my own training.
I've gained many friends through my involvement in coaching, both athletes and fellow coaches so it has certainly been a really positive thing for me to have done! I’d recommend getting into coaching, as it’s a great way to get more involved in the sport and support others in their triathlon journey.