What do you do for a living?
How did you get interested in what you do? What advice was available to you when you chose this career direction?
I started playing tennis when I was in Primary 4, competed all through my childhood with a local club and for county and continue to play today. There was lots of advice available through the LTA website and also the head coaches at Craiglockhart tennis centre helped me a lot. The website has all the information on how to become a coach and develop yourself as a coach.
What was your journey to reach the role you are in today?
I left school with 7 Highers and one Advanced Higher (including PE and Biology) which allowed me to attend Edinburgh University and do my undergraduate degree in Applied sports science.
After this is went on to start a Masters Degree in Sports Performance Enhancement but while here decided I wanted to get back into tennis and start coaching. So I quit the course after a couple of weeks (couldn't be doing with writing more essays!) and contacted Craiglockhart and the coaches I knew from when I trained there as a junior. They put me in the right direction and I did my level 1, 2, and 3 coach qualifications. While on my level 2 course I met my now business partner and we decided to start up a coaching business in the Borders. Now I coach classes to a variety of players in Tweeddale (from 5 years to adults, and from beginer to district level).
Talk me through a day in your life... what sorts of things would it involve?
Coach a ladies improver class from 9.30 to 11am (must be one of the best ladies classes I have ever coached, soon to be professional!). May coach a private lesson after this. Then start coaching again at 3.45pm and finish at 8pm (these are junior classes for players aged 5 to 16 years). I coach at different outdoor clubs in Tweeddale, also do some schools coaching, and coach indoors at Craiglockhart.
Was it your planned career when you were 18?
I wanted to go to university and do applied sports science......then have a job in sport! I didn't realise when I was 18 that I could have a career as a tennis coach.
What did your mum and dad want you to do?
Mum and dad were great! They never pressured me towards any career but think they always imagined I would do something in sport.....possibly become a PE teacher.
What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?
Get as much experience as you can coaching or assisting a tennis coach. You do not need a degree to become a tennis coach however I strongly believe that a sports based degree gives you an in depth understanding of the subject and helps you focus your coaching (I am quite techincal as I did a lot of biomechanics at university.....some people may have a greater interest in sports psychology, nutrition, or physiology).
What other directions could you go in /work in within your field other than the job you have chosen?
Potentially could go back to university and do a 1 year course to become a teacher. Could also look into a sports science job - research or hands on.