Sports Coach - Biography
In 1996 Brian achieved his Senior Coach award (sprints and combined events) with the British Athletics Federation now British Athletics. The process of attaining the qualification required him to develop the practical skills of coaching (how to coach) and the knowledge to help athletes achieve their goals (what to coach). For the previous 25 years, he competed as an endurance athlete in events from 5k to 50k over country, roads, fells and mountains. Along with his coaching experience, he looked for a way to share his knowledge with other coaches and athletes.
The information needed to be centralised, so he decided to put it on the World Wide Web. With a background in software engineering, a website's development just entailed learning another software programming language. So, in 1996 the BrianMac Sports Coach website was born.
In those early days the site comprised approximately 30 pages addressing the practical skills of coaching and basic sports science topics. The site now consists of over 1000 pages so how did Brian develop those extra 970+ pages? Well, it was, and still is, down to the site visitors. These were the track and field coaches, athletes and fitness enthusiasts who would email numerous questions. He soon realised that the same or similar questions on a topic were being asked so Brian would develop a page to address that topic.
A year later he was approached by Electric Word, the Publishers of Peak Performance, and asked if he would be interested in writing a newsletter for them on coaching. Brian took up the challenge, so "Brian Mackenzie's Successful Coaching" newsletter was born. This provided him with the opportunity to establish a worldwide network of coaches from various sports and people practising sport-related skills like physiotherapy, nutrition, sports psychology etc. They were also happy to contribute articles on their area of expertise to the website as it provided a way of promoting themselves and their sport or related skill. Gradually the page count increased along with greater depth and range of topics.
The site became of interest to students studying sport-related qualifications from GCSE PE to a degree in sports science. Similarly to the coaches, athletes and fitness enthusiasts before students started asking questions and more pages were developed to address these questions. The questions being asked were as a result of a student following a curriculum topic and not finding an answer. Helping Brian ensure that the site addressed the questions in line with the curriculum was his daughter Dr Rona Mackenzie, a PE teacher.
An example of a page created to meet PE students' needs in Physical Education (GCSE) was the Personal Exercise Plan (PEP). The objective is for the student to demonstrate knowledge of the theory of the general principles of training. The PEP page explains how to go about creating a personal exercise plan.
As a British Athletics coach, Brian's philosophy is to help coaches and athletes achieve their aims and goals and as the Sports Coach curator to help visitors find the answers to their questions. Is he succeeding with the website? With an average of 18,000 visitors a day and the comments received from visitors I believe he may be.
The result is that the website has developed to address coaches and athletes' needs across various sports, fitness enthusiasts, and students studying sport-related qualifications. It will continue to grow thanks to its visitors. So please visit brianmac.co.uk, and Brian will welcome your questions and comments.
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