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Marina Armstrong

Marina Armstrong
Name: Marina Armstrong
Sport: Track & Field
Role: Sprints and Hurdles Coach
Nationality: British (Formerly USSR)
Date: Feb 2017

Marina Armstrong achieved her Masters in Athletics in 1983 in Moscow. She has since relocated to the UK where she has continued her coaching career, now holding a UKA Level 3 Sprints and Hurdles Qualification. She has been coaching regularly in the UK since 2005 and in this time has developed a strong group of hurdlers who have amassed a large number of English Schools and English Championships medals as well as International representative honours.

Most notably she coached Jacob Paul (European and World Junior Championships) and Shona Richards Silver medal in 400m Hurdles with a new National Junior Record at the World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA. Her athletes were first and second in both male and female 400m Hurdles at the U23 Championships this season.

Follow Marina on Twitter: @CoachMarina_A

 

My love for sport was developed at a young age. I was doing every possible sport available at school. In my first year at University I joined the athletics team. Although athletics was not my priority at the time; I was studying architecture; but I soon developed a passion for it.

In1983 I graduated as an architect and at the same time I reached the USSR national final after which I was invited to Moscow to train with the USSR National Team. I carried on professional athletics until 1987, finally giving it up due to injuries.

At the time the idea of coaching didn’t appeal to me, but it was in the year 2000 that I found my way back to the track, thanks to my young daughter who decided to start athletics, to my surprise.

I still didn’t want to coach and it was a few years later that three 400m hurdlers approached me and asked me if I would be able to help them. They were in their last year of school and I thought that I would just coach for a year until they went to University…. That was in 2005…

I believe that coaching is not a profession; it is a calling.

If it was not for my daughter dragging me to the track, and for those three girls that approached me in 2005, I would have missed my calling.

The success that my squad has enjoyed so far is due to our dedication, work ethic, honesty and their talent.

I believe in the continuation of learning and research. The moment I say “I know it all”, my athletes should find a different coach.

I’m at the track three hours per day, six days per week, but on some days I deliver two sessions per day. Research differs from week to week. Fitting it all in is not a problem, as I am one of the lucky ones. I coach full time.

All athletes, whether they are male of female, are individuals. I believe that one of my strongest qualities, as a coach is the ability to adapt and change a training plan according to each athlete’s needs.

I enjoyed the program very much, due to the fact that we had an extraordinary leader, Tony

Lycholat, as well as the other speakers and participants. I also had a privilege to present at one of the Female Coach Legacy Conference, which I enjoyed tremendously.

However, I have to say I don’t believe in gender segregation when it comes to learning, discussions and debates. I would have much preferred to be part of an all gender Elite Coach Program.

While I do believe that there is gender inequality in the world in many areas, I do not believe that it is necessary to have gender segregation in coach education. I believe that we need more coach education programs on all levels. Highly educated and knowledgeable female and male coaches can produce an unlimited numbers of elite athletes.

I gave this question a good thought, but I honestly couldn’t answer it.

More research has to be done on the subject.

My ultimate ambition as a coach is to help athletes to achieve their dreams, whether it is an Olympic podium or making a National Final.

My ultimate ambition as a coach is to help athletes to achieve their dreams, whether it is an Olympic podium or making a National Final.

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