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Coaching week - Ryan Spencer Jones' journey

03/06/2019 00:00, In Blog /

"I had my first introduction to athletics whilst at secondary school but primarily played rugby during this period. After some success during this time I joined Brecon Athletics club under my first coach John Mcfall who still coaches today, this along with visits to Paul Jensen whilst still in school. When going to university at Cardiff I decided after seeing the Melbourne Commonwealth games I wanted to try and go to Dehli 2010."


Ryan subsequently went to two commonwealth games Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014, whilst also finishing my degree and doing a PGCE in Further education. 


After Glasgow, Ryan planned to take a year out to help his body recover after some shoulder operations and injuries to his ankle. Although he had been coaching frequently whilst training, and having some further competition success with Welsh indoor titles and BUCS indoor and outdoor, he had never committed to it and during the year in which he increased his coaching, I never got back into throwing and didn’t want too. From this point, his throws coaching group has grown significantly and athletes have had success from Paralympic Games gold medals to junior/senior national championships. 


"Going through the system from a rural area with the help of some great coaches to two commonwealth games enables me to understand the difficulties within the sport and being a network officer for the past 8 years has given me great experience in how volunteer coaches and other club officials are vital to the development of Throws in Wales."


"My role within Welsh Athletics will be to develop, assist and work on key partnerships with personal and community coaches to ensure we produce a succession of throwers. We have the coaching talent and the athlete talent in Wales and my mission will be to develop, embed and produce a program that best suits the regions and clubs across Wales. This will be done with key partners across Wales."

"My philosophy within coaching, if it were to be 3 words would be “specific hard work” - there is no substitution for hard work the best throwers work hard but also work smart and specific. Within my programming, if it does not make you a better thrower it does not need to be in there and are we just training to feel tired. There is a large difference between training to become a more powerful efficient athlete rather than just to feel tired from training."

Ryan is now the National Throws coordinator for Wales and will be working with throws coaches and athletes across Wales to take the event group forward.

This in relation to the role works well as for too long, throwers have been pigeonholed and not developed as athletes first, which takes time. I hope this will be reflected in the regional and national programs we'll be building to develop talent long term and give the athletes and coaches the foundation and network to continue to do so."