From my very first session with Lee I was impressed with his direct and honest approach to track cycling and instantly began to feel more confident in my ability and talent as a rider, a breath of fresh air so to speak. At the time I was based in London and Lee in Brighton and although there was a geographical distance, I found the regular on-hand phone calls and emails a total reassurance and peace of mind during my learning curve as a rider.
One of the many positive things about Lee’s direct style of coaching is that you learn to question and analyse every aspect of your training and racing in order to develop your own specific method of approach to the sport. From knowing hardly anything about track cycling at the start of the year I came 5th riding in my first National Championships, the result of a combination of confidence building coaching and hands-on track exercises practiced both with Lee.
I continued working with lee during 2 years of full time a-levels but this didn’t stop me training by any means, Lee’s weekly tailored training programmes factored in time to focus on my studies and yet attain the best physical form possible. I was introduced to cycling/power specific gym training (one of Lee’s most knowledgeable areas) and began working on my mental approach to pre-race and race situations, exercises that proved essential in upcoming events.
By spring 2003 and after working with Lee for less than a year I won bronze at the National Junior Track Championships Men’s Sprint, an amazing feeling that I will never forget! It is fair to say I would not have achieved this without Lee’s rock solid tactical knowledge and advice, especially when it came to tackling people who qualified faster and were a lot more experienced than me earlier in the champs.
After a summer of racing and more specific training I came 5th in Septembers Senior National Team Sprint competition, again a surprising result with my limited experience but achieved through the help of Lee and my team mates.
At this point I began to truly feel confident in my abilities and decided with Lee and my family that I wanted to take my whole approach to racing more seriously. After a sit down conversation we decided to aim for the 2004 National Junior Keirin Championship title and Lee began to structure my training plan for the whole 9month build-up.
Throughout the months of precisely laid out training (including race specific gym work, track rides and road rides) leading up to the championships I could sense my body and mind changing, I was becoming more focused and tuned into my goals. During this time I was also completing my A-Levels and training which proved unobtrusive on my learning (If I ever had to step up or down the training around my education, Lee balanced it out to achieve the best of both worlds) a great testament to Lee’s coaching style and work ethic.
A few weeks before the Keirin Championships Lee began to taper my training so I could achieve the best possible condition, at this point I knew my form was great and I had a very good chance going into the race. When race day did come around, Instead of easily letting nerves get in the way, Lee’s physiological confidence building exercises allowed me to overcome any mental blocks I might have hit without his help. I switched into my race mode, (something that had been worked on and adjusted over the previous two seasons) and channelled a years training and tactical work into one massive effort- resulting in a big win over my rivals. In less than two full seasons with Lee as my coach I was a national track champion and continued the 2004 season in great form by winning silver at the National Junior Sprint Championships against the 2004 European champion.
To sum things up: I have nothing but the highest regard and respect for Lee and what he has helped me achieve and I have no doubts that anyone who works with him will too. To this day he remains as a good friend and I trust that he will help many more riders achieve their full potential as he did with me.