Welcome to Kirkland Coaching.
Welcome to the website of Andy Kirkland Ph.D. I am a triathlon coach, an expert in endurance sports performance and Lecturer in Sports Coaching at the University of Stirling.
Over time, I’ll use this website to provide personal commentaries on coaching related subjects, promote my research and provide CPD content for coaches, athletes and students.
The website is a resource for me to provide you, whether you are an athlete, coach, sports scientist and or student, with interesting and relevant articles that may help in your practice. Secondly, I wish to help break down the barriers to the sharing of knowledge between coaches, sports scientists and those involved in sport at an academic level through the sharing of my experiences.
I also offer one-to-one coaching to a very small number of athletes, so please feel free to contact me if you think I can help.
I’ve been involved in sport for many years firstly as a ‘recreational athlete’, then a student, sports scientist and a coach. For the last 10 years I’ve been working professionally in sport, initially as a sports scientist at the Scottish Institute of Sport, then British Cycling and now as a Lecturer in Sports Coaching at the University of Stirling. I’ve been involved at every level, ranging from teaching young children to swim, working with development and performance athletes, through to providing high-performance support to international level coaches and athletes.
Your performance is dependent on the complex interaction between social, mental and biological processes, with a fair amount of luck thrown in. That means that there are no right ways to coach but plenty of avenues to get it wrong.
Fundamentally, I believe that everyone has huge potential and I know better than most how to capture that potential. However, I've no fixed methods of doing it. Rather, I'm a bit of a bespoke tailor. I also believe that your health, wellbeing and performance is not separate and that is reflected in the way I coach.
I have written a deeper piece on my coaching philosophy here.
Summary of Qualifications and Experience
The biggest lesson I’ve learn through working in sport is that the more I learn and understand, the more I realise what I don’t know. That’s why it’s so exciting to be involved in coaching. I thought I was brilliant, then I believed I was pathologically thick and now I feel comfortable calling myself an expert. There are always new experiences to learn from and areas of knowledge to investigate. Therefore, an open-mind is a prerequisite to excellence in coaching.
“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” Dalai Lama XIV
A balance between practical experience and formal qualifications has helped me reach the stage where I know the rules well, understand when to stick to them or when to try to innovate by breaking them effectively. A summary of my qualifications and experience are provided below:
- Lecturer in Sports Coaching at the University of Stirling
- British Cycling Coach Developer
- Ph.D. in Sports Science (related to cycling performance)
- BSc(Hons) Sport, Exercise and Coaching Science
- British Cycling Level 3 Road and Time Trial coach
- British Triathlon Level 2 coach
- Sport and Exercise Scientist at the Scottish Institute of Sport
- Club-level triathlete and 2x Ironman finisher