There is something significant stirring within throws at Inverness Harriers – as results across a number of age group championships proved earlier this year.
Coach Duncan Flockhart has been heavily involved in that and he was interviewed recently by Impact 2018 Event Coach Developer, Hugh Murray, for a newsletter issued by scottishathletics to the throws community.
We felt it was well worth sharing the interview in a wider context, as Duncan explains the steps on his own coaching journey. (Hugh is the asking the questions)
Duncan, I suppose the obvious question to ask is: how did you get started coaching?
‘When I was younger I competed for the Harriers but I also played rugby and had many other interests. I suppose the main reason was that my daughter Mary took an interest and I took her along. I began to meet people I knew and they asked me if I had time and would I be able to help out with the coaching.
‘That was eight years ago. I began by helping out with the Under 11s and Under 13s on general stuff.’
What was the next move?
‘Well the Club and Coaching Highland looked after me as I developed into a throws coach, As I became more interested, I bought into the scottishathletics Development/Squad days which you were running at the time.
‘And then, about six years ago, I did my Level 2 course in when you came here to Inverness.’
Any other influence on you coaching development?
‘Oh yes. Harry Lakeland and Brian Ross have helped and mentored me along the way. Between them they must have around 70 years coaching experience.
‘Harry coached athletes to Commonwealth Games. Both of them are still coaching and help within the throws group together with Janis Wilby, Karin Smith, Alan Brown and Evon Watts who are all doing some form of coaching together with others who help generally – Roger Evans and Cameron Stark . I have to stress it really is a team effort and it is great to have so many catering for throws at Inverness Harriers.’
You are currently a Mentee on the scottishathletics Coach Mentoring Programme. Why did you apply to be on it?
‘I spoke to you at Aberdeen at the Age Group Championships in Aberdeen in 2013 and you told me about the new initiative. I guess it came along at the right time. I think I was ready for that next step. To me the programme has been a Godsend.’
What are the good points and the not so good points?
‘Right now there are no ‘Not so Good’ points that I can see. Having given serious thought to what I want to achieve as a coach, I reflected on my strengths and weaknesses. I was encouraged to take a look at my needs and put together a plan and timescale to address them.
‘I have been on the programme for a year now and you have visited me regularly and we have reviewed my progress. I have attended all of the scottishathletics Coach Development Workshops and Conferences and have also had the opportunity to visit Loughborough University for the UK Coaching Development weekends.
‘This has exposed me to the coaching philosophies of a great number of experienced coaches and has allowed me to exchange ideas with them.
‘Don’t get me wrong; it has been challenging and a bit scary sometimes and it has tested me. But it’s been great for my development and enjoyable.
‘I am due to attend a UK Strength and Conditioning Foundation course next month which will mean I have achieved all of my first year targets.’
So, what next for Duncan Flockhart?
‘I am perhaps more prepared now for more exposure to working with Senior Coaches with a proven international background, but I don’t want to rush it.
‘It would be nice to coach an athlete to the Commonwealth Games, maybe not the next ones, but perhaps in 2022. Perhaps I’m not ready yet but I would love to be involved in International Team Duties. I did Throws Coach at the Celtic Games International this year and felt I learned a lot.’