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Meet the coach: Aston Moore

Meet the coach: Aston Moore

Former international triple jumper takes us through a coaching journey spent in the pursuit of knowledge and guiding a number of Britain’s finest athletes

When Katarina Johnson-Thompson was crowned world heptathlon champion for a second time last summer, she was quick to identify her work with Aston Moore as one of the key reasons for her victory.

The two-time Commonwealth triple jump medallist has spent the majority of his life leading some of Britain’s best to international success, mainly in the horizontal jumps but also combined events. The likes of Johnson-Thompson, Ashia Hansen, Phillips Idowu and Jazmin Sawyers, not to mention Paralympic long jumper and sprinter Olivia Breen, have all benefited from the 67-year-old’s coaching.

How did you start coaching?

I started a little bit as an athlete, just helping out youngsters in the squad. When you’re the elder statesman in the group you see youngsters coming through and initially you start with just giving them a little bit of advice here and there.

I was also a student of my sport and within the squad itself I took a lot of responsibility eventually for the planning and execution of my own training – albeit overseen by another coach, which at the time was Kevin Reeve.

I then decided at the age of 30: “That’s it, I’m retired now. I can’t take the sport anymore in terms of competitiveness.” So some of the athletes said: “You can you look after me,” and I found myself coaching.

Did it evolve, then, rather than being like a calling?

I think it had its roots in me going to the Montreal Olympics as a 20-year-old. At that stage I thought I could conquer the world but I had a disastrous Olympics. That was mostly because I just was not prepared – not so much physically, but emotionally and strategically – for the event. I treated the preparation as if it was the AAA Championships at home and then found that it wasn’t!

I made a promise to myself that something like that wouldn’t happen again to another athlete and so I became evangelistic about the preparation. That’s when the seeds were sown and I became interested in other people not making the same mistakes as I did.

Aston Moore (Getty)

Did the educational side of things interest you? That capacity and interest to learn?

I think, if you become a coach, it becomes a lifelong thing. You’re always looking for better ways of doing exactly what you’ve always done. As an athlete it eventually dawned on me that: “I’m…

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