William Sharman: Working with Benke Blomkvist

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So far we’ve bought you only the views of football players and Managers but now we’re branching out. The latest name to be writing a blog here on mysportsthoughts is athlete Will Sharman, who is hopeful of reaching the Olympics in 2012.

The 110m metre hurdler will be keeping us up to date with his trials and trbulations, starting with his recent ‘coaching saga.’

At the end of the summer season in 20008, my former coach John Anderson very honourably opened the door for me to seek a new coach after what we considered to be an unsuccessful season; narrowly missing out on the Olympics in Beijing.

So in October 2008 I moved from the East Midlands to South Wales to work with UK Athletics appointed coach, Benke Blomkvist. Wales is a long way from home for me so it took a lot of arm bending by UKA to get me down there. As far as UKA were concerned, only a hurdles specific coach employed by themselves would sustain the lottery support that I had been receiving over the past 12 months, my other coaching suggestions were snubbed.

When I did move to Cardiff the appointed hurdles coach was taken sick for three months only two weeks after my arrival. Making my prospects of a well guided ‘winter’ bleak. He did return on the day of my first competition and it made such a huge difference to be coached again! The downside was that it was pretty late into the winter to make technical changes, it was competition time and a lot of technical changes were long overdue.

Credit where credit is due, Benke is a fantastic coach to work with. Or was should I say because Friday the 13th March 2009 was his last day in office as a UKA coach, he now goes back to Sweden and therefore I also return home.

In the few weeks Benke had worked with me on technique, we had improved my indoor personal best by almost a tenth of a second – from 7.77 in 2006 to 7.69 in 2009. This is really encouraging as it was almost 3 years since covering new ground and there is a still lot more to do.

Such is life, but it’s always a shame when you move coaches unexpectedly after moulding a high level of communication. I will keep in touch with Benke so it’s more of a ‘cya later’ than a farewell.

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