Teenager Joshua Walmsley says coaching gives him a ‘rewarding feeling’

Swimming coach Joshua Walmsley says “moving people forward in their journey” made him fall in love with teaching and coaching.

The 18-year-old is already a Level 1 coach and Level 2 teacher and is excited to continue his aquatic journey in what will become the new Sandwell Aquatics Swimming Club.

Already a competitive swimmer himself, Joshua got into coaching through the club and says finding ways to help swimmers improve is what he enjoys.

He said: “It’s great, coaching is for me. Working with people and getting that progression out of them is very rewarding and of course teaching is the same.

“With training you are able to learn finer and finer technical things and that is what appeals to me as a competitive swimmer myself. So it’s about making people progress and that’s what makes me appreciate that.

“I taught as part of a learn-to-swim program at Sandwell, working through stages one through seven with all ages and abilities and really enjoyed it.”

“It added more fuel to the fire”

Joshua has now been coaching for just under a year at Langley before moving to Sandwell Aquatics Center once it reopens at the new club.

He says seeing the new venue and the top athletes competing at the Games made him even more motivated to get back to the pool.

“On the training side, I can definitely take elements of technique and forms of practice and training. So that just adds fuel to the fire and after seeing them again and again, I can’t wait to get in the pool and coach and teach again. I’m ready to progress and get better. It’s great.

He encourages everyone to try teaching and coaching because just like him, you can enjoy something he never thought to get into.

“At first, I never wanted to do the teaching side, I just wanted to get into coaching because that’s the environment in which I find myself the most.

“But obviously I couldn’t do my level two training until I was 18, so I decided to do my level one and level two teaching before that and went there just as a way to enter but I grew to really like it.

Training to become a teacher and coach has also helped him as a person, as he admits it has given him more confidence and it is a rewarding position.

“Before, I was quite quiet and didn’t express myself too much, but teaching really gave me some skills to work with people and work with young children too.

“I think if you can communicate well with young children, you can really communicate with anyone.

“When you have a child struggling with something and they finally get it and it clicks and you can see it, that’s a very rewarding feeling.”

“I wanted to be in and around”

Joshua also volunteered at his home at the Commonwealth Games which were ‘right on his doorstep’ as he sought to help him progress in his career.

He was one of the volunteers at our stand Inspired to try ‘Have A Go’ and explained that he just wanted to be part of the event in Birmingham.

“I decided to try volunteering a bit as a kind of career progression.

“And obviously I was inspired by the Games and it was basically on my doorstep. It’s within walking distance, so it’s good to be involved.

“Having a facility like this built close to my home and hosting the Games here is a great opportunity.

“Like I said, I did this to progress a bit in my career, but also to be in and around it,
it was something that interested me too.

He believes the Games will have a big impact on the younger generation, as it allows young swimmers to admire and support along the way.

“I’ve been involved in swimming a bit and it’s great to see all these world class athletes in Birmingham.

“It’s nice to volunteer and have local kids and some of my own Sandwell Aquatics swimmers come and try out too.

“Yes, they swim, but sometimes they don’t have a reason why they swim, maybe their parents do, so that inspires them too.

“If they can see an athlete, pick one they like best and that obviously inspires them to be like them.

“The support for people like Peaty out there is crazy and all the kids now, the younger ones who weren’t so aware of Peaty have now watched him and are inspired by him. It’s great to see.

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