My squad now includes numerous athletes who've won, European, & national titles and are ranked very highly on the UK's all-time lists.
About Coach John Shepherd
I've always been interested in sport. Perhaps my ability to run and jump started when I was about six, when I'd jump over white (rather new) consecutive paving stones on the way to the sweet shop. I remember struggling with four, which would be about 10 feet, so I must have been small.
I began taking athletics seriously when I was about 17 years old. I recall jumping 7 metres at that age at the English schools. My best before that comp was 6.70m. When the judges called out 7.04m, I thought they were referring to someone else! Still this just shows what can be achieved with adrenaline and a bit of fear.....
It wasn't really until I was 22 that I began to jump much further. My first proper coach Terry Torpey inspired me and I quickly progressed from 7.19m to 7.89m - in just two years. I gained a number of international vests and travelled on various teams around the world and back home in the UK.
"My squad now includes numerous athletes who've won national titles and are ranked very highly on the UK's all-time lists."
After that I never quite fulfilled my potential (how many people say that?). Work and family-life had to take precedence and I also had a couple of injuries that held progress back too. Still looking back on it all I achieved a dream that many have of representing their country at sport - 14 times in fact, and was ranked in the top 5 in the UK on numerous occasions.
Now many years later I coach. I realized that probably the key aspect that held me back was a failure to develop better technique and also a failure to optimally periodise speed and power. And it's these elements that are a key aspect of my coaching methods. This seems to have worked - a couple of years a go I coached 3 of the top 4, U20 jumpers in the UK and also a European junior champion.
My squad now includes numerous athletes who've won numerous national titles and are ranked very highly on the UK's all-time lists. Although I mainly coach long jump I also coach sprints, triple jump and multi events.
Below is a video from my channel where I answer questions sent in by athletes & coaches
Coaching coaches and athletes for Sussex Athletic Association
Check out John on youtube & Facebook