Dan Jefferson

Dan helps to coach top-level athletes as a Physical Preparation Coach.

BSc Sport and Exercise, 2017

What does your job involve?

As a Physical Preparation Coach, I plan and devise physical preparation programmes for various athletes in different sports. 

My two primary sports are badminton and boxing, but I also cover a few other sports on a regional basis – golf, snow sports and cricket.

How much does your approach differ based on which sport you’re dealing with?

You have to change it a lot. People come from different backgrounds and some athletes move better than others. From that point of view, you almost have to strip things back at times.

Some athletes can be on a very basic programme, while those who’re at an Olympic level are on more complex and rigorous programmes.

You have to adapt every day.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It varies a lot.

Typically I’ll start my day with my admin work like programming updates and e-mails – all the fun stuff!

Generally every day I’ll have some sort of meeting to discuss what’s happening in various sports, and how we’re going forward.

All of my coaching sessions are in the evening.

My key goal at the start of my studies was to coach athletes to the Olympics and that’s what I’m doing. I don’t know where else I’d like to be.
Dan Jefferson | sportscotland | Physical Preparation Coach

How did you end up getting to where you are now?

When I was younger, I went to do an apprenticeship in plumbing. I did that line of work for a few years, but got to a point where I just wasn’t enjoying it.

I’d always had a background in sport – specifically boxing -  and I loved the coaching side of things. From there I was ready to go down the route of working in sports and I had to figure out how I was going to get there.

I realised that if I were to get to the point I wanted – which is where I am now – I needed to get a degree.

I went back to college and got an HNC in Sport. That gave me an entry route to second year at Abertay.

During that time I worked at Stirling University as a Strength and Conditioning coach. I did a lot of voluntary work with different sports teams and was travelling across Scotland to get as much experience as possible.

I ended up with an internship at sportscotland, getting my foot in the door. Just before I graduated I applied for a job there and got it!

How important was your time at Abertay in helping you get to where you are now?

Really important - it’s where I learned the theory side of things. I learned a lot in terms of strength and conditioning and sport science as a whole.

Do you have any advice for our current students?

Get out and work. A lot of people aren’t getting work experience. My advice is get loads of it. Just volunteer.

Have a job on the side. I had a job at Carphone Warehouse and that gave me extra money to be able to spend a lot of time going out to coach people.

I would highly encourage students to learn the trade of what they want to do.

What are your future aspirations?

My key goal at the start of my studies was to coach athletes to the Olympics and that’s what I’m doing. So I’d like to keep doing that, and develop further as a coach.

I don’t know where else I’d like to be. 


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