The World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) is led by Rob McCracken who oversees a team of seven full-time coaches, up to 20 part-time coaches and a range of performance staff who are responsible for specific areas of expertise such as nutrition, coach education and development and identifying, recruiting and developing talent.
As part of this new written series we take a closer look into the key role our coaches have in not only overseeing the development of our talented group of athletes but how their part in the GB Boxing programme overall is so integral to the success it has achieved over the years.
So join us, as we get to know our incredible bunch of coaches – next up is World Class Performance Coach, Bob Dillon.
How long have you been with GB Boxing?
I joined in 2008 and became full time in 2013. I became Podium Potential Head Coach and I’m now one of the podium coaches.
What are the key aspects of your role?
It includes working with an excellent coaching team along with a superb support staff to get each boxer to fulfil their potential and reach their goals.
Which element of your job do you enjoy the most?
Being able to see the boxers go from National Champion to become international boxing champions, winning at World, European and Olympic Games, ultimately reaching their potential.
What has been your most enjoyable experience/favourite moment of working with GB Boxing?
London 2012. Being able to see and play my part in all the success we achieved. That would then be followed by building the team for Brazil 2016, which again was another great tournament.
What is the best thing about working at GB Boxing?
Being a part of the coaching family.
Describe GB Boxing in three words.
Ambitious, Loyal, Team
How did you had to adapt your role during the lockdown restrictions?
I found it really exciting that I had to use new tools to coach. I got a lot of use out of my iPad for Zoom meetings! I had to ring and talk to boxers individually and take on board their thoughts. We made the best use of our time with the athletes as well as one to ones with support staff.
What is your background in coaching? How did you get the role of coaching at GB Boxing?
I started coaching 33 years ago by going through the coaching syllabus to become a level 4 advanced coach. I was an England coach in 1999 and have worked at the highest level from then as a pool coach for Athens and Beijing until where I am now. The reason I feel I am a better coach is because of all the coaches I work with. The learning is constant. I feel hugely privileged to be a part of this process.
Who is the best boxer you have worked with and why?
There are so many boxers that have reached their potential and gone on to become World Champions. Each has their own special gifts, it is impossible to name one.
Is there a boxer you have worked with that has not quite fulfilled their potential or has sadly walked away from the sport too early?
To get to the highest level required you need to be constantly under pressure which is a big ask. Some boxers do not enjoy this and therefore move on to other ventures to fulfil their own life ambitions.
How has training adapted since returning to camp? What have you personally had to do differently?
We have made each training group smaller with each boxer getting more one to one coaching, more quality. We are working strictly to the government guidelines which can become a lot harder but problem solving is part of being a coach.