Hey, welcome to our seventh Meet the Expert blog.
In this blog, we interview expert coaches and athletes, delving into what makes them tick, what drives them to keep going, and what they believe to be the pitfalls and keys to success.
Let’s get to it!
Question 1: What is your name, age and where are you from?
Amanda Linekar, I am 31 years old and I’m from a small town called Thessalon in Northern Ontario, Canada.
Question 2: What is your occupation? Is it what you are known for or completely separate? What jobs have you done in the past?
I am a strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer. It is what I am known for and what I currently work as. I’ve had many jobs in the past and have travelled around the world. I’ve worked in Canada, England, Scotland, Thailand & Kuwait and now I’m currently back working in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Exercise has always been a huge part of my life. I joined a karate club at the age of 7 and never looked back, exercise and movement was and is my life. I’ve coached in some aspect since I was 11 years old and became a competitive athlete at the age of 10.
I realised that I could make a living out of something that I loved so I went on to study my bachelor’s degree in Sports Psychology and then my master’s in science specialising in Strength and Conditioning. I’ve worked with many athletes around the world as well as the general public. I find both areas unique and if asked I don’t think I could choose my preference, both athletes and the general public have their own challenges and are very rewarding in their own ways.
I’ve worked for many gyms, fitness centres and athlete excellence centres around the globe and now I own and operate my own coaching business.
Question 3: What is your primary area of expertise and why are you passionate about it?
I specialise in return to sport for injured athletes. I’m passionate about this because there is so much misinformation out there and to be able to cut through the noise and help an athlete return to the sport and life they love is extremely rewarding. I’m continually learning as every individual faces their own challenges both physically and mentally. Every day is different which I find extremely interesting.
Question 4: How did you get started doing what you do?
I couldn’t pinpoint an exact moment I decided to do what I do. I started coaching and took every opportunity that was presented to me and here I am today. Not the exact road map that everyone is looking for, but I can honestly say that is how I got to where I am today.
Question 5: What are your weaknesses? What hurdles did you face and how did you overcome these barriers?
Imposter syndrome: I always and sometimes still feel that I’m not a good coach and that there are people out there that are so much more knowledgeable than I am (which is true, but not a bad thing). For a long time, I felt that I shouldn’t be coaching at the level I was coaching at and very anxious that I would get “found out” for what? I’m not sure, but it’s something that I have suffered with for a long time.
I overcame this obstacle by getting out of my own head and focusing on the job that had to be done. I actually listened and took on board the things my clients and athletes were saying.
It’s actually mind-blowing when you hear for the first time and even the 100th time that you’ve helped someone or changed their life. I started to see myself through the eyes of my students and realised that yes, I’m actually good at what I do, and yes there are always those that will know more, but that is an opportunity to learn and grow as a coach and an individual not to feel ashamed or fearful, you can’t possibly know everything.
Question 6: What are your biggest strengths, both as a coach and an individual? What do you believe to be the primary reasons for your success? What do you consider to be your biggest success so far?
I believe myself to be quite personable, I have a balance of being able to challenge someone to their limits but make them feel accomplished while doing it and not beat them down.
I understand how the body works and can “wing it” when I need to. Please don’t take the phrase “winging it” as a negligent thing. You can plan work for weeks on a periodized annual plan for an athlete down to the reps and kgs shifted. You can have it all worked out, but I guarantee you there are going to be instances when you just have to “wing it” because all that planning might get thrown to the wind when one day your athlete comes in with the weight of the world on them, feeling under the weather or struggling. Sometimes you will need to adjust your plan to fit the athlete while still moving forward with your plan and not feel stressed. I believe that this is a great quality to have.
I’m personable, and I have professional relationships with everyone I work with but still create a relaxed and fun environment where the athlete or client can thrive.
My biggest success so far is hard to pin down, but I guess I would have to say coaching in Kuwait. It’s where I learned a lot about myself. I overcame many obstacles, challenges, and catapulted my coaching knowledge into lightspeed!
Question 7: Where do you think a lot of people go wrong and what general pieces of advice would you give to those looking to excel in areas similar to yours?
I think a lot of people go wrong when they compare their coaching style to others and panic that it isn’t the same or that they may be “doing it wrong.” My advice: be you. Everyone has a different coaching style, and you will develop yours through time, don’t compare yourselves to others. Coaching styles vary from person to person, so don’t get nervous if you coach an exercise differently from someone else. There are so many ways to achieve the exact same outcome.
Also, this is going to sound so cliché but don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep learning and keep expanding your knowledge through webinars, courses etc. Stay hungry and be passionate about what you do, because if you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then you have to ask yourself, why are you doing this?
Question 8: Are there any rules or quotes that you live by?
The golden rule: Don’t be an ass. That applies to everything.
I recently read this quote, and I find it especially relevant through the strange time we are currently living in. “When life gives you lemons, make orange juice, and leave everyone wondering how the hell you did it.” Make of that what you will.
Question 9: What are your plans for the near future? What goals do you currently have?
My plans and goals for the near future are to get myself set up working remotely; a huge step away from the world that I’m used to, but my dream is to be able to travel and earn an income in the fitness industry while I do it. The world is a big place, and I intend on seeing and learning as much from it as I can.
Question 10: Where do you see yourself in 5 Years? What is your ultimate goal?
I see myself with a successful coaching business in the next 5 years that allows me to travel and see the world while still being able to coach. Which is my other passion in life, I believe the two can world together… it’s only a matter of balance.
CHECK OUT AMANDA’S CONTENT
A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR
I have had the pleasure of having Amanda coach in my gym 5S Fitness, and I can honestly say she is one of the friendliest but toughest coaches I have ever met – maybe that is the Canadian in her?
I loved reading Amanda’s answers. It was clear they were really well thought out and personal – next time someone gives me lemons, I will try and make orange juice!
I am looking forward to seeing how Amanda progresses with her online business, and I think there are two major reasons why she will succeed:
- She is incredibly knowledgeable – an all-around great coach.
- She exudes positivity, which is important in all forms of coaching, but I think especially so if you want to make an impression online.
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