Sam Tucknott, 24, turned to The Training Room after his plans to play football professionally didn’t work out. Sam started his football career at the age of 12 when he joined Crystal Palace academy. He was there for five years before moving to Wycombe Wanderers for two years. But at the age of 19, as so often happens, Sam’s contract wasn’t renewed and he had to face the fact his professional career was over.
The Professional Footballers Association (PFA) funded Sam to gain his Level 1 and Level 2 football coaching qualifications and he joined Chelsea FC as a development coach. Working with the young, upcoming players was rewarding and Sam’s success as a youth player gave him great empathy with the young players. But he didn’t see much scope for progression and, much as he enjoyed his work and the environment of the highly acclaimed club, he wanted to broaden his experience. Again the PFA helped him by funding a course with The Training Room personal trainer academy. Sam completed its 6-week fast track course at the Brighton Academy and emerged with his Level 2 gym instructor and Level 3 personal trainer qualifications.
Starting a new career
Combining his Training Room qualification with his four years’ football coaching experience, Sam was all set to establish his own personal training business, Pro-FIT Personal Training in his home town of Brighton. He started this on September 1st, 2012 and one year on is firmly established. He does one-to-one personal training and group fitness sessions and also coaches boxers at The Stables Boxing Gym in Brighton.
“My football coaching gave me a great start as a trainer but The Training Room course gave me a much broader qualification,” says Sam. “Taking my training to Level 3 enabled me to teach classes and I have since added to my qualifications to teach Box-FIT, Boot-FIT and X-FIT sessions.”
Sam acknowledges that his experience as a professional footballer gave him valuable insight into nutrition, training and recovery. “Having been on the receiving end of professional training I know what it feels like and can relate to how my clients may be feeling in our sessions,” he says.
Sam still plays semi-pro football and admits it feels odd to be the trainer and not the trainee when working with footballers. His next step is to complete a strength and conditioning course with a view to working with more elite athletes – primarily footballers and boxers.
Toughest challenge yet
Before that, however, he has set his heart on competing in the World’s Toughest Mudder running race. Sam runs for his own fitness gains and finds running and training for events is highly motivational for his clients. He prefers the more challenging off-road races and likes the ‘Mud Runs’ because they offer a variety of obstacles and full body fitness challenges. He entered the London South Tough Mudder on June 9th with two clients and was among the first home. His time was automatically entered into the national ranking and Sam found himself in the top 5%. This immediately qualified him to run the World’s Toughest Mudder in New Jersey on November 16.
“I jumped at the chance and realised it was a good opportunity to raise money for Help for Heroes. I will have some gruelling training and will be in physical hell for 24 hours but our soldiers endure this tough reality day after day and week after week” says Sam. “They are true heroes and I want to dedicate my training and World’s Toughest Mudder event to them.”
Sam will face laps of 10-12 miles packed with around 30 Army-style obstacles involving water, mud, electrics, ropes and walls. There will be heavy weights to lug and steep hills to climb. He must complete as many miles as possible in 24 hours and is in no doubt this will be a very tough challenge for him as he competes against some of the toughest men and women on the planet. He is putting his heart and soul into the training regime and aims to raise £3,000 for Help for Heroes. To help Sam achieve his £3,000 target please view his justgiving page below.
Football loss, fitness gain
“Losing out on my football career dream was tough at the time but my fitness career is beginning to really take off now. Without the help from the PFA and The Training Room I wouldn’t be this well qualified or this far ahead so I’m thankful to them for their training and support,” says Sam.