PRO TOUCH SOCCER ACADEMY

"The bridge and experience to professional football"

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Ian Guyah-Low

Elite Performance and Fitness Coach

Ian has been actively involved in the sport of football at the elite level working with a number of top professionals on both the mental aspects of their performance and the difficulties endured when forced to transition out of elite sport on an individual basis. Maintaining contacts throughout the game has been paramount to his development on both a professional and social level with many friends still participating in sports science based roles at Preston NE, MK Dons, Peterborough United, and Liverpool FC. Although only participating in football at prep school level this saw him score in all house matches and regularly throughout the competitive season.

Ian’s significant breakthrough came in the sport of rugby union where his bulkier body size saw him take up a first team spot and successfully make the county squads whilst at school. Recommendations by former coaches saw him accepted for trials at Bedford Blues in the Allied Dunbar Premiership. Liking his natural flair and ability for the game together with his speed of 11.7 seconds for a front row forward weighing in excess of 16 stone 8lbs he was quickly snapped up by the Academy set up. However, this joy was short lived as a reoccurrence of an existing knee injury saw him released after his first season at the club, keeping him on the sidelines for a few years. Putting the work in at the gym saw Ian come back fitter and stronger than he had been previously as he signed for a couple of semi professional clubs plying their trade in the National Leagues. However, the hand of fate struck again when at the age of 26 he was forced to retire involuntarily when diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a fatal heart condition that cost Marc Vivien Foe his life when playing for Cameroon.

Rather than encapsulating himself in self-pity Ian decided to take the upper hand and put himself through university where he completed his Sports and Exercise Science degree at the University of Surrey, Roehampton before studying a Masters degree in Applied Sport and Exercise Science that focused on the key areas of sport and exercise psychology in combination with sport and exercise physiology. This provided Ian with the tools to offer clients a grounded approach by being able to look closely at the mind and body in synch knowing that one easily impacted upon the other when competing in the highly pressurised sporting environment.

Ian is currently studying a Ph.D that is investigating the “Psychological Implications of Involuntary Career Transitions for Former Competitive Athletes” on a part-time basis at the University of Stirling. Ian also won the only free place offered by BASES (British Association of Sport and Exercise Science) to present his research in relation to his Ph.D at the prestigious Stanford University in California in 2009 on the Athletes Heart and Sudden Death in Sport.

Experience in both the teaching and practical applications of fitness based routines and testing has seen him carry out regular fitness based sessions with a range of athletes and sports from student athletes to the elite. Ian is always looking to enhance his knowledge base and although having worked with a number of high profile athletes in both a research and applied capacity his prime focus has always been in offering the athlete the optimal package that he can provide. This has seen Ian look closely at doing the Neuro Linguistic Programming qualification commonly known as the NLP Practitioners Course alongside the UKSCA Strength and Conditioning Accreditation programme. Always mindful of doing too much too soon he is ambitious and sees the development of players that he works with as his biggest motivation and fulfilment as they reach their optimum potential.

Ian was appointed as the new Performance Coach at Brentford FC Academy & Development Squad for 2012/13 season.

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