Case study - Cieran Fallon
2019 Champion Apprentice Jockey, Cieran Fallon describes how coaching has helped him with his successful bid to become Champion Apprentice.
Q. Which Jockey Coaches have supported you during your career?
A. I have worked closely with both Michael Hills and Michael Tebbutt who are both based in Newmarket and use the fantastic facilities at both the British Racing School and now Sir Peter O’Sullivan House.
Q. What would you describe as the main benefits of the coaching you received?
A. The fitter I am, the better I ride. The coaches have been fantastic in ensuring I work to the correct fitness regime and point me in the direction of professional fitness coaches. I have also found it of tremendous value to discuss my forthcoming rides and particularly to review my rides. The coaches’ feedback is impartial and objective. We focus on what went well in a ride as well as areas for improvement. I am able to talk to them about any situation on and off the track. It is very helpful to walk the tracks I ride on with former jockeys who have has so much success and know the various racecourse so well.
Q. How has coaching influenced your career and successes?
A. Coaching has had a positive impact on every part of my riding. My media skills have improved. Self-confidence going into a race is really important and my coaches are able to help me plan for every race so that I am prepared and focussed.
Q. Apart from the actual race riding coaching, what other wider benefits has coaching brought to you?
A. Fitness advice has been essential, helping to develop core strength and the correct techniques thorough simulator activities. I also found that coaches were able to give me career guidance, making sure I make the right decisions to progress my career. Both my coaches have supported me and mentored me in any situation I have been in, whether it has something to do with racing or not. They have been massively important in that respect.
Q. What advice would you give to a newly licensed jockey in respect of working with a Jockey Coach?
A. Speak to your Jockey Coach about anything! Always ask for help, and try see them when you’re not race riding, they are very important for your success as they have been there and done it! Never underestimate the importance a Coach will have on your career.