Podcast: Coaching Voices with former shot putters Mike Winch and Judy Oakes

The latest episode of the Coaching Voices podcast from England Athletics features former shot putters Mike Winch and Judy Oakes, who have won eight Commonwealth Games medals for England between them.

Judy Oakes and Mike Winch shot put trainingMike coached Judy for 25 years, helping her to win the Games three times between 1982 and 1998. She also holds one of the longest-standing British records in athletics, having achieved a mark of 19.36m in 1988. When reminiscing about that day in Gateshead with Tom McNab and Alex Seftel, Judy jokes: "I knew it was a long way. I look at it now and think 'how the hell did I do that?'

"Your good throws, you don't feel it, it doesn't hurt. But most of your puts hurt because you haven't got something quite right," she adds.

The pair also talk about different shot put techniques and discuss what they're doing to try and get a better deal for coaches in athletics including pushing for more of them to be present at major international championships. "The people who could've got through to a final or could've got a medal had they had their personal coach there, must number in the hundreds," Mike believes. "In 2002, I was the Chief Coach to the England team at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. I managed to get 104 coaches passes to see their athletes compete."

The former UK Athletics Vice President has also coached Sophie McKinna and Philippa Roles and now works with "the next champion" Serena Vincent. He goes into detail on his philosophy for managing athletes.

"What I try and say to every athlete is that your athletics is an expression of you as a person. Because you're good, you can express yourself and you will feel that in your heart," he says.

Mike Winch shot putJudy is also a three-time powerlifting world champion. All in all, she has no regrets. "I would not change anything at all. I would make exactly the same choices, go into shot putting because I loved it," she asserts.

"If you can put your hand on your heart and say 'I've done something to the best of my ability' - it doesn't matter what it is, academic, sporting or whatever - then you can be content with your life and I'm very content. I'm fortunate that I had my family's support and Mike's excellent coaching to do what I did."

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Photos by Mark Shearman