Elliot Baldwin confesses he "never thought he could become a great coach" until his career was kick-started with a year at Coachmakers.

Having completed his sport diploma at sixth form college, Elliot decided he didn't want to go straight to university, preferring to build up his practical coaching experience. "I felt like I knew a lot of the theory, but hadn't done much actual coaching," he says.

Joining Coachmakers last September has proved to be the perfect springboard for him. Elliot has now almost completed his Level 3 Certificate in Supporting School Sport, and has particularly enjoyed his work placement with Acorn Multi Sports, delivering PE and extra-curricular sport sessions at primary schools.

"It's been really good to learn from the lead coach and try and incorporate those lessons into my own coaching," reflects the 19-year-old.

"It taught me how you need to act when you go into schools to give a good impression of yourself. When I started I never would've believed how confident I would be a year on."

Coachmakers also referred Elliot to another local company in Falmouth, KM Sports, where he has gained paid work delivering after-school sports clubs. In addition, he has been supported through his FA Level 1 and Level 2 Multi Skills in Sports Development qualifications.

With support from his tutor, Elliot has now applied to Gloucestershire University to study a degree in Physical Education and Coaching.

"If I'd gone straight to uni, I don't think I'd have had the confidence there. It would be like starting from scratch," he says. "This has given me a massive head start. It has been a really good year which I've gained so much from in confidence and knowledge.

"Now I'm really energetic when I coach. I get involved with all the kids, and if they don't get it, I'll take some to one side to help them. I like to break it down into very simple steps first, then by the sixth week you add layers of complexity and you've got them to improve as much as possible."

Elliot was inspired by a female peer on the Coachmakers course who got a coaching job in Dubai. His ambition after university is to coach football at an overseas academy. For now, though, he's concentrating on increasing his repertoire of coaching skills and making the most of university.

"A year ago I never thought I'd make it as a great coach; I just wasn't sure whether it was in me. Now after this year, from what I've learned with Coachmakers, I believe I could go on and become a really good coach," he says.