meet coach andy

Programs offered at Lions United

from the beginning

Hey future lions! My name is Andrew Cameron, but everyone calls me Coach Andy. I have been a Special Olympics coach for nearly fifteen years and looking back, they have been the best years of my life. I would say Special Olympics has played a major role in shaping me into the individual I am today. My involvement started when I learned that I had a cousin who was born with Down syndrome. I was very young at the time and didn’t really know what Down syndrome was. Steven quickly became the rockstar of the family, not because he has Down syndrome, but because of the type of person he is. His heart is filled with so much joy, laughter, compassion, bravery and love, that it makes it hard not to get addicted to him. The first time I had any interaction with Special Olympics was when I played in my first unified golf tournament with Steven. I had no idea what to expect. When I showed up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Hundreds of athletes, unified partners and family members were gathered around getting warmed up, talking, laughing and just having an awesome time. From the moment I stepped out of the car, I knew that this was where I was supposed to be. I knew Special Olympics would be a part of my life for many years to come. As a unified partner, it wasn’t just about golfing with Steven. After my first-time golfing with Steven, I wanted to take what being a unified partner meant to me to the next level. The inclusion revolution is being adopted everywhere today, but back then it wasn’t me who was being inclusive. Steven was including me to be a part of something bigger than myself, so it was my duty to take my role as a unified partner seriously. In the following years I began to coach Steven. We could go to the course and practice fundamentals. We would always hang out after and do something, whether it was grabbing a bite to eat, or catching a movie, my time with Steven began to turn into a mentorship. I quickly realized with sports, that what we learn on field can benefit us off the field as well. Like in golf, there is a special type of etiquette that needs to be followed. Etiquette is the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. Etiquette is applied everywhere in life. Etiquette also means accepted behavior, appropriate behavior and proper behavior. By teaching Steven, the rules of etiquette on the golf course, he would learn that different scenarios may require a different type of etiquette. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this was exactly what I was supposed to be doing in life.

Coach Andy, Cousin Steven, Special Olympics Athletes and Family members golfing at the Ian Leonard Bad Pants Fundraiser for Special Olympics
Team Minnesota Powerlifters taking a picture with Coach Andy at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida

on a mission to do more

After I got a few seasons of golf under my belt, bowling and flag football were the next sports on my radar. By then, I had pretty much met the entire delegation. And bowling and flag football was where all the action was at. Over time, I still felt like something was missing – like I needed to do more. After a few conversations with some of the community, I decided to become a coach. The first sport I coached was swimming. It was the next sport for Special Olympics, and I wanted to start coaching as soon as I could. The funny part is, and I received plenty of jokes from my family about my swimming skills. I am not the most graceful swimmer. If I fell out of a boat, I would survive but it wouldn’t look pretty. Still, it was a good starting point for me to learn and interact with more athletes. Within a few years I was coaching golf, flag football, softball, track and field, swimming, floor hockey, powerlifting and bowling. For me, being a coach does not mean just showing up and teaching athletes how to perform better at their sports. There is a special connection between athlete and coach that you don’t get anywhere else. Athletes depend on their coaches, and it may not always be to make the athletes better at their sport. They might already be an amazing athlete. Sometimes athletes just need someone to show up for them. And I made it my mission, to not matter what, always show up. Because it is not just the athletes learning from me as a coach. I am learning just as much from the athletes as the athletes are learning from me. My life was changing for the better. In 2014, I was selected to coach the Team Minnesota golf team for the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey.  From there, I went on to coach the Team USA golf team for the 2016 Special Olympics World Games in Las Angelas, CA. In 2018 I coached the Team Minnesota bowling team for the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, WA. And most recently I was selected to coach my specialty sport with Team Minnesota powerlifting for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, FL. I have met athletes throughout Minnesota, different states and different countries, and each athlete I meet inspires me in a different way to not only become a better coach, but an overall better person.

coach andy finds his passion

I know, the struggle is real. You train your heart out, but the progress seems to have stopped. Or worse, instead of progressing forward, you are going backwards. That is because you have been training all your life. Your training, or your personal trainer can only take you so far. If you’re looking to get to that elite level, then it is time to say goodbye to the training and step into the world of personal coaching. I have always considered myself a personal coach rather than a personal trainer. Training and coaching both teach but only one encourages you to evolve. A good trainer is a teacher, and teachers tend to focus on one topic. With my coaching, it involves training but focuses more on overall development. Of course, I teach drills, form and technique, but I do so while considering mindset, lifestyle, diet and so much more. I will help you evolve, not only as an athlete but a better version of yourself.

From the moment we first meet, you’ll be on the path that only a lion would dare travel. It all starts with a free, personal consultation with me, Coach Andy. This can either be done physically at Lions United Fitness Center or, we can meet virtually. I offer a variety of services including, Personal Coaching, Group Sessions, Sport-Specific Training, Weight Loss, Weight Gain, Bodybuilding, Powerlifting, Core Strength, Sensory Exercises, Vestibular, Proprioception, Motor Planning, Superhero Training, Curbside Camp, and Nutritional Coaching. Most of these services are also offered via Zoom. I also offer the option for a Video on Demand Package, which is a custom-built package tailored to your specific goals. Pre-built videos are also available. These are designed to be executed virtually anywhere and can be accessed on your desktop, or any of your media devices with our free downloadable app.

The heartbeat of my coaching is connecting with people. I need to know you. I need to know why you train, what your work ethic is like, what motivates you, what drives you. I need to know eating habits and how hard you’re willing to work to get to the next level. We aren’t just training for competition. We’re training for life. Our job is to get bigger, stronger, faster, and I am here to help you. I am obsessed with getting you to the next level. Where you are now is temporary. Where you are now is not your potential. After I meet with you for the first time you are going to realize that you are able to do things you never thought were possible. Not just inside the gym eighter, but out in the real world as well. I am a firm believer that with the skills we develop in the gym can be used as tools to succeed outside of the gym as well. I love helping people…period. My mission is simple. “What you may think is impossible, I help you to develop the I’m Possible attitude.” Is it going to be easy? No way! I’m going to push you harder than you’ve ever been pushed before. There is no special treatment here. Some athletes may have more of a learning curve, but that’s not what I mean. Everyone is treated the same! Like a professional athlete. From the moment we sit down and talk…is when your life really begins! I can’t wait to meet you! And remember, all abilities are welcome here.

Your Coach,

Coach Andy

Certified Personal Coach
Certified Personal Coach for Special Populations
Certified Powerlifting Specialist
Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach
Certified Sports Nutritionist

Coach Andy at Lions United Fitness Center getting his picture taken