(Note - Definition for the context of the article - ‘coach’ – someone who is working with an athlete on a regular basis either face-to-face or online with an adaptable program based on feedback and progress. ‘Program’ – a pre purchased program either online or on paper that gives you no contact or ability to change the program.)
Quite often when I tell people I am a coach, I hear the following:
1. I’m too busy for a coach. Having a coach setting the exact specific training you need can save you time and guess work when it comes to managing 3 sports. More often than not, a good coach will save you time & maximize results.
2. I work shifts. See point 1!! It becomes even more important for people working long days, nights or alternate shifts. You get your fitness during recovery so having someone assist you to manage your physiology is very important.
3. I have a family. Sometimes people think coaches are expecting merciless robotic athletes. My policy is Family 1st, work 2nd and training comes after that. Sometimes having a coach that understands your life situation might give you a more realistic training load to cope with other life pressures.
4. I’m self employed. This encompasses points 1 - 3. In addition, having flexibility in your training can be another key factor as often I have found self employed people to be very time poor for training.
5. I’m not that serious. Triathlon is a technical sport (well its actually 3 sports). Learning the basics such as correct technique, how much/when to train can be an invaluable tool to save you getting injured, sick or leave the sport before you reach your potential.
5 Key Points to Look for in a Good Coach.
1. They assist you getting to your goals – not always the goals that make them look good.
2. They are flexible with your sessions & planning around other life commitments.
3. They are prepared to work as part of a team. They are happy to include other coaches, allied health professionals etc.
4. They will be honest with: your potential, natural ability, and training options. These 3 factors determine what your results could be. It is the coach’s job to assist you to set realistic goals based on these factors.
5. They will really listen to you. ‘REALLY’ meaning take into account your version of what is happening to your body and make allowances for this priceless feedback!!