FINDING A COACH
Advantages/disadvantages of getting a coach.
by Daniel Clout,
Starting with this article I want to focus on
some main issues each month where you can considerably enhance your
performance and experience the thrill of triathlon to itís fullest. I
confess I am definitely no expert in triathlon. I am still learning each
day, yet I am a lot wiser these days and feel I can now help others by
teaching them some good training principles, racing skills and tactics.
If you take good measures towards structured training under some guidance
that helps educate you to understand the reasons and values of what you are
doing and why it is specific to you then you will dramatically make your
training time and effort efficient and take some of the struggle out of
I have accumulated a vast array of knowledge through learning from my own
mistakes, watching the professional Triathletes, Duathletes and Ironman
races closely and having a thirst for reading triathlon information The
biggest impact on me has been finally finding the right coach who best suits
my needs. Michael Jacques is constantly teaching and giving me the best
training that is optimal to my requirements and desires in reaching my full
The single biggest advice I can give you is to find a coach and to be picky.
Who doesnít want to go faster? This is the easiest way to take a step
forward to becoming a better triathlete in my opinion. In finding a coach,
the first thing is to get a record of their history, success rate as a coach
and their philosophy is of utmost importance too.
The most remarkable thing I have noted is how most coaches have a style of
their own which encompasses completely different practices of training
methods. When comparing two different coaches it can be confusing to know
whoís right when they contradict each other, but both sound very convincing.
There are three types I have encountered: Putting it quite
simplistically, first - the ones who believe in quality training,
second - the one who trains athletes collectively in squads and
lastly, there are the coaches who believe in quantity. I will give
you a basic outlook with the pros and cons on each and let you decided which
is most suitable for your needs.
1) Gets you going faster in a short period of time.
2) Time efficient, easily accomplished if you have a busy lifestyle where
you can get on with other things.
3) Racing fresh for every race.
1) You will never reach your full potential in my opinion.
2) Lack endurance and strength. Because your aerobic fitness will suffer,
concentrating mostly on becoming anaerobically fit (such as lots of track
work) wonít have much of a pay off in an endurance race. Example - poor
ability to race through fatigue.
3) Likely to get injured due to sudden stress on the body.
1) Fun to train with others.
2) Not much thinking required, just follow everyone else and do as the coach
3) Easy way to become fit.
1) Not at all specific for the individual so unlikely to peak well for an
2) Monotonous in the way training can be the same structure week in week
3) These coaches tend to be great at getting a group of athletes together
but not always good at helping athletes one-on-one.
1) You will get extremely fit by developing strong cardiovascular and
2) Increase your chances of reaching your full potential.
3) Less likely to become injured. Because when it comes to speed work, the
body will be well strengthen and conditioned which will put less stress on
the tendons, ligaments, muscles etc.
1) Time consuming, so could be detrimental to other priorities such as your
family, work etc.
2) Could be considered boring if you donít enjoy training and because it can
lack variety where the paramount requirement is to do the miles - so mostly
done at the same speed.
Well there you have it. Now itís up to you to put your perspective on
finding a coach who is most appropriate for yourself to attain to your
specific goals and ability. However a good coach should also know a vast
array of knowledge in every aspect of the sport. Nothing beats experience so
someone who has actually raced competitively and had plenty of coaching
experience will definitely surpass anybody else and prove to be a deadly
combination. One more important aspect is finding a coach with the right
personality who you can get along with and especially one who has enthusiasm
and passion for the sport and coaching other than incentives to becoming
rich from coaching. So be sure to ask your coach plenty of questions,
especially to grasp an understanding of what the purpose of
every session is. A good coach is only too happy to teach and educate you,
as that way your training will be enhanced through your comprehension, hence
better gains through doing it correctly and with a purpose.
Daniel Clout (Kiwi fella who speaks his mind!)