General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Coaching costs Rss Feed  
Moderators: jmk-brooklyn, Ron Reply
Show Per page
 
 
of 4
 
 
2014-02-28 8:48 AM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

User image

Elite
3755
200010005001001002525
Silver member
Subject: RE: Coaching costs

Originally posted by GMAN 19030

I didn't want to requote it all. But I agree with you completely.

that being said, as horseback rider, I struggled learning, and that had turned me into one of the best instructors since I had many ways to approach a problem. I certainly do not believe you have to be fast, you have to have knowledge.

 

There is a glutton of coaches now, and sadly no recourse if you happen upon one of the horror stories. I paid money up front as well for well-known coach and it makes you frightened to put forth that money again.



2014-02-28 9:31 AM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

User image

Pro
9814
500020002000500100100100
Subject: RE: Coaching costs

Originally posted by GMAN 19030

Originally posted by bcagle25
Originally posted by GMAN 19030

I agree a lot with what Kyle wrote but would like to add a few points.

- There's often a huge disconnect between coaches and athletes when it comes to pricing and expectations.  IMO, coaches on average charge way too much for the services they offer.  On the flip side, the majority of athletes want to pay as little as possible but still want the world.  Triathlon is actually seeing a dip in participation the last couple of years.  WTC/Ironman is the one big anomaly but smaller races are struggling.  I think you'll start to see the tri coaching economy swinging more towards the athlete from a pricing perspective as coaches are going to struggle.

- Tri coaching had become a joke.  The USAT Level 1 cert process used to be a total farce.  It was littered with people who did a couple of races, got hooked on tri and decided to get a USAT Level 1 cert, called themselves a coach and started dispensing horrible advice to naive paying clients.  USAT saw they had a problem and changed they way they did things a couple of years ago so it's now actually pretty difficult to get to the level 1 clinics.  I think just about everyone who was licensed prior to 2011 or 2012 (whenever they changed the criteria) should have an asterisk next to their coaching certification.  Hopefully natural selection has weeded out all the crap.

- You don't need a certified coach.  Most of the best coaches and those I would truly listen to and pay money to are not certified.  As stated above, I don't put a lot of stock in the USAT Level 1 cert pre-whenever the change but a Level II or III person knows their stuff.  I think the biggest advantage certification offers is the coaching insurance but...

- Our typical thoughts about a coach, like someone being local and actually physically there holding your hand for your workouts is gone.  The internet and social media completely changed the game.  Athletes need to temper their expectations and perspective.  It's going to get a lot harder to find a coach who will hold your hand through the process.  Any coach not using the internet as the main component of his/her business will not be in business for long.

- The cookie cutter vs custom tailored plan is a lot of talk.  All plans are cookie cutter to start with.  A good coach then tweaks and nuances the plan to fit an individual.  This is not the rocket science some triathletes seem to think.

- That leads to another point that most triathletes can use a "cookie cutter" plan and tweak it themselves.  A good cookie cutter plan lays a great foundation and can be a great asset when coupled with a little bit of education and self awareness.

Bob I think you are on a lot of good points here, but I disagree with some. I don't think 200-400 is overpriced for a coach. That is under the assumption they are constantly engaged in what is going on, doing research, looking at new methods and ideas, on top of all research. A good coach has a philosophy they stick by that they are constantly revamping, a bad coach reads a book/attends a clinic and thinks they know everything (failure in USAT level I clinic), you never know everything and you can never know too much. But I agree that most athletes want everything for a fraction of the cost. With participation, maybe I live in a bubble (Wisconsin) but triathlon is only exploding more and more every year. Some race numbers are down, but so many more races exist now then 5 years ago, quality of races is also increasing. The triathlon coaching scene here is also alive and well. Cycling studios, triathlon coaching business, everything is thriving, business is good and participation is at its highest ever. Most of the people that run these studios and business are very credible, they have the education, experience, and have proven it with RESULTS, but like I said maybe Wisconsin is a bit of an anomaly. USAT Level 1 clinic is a joke. The content is a joke, the requirements are a joke. Whats worse is the weekend clinic is basically throw everything at the class then have them spit it back out on a piece of paper, zero application is involved and that is what coaching is all about....application. Furthermore, most attending just sit and drink the koolaid and do not critically think at all and think that everything be taught is to be considered valid and correct.....wrong. A good coach will reflect, think, analyze, and apply, not just take in everything and then spit it back out. How do you know you are coached by a USAT coach? They go with the 3:1 work:rest ratio for ALL clients. I will give credit to USAT for making level I more credible but they have a long way to go, but it seems to be on the upswing. Absolutely 100% correct on no need for USAT certification. In fact all of the coaches I hung out with/talked to in Kona that had several athletes racing and they were all not USAT certified. Darren Smith failed his level 1 exam, he has now coached olympic gold medalists and IM winners, again you don't need to be certified. On your comment on coaching insurance I was told of a huge loophole in that. To actually be insured you must be a. certified, b. athlete must have an active USAT membership, and c. athlete must be registered for a USAT sanctioned race. I am not sure if they have changed this since, but this is what I have been told from a very credible coach, who is not certified. Good points on cookie cutter versus tailored plan. I think lots of athletes that have "tailored" plans think they are 100% custom to themselves, no cookie cutter at all. That is false. Every coach has a "bank" of sessions specific to certain blocks of training, race prep, etc. A warmup is a warmup, main set is a main set, cool down is a cool down. Nothing needs to be special, just done correctly. When you see training plans that are customized and has lots of fancy stuff going on it probably is not a good plan.

I don't think $200-$400 is overpriced either if the value is there.  On average, I'm not seeing that value.  Most coaches are offering $50 worth of service for $200/month.  Why?  Because naive athletes pay it.  I implore athletes to do their homework if they make the decision to use a coach.  Would I pay good money to have Ricci coach me?  If I was inclined to find a coach then... Sure!   The problem is that the tri coaching industry is littered with coaches charging the same as Ricci but they have 1/10th his coaching ability and our sport allows this to happen.

As for participation, I'm in Houston which is a hotbed for triathlon.  Texas has the most USAT members of any of the 50 states.  More people live in Houston than in the entire state of Wisconsin.  I'm going to be very Texas-centric here and I can't speak for Wisconsin but I'd be surprised if Texas and Houston are seeing much different trends than everywhere else.  On the surface things look great.  Deep down they aren't.  The attachment rate/longevity for new triathletes is actually pretty low.  Participation is being fueled by first timers and bucket listers.  They have maybe 1-3 seasons in them and they're out and probably out forever.  We are not doing a good job creating lifetime athletes.  Those people are moving to mud runs and color runs and all that.

You're right, way more races exist today than they did 5 years ago.  That's also been problematic in that there are now too many races pulling from the same athlete pool.  I'd be willing to bet most of those races won't exist in a couple of years.  Triathlon exploded in popularity the last five years and people jumped on the bandwagon.  Problem was it was unsustainable growth and primarily fueled by very new participants.  That worked great for a couple of years but it seems the sport isn't able to hold on to those first timers and participation rates per race are dwindling.  That's certainly amplified by more races but it's also an issue of stagnant or lost athlete numbers from just a couple of years ago.

Problem is that much of the visibility of our sport is seen through Ironman colored glasses.  While smaller races are struggling for participants and struggling to stay alive, WTC just keeps rolling.  WTC is an enigma.  The parallels between what the UFC has done in MMA and what Ironman has done in triathlon are interesting.  They have both dominated and exploded in similar ways over the last 8-10 years.  Initially riding some kind of fitness and or fitness-entertainment (in the UFC's case)  trend and then continuing to thrive when the rest of the industry can't hack it.

I've been around triathlon since 1985.....there is nothing new in your comments about longevity of people in the sport.  I don't think it will be new athletes that fuel any staying power or growth for triathlon......what might make the difference is a racing format that actually makes for good TV viewing.  ESPN will carry crossfit competitions, but not triathlon.  They might carry races if they are fast with lots of action.......like the new RUSH races from REV.  Time will tell, but there needs to be a revenue stream for real growth......and it won't come from membership.

2014-02-28 9:47 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

User image

Kansas
Subject: RE: Coaching costs

Originally posted by bcagle25 

I think lots of athletes that have "tailored" plans think they are 100% custom to themselves, no cookie cutter at all. That is false. Every coach has a "bank" of sessions specific to certain blocks of training, race prep, etc. A warmup is a warmup, main set is a main set, cool down is a cool down. Nothing needs to be special, just done correctly. When you see training plans that are customized and has lots of fancy stuff going on it probably is not a good plan.

I knew my coach had a bank of workouts, but for me it was the knowledge of when to use each workout, and the paces he set for me personally, taking into account my background, prior injuries, lifestyle, time constraints, etc. - to give me the most bang for my buck. That is what I found value in and was willing to pay for.

2014-02-28 10:06 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

User image

Extreme Veteran
1001
1000
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Subject: RE: Coaching costs
Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by GMAN 19030

Originally posted by bcagle25
Originally posted by GMAN 19030

I agree a lot with what Kyle wrote but would like to add a few points.

- There's often a huge disconnect between coaches and athletes when it comes to pricing and expectations.  IMO, coaches on average charge way too much for the services they offer.  On the flip side, the majority of athletes want to pay as little as possible but still want the world.  Triathlon is actually seeing a dip in participation the last couple of years.  WTC/Ironman is the one big anomaly but smaller races are struggling.  I think you'll start to see the tri coaching economy swinging more towards the athlete from a pricing perspective as coaches are going to struggle.

- Tri coaching had become a joke.  The USAT Level 1 cert process used to be a total farce.  It was littered with people who did a couple of races, got hooked on tri and decided to get a USAT Level 1 cert, called themselves a coach and started dispensing horrible advice to naive paying clients.  USAT saw they had a problem and changed they way they did things a couple of years ago so it's now actually pretty difficult to get to the level 1 clinics.  I think just about everyone who was licensed prior to 2011 or 2012 (whenever they changed the criteria) should have an asterisk next to their coaching certification.  Hopefully natural selection has weeded out all the crap.

- You don't need a certified coach.  Most of the best coaches and those I would truly listen to and pay money to are not certified.  As stated above, I don't put a lot of stock in the USAT Level 1 cert pre-whenever the change but a Level II or III person knows their stuff.  I think the biggest advantage certification offers is the coaching insurance but...

- Our typical thoughts about a coach, like someone being local and actually physically there holding your hand for your workouts is gone.  The internet and social media completely changed the game.  Athletes need to temper their expectations and perspective.  It's going to get a lot harder to find a coach who will hold your hand through the process.  Any coach not using the internet as the main component of his/her business will not be in business for long.

- The cookie cutter vs custom tailored plan is a lot of talk.  All plans are cookie cutter to start with.  A good coach then tweaks and nuances the plan to fit an individual.  This is not the rocket science some triathletes seem to think.

- That leads to another point that most triathletes can use a "cookie cutter" plan and tweak it themselves.  A good cookie cutter plan lays a great foundation and can be a great asset when coupled with a little bit of education and self awareness.

Bob I think you are on a lot of good points here, but I disagree with some. I don't think 200-400 is overpriced for a coach. That is under the assumption they are constantly engaged in what is going on, doing research, looking at new methods and ideas, on top of all research. A good coach has a philosophy they stick by that they are constantly revamping, a bad coach reads a book/attends a clinic and thinks they know everything (failure in USAT level I clinic), you never know everything and you can never know too much. But I agree that most athletes want everything for a fraction of the cost. With participation, maybe I live in a bubble (Wisconsin) but triathlon is only exploding more and more every year. Some race numbers are down, but so many more races exist now then 5 years ago, quality of races is also increasing. The triathlon coaching scene here is also alive and well. Cycling studios, triathlon coaching business, everything is thriving, business is good and participation is at its highest ever. Most of the people that run these studios and business are very credible, they have the education, experience, and have proven it with RESULTS, but like I said maybe Wisconsin is a bit of an anomaly. USAT Level 1 clinic is a joke. The content is a joke, the requirements are a joke. Whats worse is the weekend clinic is basically throw everything at the class then have them spit it back out on a piece of paper, zero application is involved and that is what coaching is all about....application. Furthermore, most attending just sit and drink the koolaid and do not critically think at all and think that everything be taught is to be considered valid and correct.....wrong. A good coach will reflect, think, analyze, and apply, not just take in everything and then spit it back out. How do you know you are coached by a USAT coach? They go with the 3:1 work:rest ratio for ALL clients. I will give credit to USAT for making level I more credible but they have a long way to go, but it seems to be on the upswing. Absolutely 100% correct on no need for USAT certification. In fact all of the coaches I hung out with/talked to in Kona that had several athletes racing and they were all not USAT certified. Darren Smith failed his level 1 exam, he has now coached olympic gold medalists and IM winners, again you don't need to be certified. On your comment on coaching insurance I was told of a huge loophole in that. To actually be insured you must be a. certified, b. athlete must have an active USAT membership, and c. athlete must be registered for a USAT sanctioned race. I am not sure if they have changed this since, but this is what I have been told from a very credible coach, who is not certified. Good points on cookie cutter versus tailored plan. I think lots of athletes that have "tailored" plans think they are 100% custom to themselves, no cookie cutter at all. That is false. Every coach has a "bank" of sessions specific to certain blocks of training, race prep, etc. A warmup is a warmup, main set is a main set, cool down is a cool down. Nothing needs to be special, just done correctly. When you see training plans that are customized and has lots of fancy stuff going on it probably is not a good plan.

I don't think $200-$400 is overpriced either if the value is there.  On average, I'm not seeing that value.  Most coaches are offering $50 worth of service for $200/month.  Why?  Because naive athletes pay it.  I implore athletes to do their homework if they make the decision to use a coach.  Would I pay good money to have Ricci coach me?  If I was inclined to find a coach then... Sure!   The problem is that the tri coaching industry is littered with coaches charging the same as Ricci but they have 1/10th his coaching ability and our sport allows this to happen.

As for participation, I'm in Houston which is a hotbed for triathlon.  Texas has the most USAT members of any of the 50 states.  More people live in Houston than in the entire state of Wisconsin.  I'm going to be very Texas-centric here and I can't speak for Wisconsin but I'd be surprised if Texas and Houston are seeing much different trends than everywhere else.  On the surface things look great.  Deep down they aren't.  The attachment rate/longevity for new triathletes is actually pretty low.  Participation is being fueled by first timers and bucket listers.  They have maybe 1-3 seasons in them and they're out and probably out forever.  We are not doing a good job creating lifetime athletes.  Those people are moving to mud runs and color runs and all that.

You're right, way more races exist today than they did 5 years ago.  That's also been problematic in that there are now too many races pulling from the same athlete pool.  I'd be willing to bet most of those races won't exist in a couple of years.  Triathlon exploded in popularity the last five years and people jumped on the bandwagon.  Problem was it was unsustainable growth and primarily fueled by very new participants.  That worked great for a couple of years but it seems the sport isn't able to hold on to those first timers and participation rates per race are dwindling.  That's certainly amplified by more races but it's also an issue of stagnant or lost athlete numbers from just a couple of years ago.

Problem is that much of the visibility of our sport is seen through Ironman colored glasses.  While smaller races are struggling for participants and struggling to stay alive, WTC just keeps rolling.  WTC is an enigma.  The parallels between what the UFC has done in MMA and what Ironman has done in triathlon are interesting.  They have both dominated and exploded in similar ways over the last 8-10 years.  Initially riding some kind of fitness and or fitness-entertainment (in the UFC's case)  trend and then continuing to thrive when the rest of the industry can't hack it.

I've been around triathlon since 1985.....there is nothing new in your comments about longevity of people in the sport.  I don't think it will be new athletes that fuel any staying power or growth for triathlon......what might make the difference is a racing format that actually makes for good TV viewing.  ESPN will carry crossfit competitions, but not triathlon.  They might carry races if they are fast with lots of action.......like the new RUSH races from REV.  Time will tell, but there needs to be a revenue stream for real growth......and it won't come from membership.




Unless there is a format change such a LB mentioned with the new Rev. Rush races triathlon will never get any TV coverage. The networks will not devote long blocks of TV for endurance races. Look at the Kona coverage, it is really boiled down to human interest stories and just a short amount of showing the athletes on the course. Most people that watched the Kona coverage know that Hines Ward and Gordon Ramsey raced but could not name any of the Pros. Even ITU races are too long, the networks won't know what to do during the bike portion. Also, triathlon is still looked at by the general public as a fringe sport that is done by crazy people.
2014-02-28 10:33 AM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

User image

Not a Coach
11169
5000500010001002525
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Coaching costs

Originally posted by GMAN 19030

As for participation, I'm in Houston which is a hotbed for triathlon.  Texas has the most USAT members of any of the 50 states.  More people live in Houston than in the entire state of Wisconsin.  I'm going to be very Texas-centric here and I can't speak for Wisconsin but I'd be surprised if Texas and Houston are seeing much different trends than everywhere else.  On the surface things look great.  Deep down they aren't.  The attachment rate/longevity for new triathletes is actually pretty low.  Participation is being fueled by first timers and bucket listers.  They have maybe 1-3 seasons in them and they're out and probably out forever.  We are not doing a good job creating lifetime athletes.  Those people are moving to mud runs and color runs and all that.

You're right, way more races exist today than they did 5 years ago.  That's also been problematic in that there are now too many races pulling from the same athlete pool.  I'd be willing to bet most of those races won't exist in a couple of years.  Triathlon exploded in popularity the last five years and people jumped on the bandwagon.  Problem was it was unsustainable growth and primarily fueled by very new participants.  That worked great for a couple of years but it seems the sport isn't able to hold on to those first timers and participation rates per race are dwindling.  That's certainly amplified by more races but it's also an issue of stagnant or lost athlete numbers from just a couple of years ago.

Problem is that much of the visibility of our sport is seen through Ironman colored glasses.  While smaller races are struggling for participants and struggling to stay alive, WTC just keeps rolling.  WTC is an enigma.  The parallels between what the UFC has done in MMA and what Ironman has done in triathlon are interesting.  They have both dominated and exploded in similar ways over the last 8-10 years.  Initially riding some kind of fitness and or fitness-entertainment (in the UFC's case)  trend and then continuing to thrive when the rest of the industry can't hack it.

Just some things that crossed my mind reading this:

Why do "we" need to create lifetime triathletes (if they are moving on to mud runs and color runs, they are still athletes)?  Those who want to earn their livelihood in the sport are incented to try to make this happen.  But, as a participant, I really don't care that much (at some point, of course, it could make it harder to find good races to do).  I enjoy tris and encourage people to give it a try if they express some interest, but would never worry about trying to keep them involved if they decided they are one-and-doners.  It's not a sport for everyone and there are plenty of other options out there. 

As far as I know, there are both more races and more racers (any evidence to the contrary?).  So even if the majority don't stick around for long, some do and there are still more new people coming in every year.  Triathlon has been 'exploding' in popularity for at least a decade--probably more.  If there are too many races, some will die off.  Some have died off even during the 'explosion'.  Participation rates for some races may be down but, as far as I have seen, they are up for the biggest races (from sprints to IMs).  And despite allowing for expanding participation, many races still sell-out quickly.  Eventually, this will probably end and participation will level out--maybe even fall if there is another activity that draws people away.

Any race (small or large) needs to justify its own existence.  If they put out a good product, chances are they can survice for quite a long time.  There are some very good 'small' races that can continue to thrive as long as they continue to put out a diferentiated product (still lots of ways to differentiate in tris) that does not have to try to compete with the big races.  If they try to just mimic the big races but on a smaller scale, then their size will probably eventually be an impediment.

I guess I just don't see what's going on to be 'problematic' in any major way.

2014-02-28 10:42 AM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

User image

Pro
9814
500020002000500100100100
Subject: RE: Coaching costs

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by GMAN 19030

As for participation, I'm in Houston which is a hotbed for triathlon.  Texas has the most USAT members of any of the 50 states.  More people live in Houston than in the entire state of Wisconsin.  I'm going to be very Texas-centric here and I can't speak for Wisconsin but I'd be surprised if Texas and Houston are seeing much different trends than everywhere else.  On the surface things look great.  Deep down they aren't.  The attachment rate/longevity for new triathletes is actually pretty low.  Participation is being fueled by first timers and bucket listers.  They have maybe 1-3 seasons in them and they're out and probably out forever.  We are not doing a good job creating lifetime athletes.  Those people are moving to mud runs and color runs and all that.

You're right, way more races exist today than they did 5 years ago.  That's also been problematic in that there are now too many races pulling from the same athlete pool.  I'd be willing to bet most of those races won't exist in a couple of years.  Triathlon exploded in popularity the last five years and people jumped on the bandwagon.  Problem was it was unsustainable growth and primarily fueled by very new participants.  That worked great for a couple of years but it seems the sport isn't able to hold on to those first timers and participation rates per race are dwindling.  That's certainly amplified by more races but it's also an issue of stagnant or lost athlete numbers from just a couple of years ago.

Problem is that much of the visibility of our sport is seen through Ironman colored glasses.  While smaller races are struggling for participants and struggling to stay alive, WTC just keeps rolling.  WTC is an enigma.  The parallels between what the UFC has done in MMA and what Ironman has done in triathlon are interesting.  They have both dominated and exploded in similar ways over the last 8-10 years.  Initially riding some kind of fitness and or fitness-entertainment (in the UFC's case)  trend and then continuing to thrive when the rest of the industry can't hack it.

Just some things that crossed my mind reading this:

Why do "we" need to create lifetime triathletes (if they are moving on to mud runs and color runs, they are still athletes)?  Those who want to earn their livelihood in the sport are incented to try to make this happen.  But, as a participant, I really don't care that much (at some point, of course, it could make it harder to find good races to do).  I enjoy tris and encourage people to give it a try if they express some interest, but would never worry about trying to keep them involved if they decided they are one-and-doners.  It's not a sport for everyone and there are plenty of other options out there. 

As far as I know, there are both more races and more racers (any evidence to the contrary?).  So even if the majority don't stick around for long, some do and there are still more new people coming in every year.  Triathlon has been 'exploding' in popularity for at least a decade--probably more.  If there are too many races, some will die off.  Some have died off even during the 'explosion'.  Participation rates for some races may be down but, as far as I have seen, they are up for the biggest races (from sprints to IMs).  And despite allowing for expanding participation, many races still sell-out quickly.  Eventually, this will probably end and participation will level out--maybe even fall if there is another activity that draws people away.

Any race (small or large) needs to justify its own existence.  If they put out a good product, chances are they can survice for quite a long time.  There are some very good 'small' races that can continue to thrive as long as they continue to put out a diferentiated product (still lots of ways to differentiate in tris) that does not have to try to compete with the big races.  If they try to just mimic the big races but on a smaller scale, then their size will probably eventually be an impediment.

I guess I just don't see what's going on to be 'problematic' in any major way.

I agree with much of what you posted, but there is a bit more to the bolded part than just "people who want to make a living at triathlon".  Most of the focus at the really pointy end is developing athletes that can compete for podiums on an international level.....and ultimately at the Olympics.  "Professional" triathletes end up being a side "benefit" of that focus, but there are some very dedicated folks trying to bring the U.S. up to the level of world competition.

But yeah, for the most part, triathlon participants don't give a rats arse about anythin in the sport but their own self interests and goals. (not meant as a commmentary on you personally, Johnny. just a long time observation)  It could be that the sport in this country never does gain much traction past that, time will tell.



2014-02-28 10:46 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

User image

Expert
2011
2000
2011 Scion xB
Subject: RE: Coaching costs
Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Originally posted by GMAN 19030

As for participation, I'm in Houston which is a hotbed for triathlon.  Texas has the most USAT members of any of the 50 states.  More people live in Houston than in the entire state of Wisconsin.  I'm going to be very Texas-centric here and I can't speak for Wisconsin but I'd be surprised if Texas and Houston are seeing much different trends than everywhere else.  On the surface things look great.  Deep down they aren't.  The attachment rate/longevity for new triathletes is actually pretty low.  Participation is being fueled by first timers and bucket listers.  They have maybe 1-3 seasons in them and they're out and probably out forever.  We are not doing a good job creating lifetime athletes.  Those people are moving to mud runs and color runs and all that.

You're right, way more races exist today than they did 5 years ago.  That's also been problematic in that there are now too many races pulling from the same athlete pool.  I'd be willing to bet most of those races won't exist in a couple of years.  Triathlon exploded in popularity the last five years and people jumped on the bandwagon.  Problem was it was unsustainable growth and primarily fueled by very new participants.  That worked great for a couple of years but it seems the sport isn't able to hold on to those first timers and participation rates per race are dwindling.  That's certainly amplified by more races but it's also an issue of stagnant or lost athlete numbers from just a couple of years ago.

Problem is that much of the visibility of our sport is seen through Ironman colored glasses.  While smaller races are struggling for participants and struggling to stay alive, WTC just keeps rolling.  WTC is an enigma.  The parallels between what the UFC has done in MMA and what Ironman has done in triathlon are interesting.  They have both dominated and exploded in similar ways over the last 8-10 years.  Initially riding some kind of fitness and or fitness-entertainment (in the UFC's case)  trend and then continuing to thrive when the rest of the industry can't hack it.

Just some things that crossed my mind reading this:

Why do "we" need to create lifetime triathletes (if they are moving on to mud runs and color runs, they are still athletes)?  Those who want to earn their livelihood in the sport are incented to try to make this happen.  But, as a participant, I really don't care that much (at some point, of course, it could make it harder to find good races to do).  I enjoy tris and encourage people to give it a try if they express some interest, but would never worry about trying to keep them involved if they decided they are one-and-doners.  It's not a sport for everyone and there are plenty of other options out there. 

As far as I know, there are both more races and more racers (any evidence to the contrary?).  So even if the majority don't stick around for long, some do and there are still more new people coming in every year.  Triathlon has been 'exploding' in popularity for at least a decade--probably more.  If there are too many races, some will die off.  Some have died off even during the 'explosion'.  Participation rates for some races may be down but, as far as I have seen, they are up for the biggest races (from sprints to IMs).  And despite allowing for expanding participation, many races still sell-out quickly.  Eventually, this will probably end and participation will level out--maybe even fall if there is another activity that draws people away.

Any race (small or large) needs to justify its own existence.  If they put out a good product, chances are they can survice for quite a long time.  There are some very good 'small' races that can continue to thrive as long as they continue to put out a diferentiated product (still lots of ways to differentiate in tris) that does not have to try to compete with the big races.  If they try to just mimic the big races but on a smaller scale, then their size will probably eventually be an impediment.

I guess I just don't see what's going on to be 'problematic' in any major way.

I agree with much of what you posted, but there is a bit more to the bolded part than just "people who want to make a living at triathlon".  Most of the focus at the really pointy end is developing athletes that can compete for podiums on an international level.....and ultimately at the Olympics.  "Professional" triathletes end up being a side "benefit" of that focus, but there are some very dedicated folks trying to bring the U.S. up to the level of world competition.

But yeah, for the most part, triathlon participants don't give a rats arse about anythin in the sport but their own self interests and goals. (not meant as a commmentary on you personally, Johnny. just a long time observation)  It could be that the sport in this country never does gain much traction past that, time will tell.




Agreed. I posted a thread on goals. I noticed, at least here on BT, a large trend of personal goals (want to get more fit, eat better, race longer distances, PR this race, etc.) versus sport development goals (qualify for 70.3/Kona, make all-american status with USAT, podium this many times, etc.)
New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Coaching costs Rss Feed  
Show Per page
 
 
of 4
 
 
RELATED POSTS

Getting a coach.....cost? benefit? Pages: 1 2

Started by Jorgito22
Views: 1970 Posts: 29

2012-09-16 10:27 AM Marvarnett

Cost for Coaching...

Started by Aikidoman
Views: 790 Posts: 10

2009-03-10 5:34 PM JorgeM

Coaches and their cost ?

Started by maubueno
Views: 1040 Posts: 13

2008-09-06 10:30 PM katybug34

Coaching costs

Started by David14
Views: 246 Posts: 3

2005-08-10 1:25 PM TH3_FRB

What's a swim coach cost?

Started by TH3_FRB
Views: 924 Posts: 25

2005-02-10 9:04 PM Tri Swim Coach
RELATED ARTICLES
date : November 6, 2011
author : ahohl
comments : 1
A Walmart bike, a borrowed road bike or a new carbon fiber bike? You don't need to break the bank for your first triathlon bike.
 
date : April 15, 2010
author : EndurancePlanet
comments : 0
This month we talk with gsmacleod, aka Coach Shane MacLeod on his coaching philosophy, his approach to gadgets, training plans, missed workouts and strength training.
date : September 14, 2008
author : Team BT
comments : 0
Receive online triathlon coaching via our forums, personal coaching through an affiliated coach or nutrition coaching from our certified nutritionist.
 
date : September 14, 2008
author : Team BT
comments : 0
Details on how athletes can connect with registered BT coaches for training plans and personal triathlon coaching.
date : September 14, 2008
author : Team BT
comments : 0
Details on how to use the 'Coaching System' to coach your athletes.
 
date : March 8, 2007
author : Nancy Clark
comments : 0
Are organic products worth the extra cost? In terms of nutrition, some research suggests organic foods may have slightly more minerals and antioxidants than conventionally grown counterparts.
date : December 12, 2004
author : Nancy Clark
comments : 0
As an athlete who shows responsibility by training hard, you'll miss the boat if you are irresponsible with fueling your hard worked body.
 
date : September 4, 2004
author : Daniel Clout
comments : 0
How to choose a coach? A summary of three 'types' of coaches and the pros and cons of each.