Triathlon Coaching 101 – Roles of a Coach

I had a discussion with a couple of clients this week.

The discussion went something like this…(picture thought balloons in the parentheses)

Me:  “First question, how did you find us? “  ( always curious how someone finds TYB Coaching)

Them: “I was searching online for triathlon coaching,  I found some plans and a few coaches in the area.   I tried to contact them but they were out of town or didn’t respond.  Seems like they weren’t really interested.” (And there it is…)

At that point, I was on a mission to CLEAR THAT UP.

I get the impression, quite often,  that there are a couple of misunderstandings (actually more but I will touch on the obvious ones) on both sides of the aisle when it comes to coaching and being coached.

Let’s address the roles of a coach FIRST and then we will discuss YOU.   Because at the end of the day if I am not serving YOU then why am I here?

In going through the education process that qualifies us as USAT Certified Triathlon Coaches,   we discuss the roles (formal and informal) of a coach.  They include, but absolutely are not limited to:

  • Teacher
  • Leader
  • Organizer/Planner
  • Psychologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Sherpa
  • Equipment Reviewer
  • ….many more

 

My personal experience, as a coach,  is that there are fantastic coaches that excel in all these roles and are very responsive to the athletes they serve.   Then there are “coaches” out there that are more than happy to sign you up and then throw random workouts on your training calendar with little or no explanation of why and then do not respond to your questions or concerns.

The reality is that TYB Coaching serves you through all of these roles and more.   We work with you to make sure you have the endurance you require to be successful your racing, as well as, to develop  you to your highest potential  as a triathlete.  This includes managing your training load in an healthy, safe manner to make sure you are able to reach your racing goals and deal with the personal challenges that invariably come up due to your multiple roles as a spouse, parent or business person.

The misunderstanding is that “all” coaches randomly throw hard work at our athletes through a training log and rarely communicate or are reachable to serve you and that this is all that coaching really is. That’s where the temptation to grab a “plan” off the internet comes from.   A plan written for some athlete with some ability in some life situation that the buyer “hopes” is close to theirs.  More often than not it is a “perfect world” plan that frustrates the average athlete or doesn’t fit their time commitment and is soon abandoned.

When you are looking at being coached and choosing coaches, remember that there is “more”.    Now you know…

So, when you considering coaches and coaching going forward… you now have a better list of criteria to evaluate your choices.

TYB Coaching is here to serve you.

#thetimeisnow

 

 

Triathlon needs YOU! YOU need Triathlon!

Multi-sport endurance needs you.   You are critical to its success and longetivity.   In a multitude of ways, it is also critical to your success.

If you have participated as an athlete or you have been a spectator at a triathlon, marathon or ridden SAG (Support and Gear) on a long bike event then you understand the value of the human element in supporting these events.   If registration fees have been charged for these events you appreciate that the race director/producer uses these registration fees to pay for various costs of conducting these events.   Personnel,  permits,  food and other support items must be paid out of this.    Were it necessary to pay every person that supports a multi-sport event,  it’s likely that the event wouldn’t exist or that the registration fees would be astronomical.   These issues go hand in hand.

But,  as crucial as volunteering is to the sport, volunteering is extremely beneficial to the endurance athlete.   Let me illustrate a few of the “how’s”…

Want to race Ironman Augusta 70.3 next year? Don’t wait till the race next year to see the actual course.  Remember…”objects in your mirror are closer than they appear”.   You can watch videos and look at google maps all day long but nothing replaces the opportunity to see the race course and venue up close and personal.   What better way than to volunteer and see the course without the race day nerves and pressure?!

Looking at a new pair of swim goggles? Want the new cycling helmet?  New pedals?  New tri bars?   Best way to see new gear in practice is to hang out and volunteer near the transition areas.  Do they work? Are they practical?  Hard to tell in the bike shop or looking at an online product catalog.   Ask questions!  Trust me, triathletes love to talk about their gear.

Your children will become what is modeled for them.   I say this time and time again.  This is multi-faceted.    Your children see a role model volunteering their time and energy with a grateful heart.  Your children see people participating in a healthy lifestyle.  After all,  triathlon IS a lifestyle sport.  Endurance racing can be a lifetime activity for you and your family to participate in together.

Never underestimate the value of a friendly face on foreign soil.   I won’t forget the 2014 experience of being 300+ miles away from home and volunteering at a IM Florida race with freak weather conditions. I watched the pain and intestinal fortitude of the participants that weren’t quite prepared for the conditions.  In the midst of a swim cancelled event with winds and 40 degree temperatures at the bike start, there was an athlete struggling through the single transition on both a mental and physical level.  The look of gratitude and relief in their eyes, when they suddenly recognized me as a friendly face from home, was priceless and something I will always remember.

Finally, helping with the production of an endurance event can be very inspirational.  When there are 2500 participants in an Ironman event, there is likely a story of inspiration and awesomeness for each athlete and the journey that they’ve made to show up at the swim start.

Opportunities

Can you help?

TYB Coaching and TYB Coaching Georgia are “practicing what we preach.”

tybclr

TYB Coaching and TYB Coaching Georgia will be volunteering at the IM70.3 Gulf Coast on May 12th and at IM Florida on November 3rd.  If you want to volunteer or if you plan to race, link up with us at david@triyourbest.com.

IM Gulf Coast 70.3 Volunteer registration:

IM70.3 Gulf Coast Volunteering

Local opportunities:

If you wish to volunteer locally, here is your opportunity (Jeremey Davis loves you 🙂 ):

South Carolina (Setup Events):

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Setup Events Volunteering

Georgia (Georgia Multisport Productions)

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Georgia Multisports Productions Volunteering

Florida (MultiRace)

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MultiRace Volunteering

#trivolunteering