I have been a coach for a long time. Well, at least a long time in the game of triathlon. While I by no means have all the answers, I have seen enough to have built my own “sense” of how things work for the athletes I work with. Rather, how my approach to training affects the folks who follow it.
It’s simply part of how I put you, the individual, into the context of my coaching world. And for the first three years of coaching, I got it wrong every…single…time. Let me tell you why so you can fix your game too.
I had masterful plans. Season plans. Multiseason plans. Plans for plans…which I planned for. But the one thing I always glossed over was the individual athletes plan. The intake process was more of a formality than a discovery process; and it wasn’t until I had a client really put her foot down that I realized my mistake: I put my ideal schedule before their real one.
I needed to know not just when they usually swam (say Tues/Thurs) but a much deeper understanding of all their commitments. When do they work? Who knew they volunteered on Wednesday nights? And look at all that time on Friday.
Instituting this simple formality gave me a great deal more useful information than a family history or reviewing last year’s results. We aren’t talking rocket science here. No charts and darts. Just a much better understanding of the athletes schedule.
What about those all of those early athletes? Thankfully, most of them saw improvement simply by following a consistent program. The change was enough from the typical workouts they subjected themselves to, and the build across a season, while not perfect, did the job.