What does it mean to hire a coach? A personal trainer? Maybe you have experience with this, but maybe you don’t. Many adults have memories of gym teachers or basketball coaches from their youth, but no experience of what hiring a coach can do for them now. I get many questions about what it means to hire a coach. Here’s my take.
How do you value yourself, your health, your happiness?
We often put other people or obligations ahead of our own needs. This is a noble and necessary human trait, especially if you are a parent or support other family members. As human beings, we all have basic needs and when those basic needs are not met, other areas of our lives will suffer. It is not selfish to take care of your needs. Selfish is doing something that purposely causes harm to another. Self-care is not selfish. Taking care of you makes you happier, healthier and a more vibrant participant in all areas of your life. Value yourself.
Fitness, health, training, racing can all fall into the category of both selfish and self care; much depends on your attitude and your perspective. Hiring a coach is an investment in your self-care, a valuable investment in yourself, thus adding value to all you do and all you come in contact with.
Goals & Dreams
Do you have goals and dreams for yourself, your body, your performance? A good coach can help you identify and work towards achieving your goals and dreams. We often dismiss our dreams because of fear. Is fear holding you back? A good coach helps you understand the emotional current underneath our behaviors and how to break the paradigm. It’s time to hire a coach who can help you crush your excuses and stop falling into the “trap of tomorrow”, where tomorrow never comes and those dreams fall by the wayside.
Plan & Structure
In order to successfully achieve a goal, you need a smart game plan to get you there. A coach will create a plan, give you structure and detailed instructions about what to do every day (short term) and work with you on the long-term plan. All planning needs to take into account your goals, your time availability, balancing work, social and family obligations around workouts.
All workouts are written ahead of time, so you don’t have to think about, “what am I going to do for a workout today?” Trust grows when an intelligent plan is put into motion.
Training plans can be self-guided, customized/individualized or 100% individual. My self-guided plans are based on the concept of periodization and adaptation. (This is where “custom-ized and individual-ized” plans come into play.) When writing up individual, custom plans for an athlete, NO TWO PLANS ARE EVER THE SAME. I am shocked when I hear, all too frequently, that a coach repeated the same plan from year to year or from athlete to athlete. Be sure to read the fine print when hiring a coach so you are clear on what you want and what you are getting from the coach athlete relationship. Custom and customized, individual and individualized are different concepts, all useful and appropriate when applied correctly.
Guidance & Teamwork
The coach athlete team is a unique relationship specifically focused on helping you meet your goals. An experienced coach guides you from day to day, workout to workout, race to race, milestone to milestone. We work together to achieve your greatest possible outcomes; setting you up to succeed on every step of the journey.
Education & Information
With all the information out there in print and online media, you can certainly achieve some success on your own. There is a great sense of satisfaction in self-learning, then applying new skills to achieve an objective. But, with all the information out there, the potential for confusion is great. Will a certain plan or program that worked for someone else work for you? Self-guided training will work to a point, but once you get stuck seek out expert help and guidance.
A great coach is well educated and highly experienced in the fitness and competition arena and brings all of this expertise to the table. I can help you weed through all the noise and junk out there that can either slow your progress, waste your money or potentially cause harm. I answer all of your questions, educate you in a reasonable, intelligent and focused manner. All of this adds up to a great time saver to you and focuses your energy on achieving the results you want.
Value & Pricing
There are many price points and programs available. Choosing the right plan for you involves knowing what you want and realizing that the money you spend is an investment in you, in your health, happiness and well being for years to come. A well-educated and experienced coach brings years of success, education and value when working with athletes.
Communication & Commitment
Good communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. The coach-athlete relationship requires consistent, honest communication to ensure your success. This comes in the form of phone calls, emails, texts and especially in person training time. Commitment to communication works on both sides of the fence from the athlete to the coach and coach to athlete. What is working in training? What is not? Data communication. I use Training Peaks and WKO+ robust online training and coaching tools as a platform for workout and data exchange. (www.trainingpeaks.com)
A great coach allows and welcomes any and all communication to best help you achieve your goals and dreams.
Local or Remote
Are you looking for a coach in your area or would a remote, internet relationship work for you? There are benefits to both situations. Local athletes and coaches can benefit from internet training through sources such as email, Training Peaks, Twitter, Facebook and texts. Information and communication come in many forms.
If you benefit most from that in person, consistent contact, a local coach is the right decision. If you are more self-motivated and have experience training and racing, an internet based coach-athlete relationship can bring an added, positive dimension to your training. In both situations, a coach holds you accountable, helps you remain flexible with your process and daily journey.
There is no substitute for that in person coaching to help you develop or improve your skills at cycling, swimming, running, transition skills, nutrition and proper strength training form. Olympic level athletes work to improve their skills, form and mechanics every day.
I believe that the way we all thrive is to have our individual needs identified, addressed and taken care of daily. Personal attention is the pathway beyond self-limiting beliefs, habits or to see a new solution to a problem. It’s easy to get stuck, to get distracted, to get off track, a coach helps you blow through barriers that hold you back from breakthroughs and achievement.
A great coach gives you an outside, objective perspective. If you get sick or your child gets sick and you miss workouts, I can help you get your training back on track. Prioritize what workouts are important and how to achieve them to continue on your path to hitting your targets.
Motivation & Mental Preparation
Most of all a great coach helps you with motivation and mental preparation. If your brain isn’t along for the ride, your body will never achieve your greatest goals. The emotional and mental side of training and racing are paramount to success. A great coach helps you explore your limiters and break through those barriers, self-sabotaging behaviors, strengthen your weaknesses and build your confidence and mental strength. Your success is dependent on your self-belief, your self-efficacy. Positive accomplishments build and build and build; confidence grows, success follows success.
Keep in mind that failure can lead to your greatest achievements. It’s all in your thoughts, your attitude and these variables are trainable!
To push or to back down?
A great coach will help you know when to push and when to back down, when to go faster and when to slow down. Often, slowing down helps you go faster. Changing up your routine, changing up your paces and interval sessions moves you to another level.
Dynamic, Flexible Process
Ultimately, no two people are exactly alike in how they will respond and adapt to training stresses. The pathway you take to achieving your greatest success is always a dynamic, flexible process. A great coach knows this and applies this concept every day.
Working with an insightful, caring, experienced, passionate coach gets you unprecedented, empowered results. Up your game today, hire a coach!