A good triathlon coach has a role that is partly life coach! Why? Because to be a good sports coach you have to incorporate training into real life. The things that need to be all looked at as a whole include:
- An honest lifestyle audit. It is no good saying you have 10 hours a day to train when you need 8 of those to sleep!
- Family support. If there is no support from family or friends, it is very hard to train successfully without alienating all those around you.
- Work. Be honest about the hours you have to spend at work, and commuting to and from. Is it possible to use the commute for training, or lunchtime?
- Current fitness level. This should be used to point you in the direction of the most suitable events to tackle next.
- Family/friend commitments. What celebrations or events are already in the calendar for the year? Not going leads to tension, how can they be incorporated?
- Holidays. Are they going to be available for training as much as you want, or will you need to agree what training you can do around everyone else?
- Illness or injury. How much time do you need to recover? What will that do to your training and racing plan?
These are just some of the things that I take into account when working with an athlete. I expect to be messaged asking about illness, sessions missed due to work or family, family events that crop up at very short notice. My role is to support and be a sounding board so that the best choice for the athlete is reached. Often they know the answer, but just need to have it confirmed!