Coaching up-close and personal can be challenging for both athlete and coach alike. The relationships don't always work out but when they do it's definitely worth it.
For just over 12 months we've been coaching an athlete that prior to working with us had some local 'Sports Science testing' - believing it would give him many answers. He was subsequently told that he had very low scores and left feeling like he was a no hoper. He became very de-motivated having understood himself to be a lost cause, hence he came away from the sport for a number of years. On his return he got in touch with us and after an active consultation, both parties decided he should give Triathlon another shot.
Today he achieved something he says he would never have achieved without coaching - not training plans or Training Peaks but real time 1-2-1 coaching. We're very proud to be working with someone that makes us proud and we're more than excited at what the future holds for him. We see the hashtag #Proud used by a lot of online coaches, this we find a little strange when invariably they have had very little direct impact on the athlete, it's the natural talent and understanding on the part of that athlete that has achieved the results - not their 'proud' coach.
We believe following on-line plans can be very productive for some but not all athletes, those who benefit often have an innate understanding, so basic structure and perceived accountability help bring results. But for every athlete that benefits there's an athlete that struggles with it - genuine lack of understanding physically, technically or psychologically means progress is brief and the all important race performance limited. If the plan's not working for them they're quick to swap coaches in the hope a new plan will bring better results, when the reality is it's probably very little to do with a plan at all.
Becoming a coached athlete can be scary for some. If you're really serious about improving or becoming the best athlete you can be, you have to be open to hearing things you don't want to hear, not just hearing things you want to hear and learning things you don't know, not just doing the things you do know.
Good coaches don't have all the answers but they will try to find them if they don't..