Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and the demand for good coaches is growing. Below is a list of things that can help you hire the right coach.
One of the biggest mistakes an athlete can make when picking a coach, is to be mesmerized by accomplishments of the person they are considering as a coach. Podium finishes, winning a gold metal or multiple world championship titles does not validate a person’s knowledge of a sport or ability to coach. There are multiple examples of this in other professional sports outside of triathlon. Maybe that is why someone coined the phrase “Those who can’t do, coach!”
Finding a good and qualified coach, should be a process. Here are a few things to consider when trying to find a the right coach: Take the time to talk to fellow triathletes, set personal goals, and interview multiple coaches.
-Talking to fellow triathletes is a great way to get the ball rolling. It will allow you to get a feel for the coach before meeting him/her. If the triathlete “really” likes their coach; ask why. If the triathlete is “disappointed” in their coach, really, ask why. Remember to keep an open mind when talking to people about their coach, as what worked/didn’t work for them could be different for you. We all have our own individual needs.
-By setting your goals before interviewing a coach, you will be able to paint a better picture of what you want to accomplish. It also helps the coach design your program. You will be able to ask the right questions, especially if you are trying to find a coach who can help you finish your first triathlon or qualify for a world championship.
-When interviewing coaches, remember to keep an open mind. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Here is a list of items that can help you during the interview:
1. Cost of coaching
2. Is it an online, one on one or group coaching plan?
3. Types of communication. This is very important, as some coaches only allow a certain amount of texts, emails and phone calls per month.
4. Will you need to pay for any extras: Powertap, SRM, and Training Peaks etc?
5. Coaching qualifications: nutrition, USAT Coaching Level I, II or III, anatomy, sports psychology, kinesiology, exercise science or just a good athlete (multiple gold metals and world championship titles).
6. How long has the coach been coaching and in the sport?
7. What have they accomplished in triathlon?
8. Know and be honest about your fitness level.
9. Does he/she analyze your training: by speed, heart rate, watts or perceived exertion?
10. How many athletes do they coach?
Before the interview, you may want to check and see if the coach has a website. If they do, the website may offer answers to some of your questions.
Take your time and find the best coach for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for certifications and references. Getting the right a coach, can make or brake your triathlon journey.