Winning does not have to mean being first. It was never more clear to me than Hawaii 2009 when circumstances conspired to put me out on the run with many for whom winning was just finishing. Being first in a triathlon is great for the lucky ones. I have been lucky at times, but “winning” for whatever reason can be just as much fun and many times even more rewarding. So my goal for anyone I coach is to help them win!
I believe that the key ingredients in a good coach/athlete relationship are regular and open communication, mutual respect, and keeping it fun for the athlete and their family. My training programs are developed with those ideas in the forefront. I work with athletes to develop both short term and long term objectives that work well within the context of the other things they have going on in their life. I encourage them to ask questions, look for clarification and to challenge where appropriate. There is no such thing as a stupid question! We all have so much to learn in this sport and if you keep your mind open to new information you will keep improving!
In the big picture I see attitude more than age making the difference in many aspects of this sport. There are times in triathlon that to see improvements you need to slow down and spend some time working on your technique – which requires a great deal of discipline. So does having a coach and following the plan written for you. The best coach in the world can only be of help if you’re ready and willing to do the work .
I enjoy working with people who embrace the sport and want to get better! That is when it’s truly fun – for both of us!