But first: huge congratulations to the now 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong for her time trial win today. She pulled it out on the big day. The track events in Rio start tomorrow and that should be amazing as well. Wow.
|Speed, dedication, technology and focus.|
Exposure versus Ethics!
Not only am I am full time cycling coach but I am also a self-employed cycling coach which means I am constantly paranoid about other coaches stealing my clients. Now, that is silly right? Why would any of you leave me? Right? Hello? But at the same time, I absolutely live for my athletes and want them above ALL ELSE to be successful. So that means they need to have exposure to other resources of all types. So let's chat about a topic about which most of the information covered today I have shamelessly plagiarized.
One of the coaches down in Rio this week taught me a few years ago about something called an athlete's "Performance Enhancement Team". As a coach, I have access to lots of cool knowledge, tons of experience and well, stuff. But the athletes themselves are going to need help as well and those people around them and their sport are critical to their success just as much as their coach. A few examples are:
- Massage therapist or chiropractor - a lot of athletes need adjustment or injury management to help them train and race succesfully
- Sport psychologist - you don't have to be crazy to need to talk about the stress and demands placed on all athletes of all levels
- Bike mechanic - hey, someone has to fix those brakes. And they usually like beer. Just saying
- Teammates - having a trusted friend in a matching outfit can be critical to staying motivated and focused on the racing schedule
- Family and friends - get a life will you? The spokes of the wheel must be evenly tightened
- Other coaches - wait, wut?
Now, this can be tricky. In recent years as I have been coaching more and more women athletes, I have seen the almost obnoxious pushiness of other coaches into the lives and sport of some of these athletes. Maybe I am being hyper sensitive to the topic, but it seems like everyone and his uncle tries to voice their opinion on how to help an athlete, especially on social media (ugh don't get me started).
I try not to give free advice to athletes, it is very bad for business and like a famous person once said: "if you are good enough at something, you don't give it away for free".
|Where does he get those wonderful toys?|
I try to be ethical, but it can be tricky. I like to eat, pay rent, wear clothes. Stuff like that is important so I always want new clients. Recently, an athlete switched over to me a few months after I had that very same conversation, and the first coach called me a lot of bad names and stopped being my friend and also stopped being friends with people in my life as well. It was weird and completely over-reacting, but at the same time, all coaches need to think about the well-being of the athletes first and foremost. Because please remember like I always say:
It is not about you, it is about the athletes.
One of the things I really support is how an athlete often grows their coaching needs as their skills and racing goals grow as well. For instance, a "club level" coach might be good for an entry level athlete, but as their racing improves, their required level of coaching needs to grow as well. I pride myself on being considered an expert or National level coach and constantly try to work on improving myself as well, but that is a different blog. I would consider it a compliment that an athlete who I coached needed to move on to a National coach because they got so strong working with me. There is absolutely an important and critical place in the sport for club coaches, but again, that particular person is pretty nasty as a human anyhow.
So, as a high performance coach, I try to provide high performance coaching as well and follow these 6 Characteristics:
- There is a reason for everything. All that I say to an athlete has direction both in content and intent.
- Resources are optimized. To be honest, I don't feel threatened anymore by other coaches. Get every bit of information and piece of equipment out there that you need to crush.
- Everyone is prepared for the season. Athletes are switched on, coach is clear, team is on board. Planning, preparation, training.
- Do exactly what is needed. Even if it is less, don't deliver inefficient mediocrity. A lot of us could use this advice.
- Everyone is the best person available. You have friends, but who is your best friend? Well I am obviously, but who else?
- Decisions are performance based. Not ego based, enough said.
Besides, it makes me look good. If you want to look good with high performance, then maybe Finish Fast Cycling is the coach for you. Thanks for reading, see you next blog day.
|Let's see who scrolls down enough today.|