Dear Daddy – Should I Get A Coach? @ 27 Feb 2017

Dear Daddy, Should I get a coach?

The decision to get a coach is certainly not straight forward and could be influenced by a number of factors including:

- Your sporting and educational background
- How long you have been in the sport
- How many other competing priorities you have in your life
- How motivated you are to get the best out of yourself

What complicates this further is obviously not all coaches are the same so once you decide you want a coach you then have to work out the type of coach that will best fit your personality and lifestyle.

Some people love the idea of not having to plan their season and the sessions they need to do each week. Others enjoy taking full responsibility for the journey, enjoy analysing their performances and working out what training will bring out their best performance. They might not care that they are not doing it the right way, they are just happy in the knowledge they “did it my way”!! Ideally this person has some type of physical education background or enjoys reading widely on the subject of sport and fitness.

- You have someone to answer the many questions you have about the sport and your knowledge should improve and grow assuming you chose a wise and experienced coach
- You fast track your learning
- You can save time doing sessions that really matter and should make you improve
- You have someone to support you and bounce things off especially when you need it the most such as leading up to a race or reflecting on a race performance including analysing your nutrition choices and various data using HR monitor and / power meter should you chose to use such gadgets.
- You don't have to think too hard about what you should be doing
- You will meet other athletes and train with other athletes in the squad.
- It can make you feel all pro!

- You feel compelled to follow the program no matter how you feel
- It costs money
- You can lose the spontaneity and flexibility in training
- It can become too structured and for some more like a job
- Finding the right coach can be difficult. Some coaches have a one methodology works for all approach which you should avoid. Coaches who are hard to access for feedback should also be avoided.
- A coach's priority is to see you improve in triathlon and may tend to overlook the other competing priorities in your life. Good results from the athlete reflects well on the coach adding to perhaps a skewed view held by the coach when it comes to priorities.

So to answer this question for yourself consider the advantages and disadvantages and from this work out what is most important to you.

One option could be to seek some consultancy sessions from a coach rather than going on a month to month program.

This could give you the opportunity to run your program over another set of experienced eyes to see what fine tuning improvements you could make. This would involve less outlay and commitment.

You may also seek a coach for a short period of time in one of the disciplines you feel needs work rather than all three.

Joining a tri club and attending designated club sessions is probably the best first step any triathlete can make. This will allow you to network and learn from other experienced triathletes as well as the club coaches. This could be enough to supplement your knowledge or a good stepping stone to getting your own coach.