The longer I coach runners and triathletes, the more I have come to believe in the value of having a coach. Like a lot of coaches, I have been asked the question “if you are a triathlon coach, why do you need a coach?” That is often a hard question to answer for some coaches, and I suppose not all coaches actually need a coach. But some of the world’s top CEOs have executive or leadership coaches, right? So why not apply this to athletic coaching in endurance sports? Many coaches race as well, so having a coach to take care of both your athletic and coaching needs can be a great benefit.
Let’s face it, as a coach and athlete, it’s often difficult to remain objective, whether about one’s own training, or even when working with one of our athletes. Seeking out guidance from a successful and veteran coach can be a valuable resource to you as you excel as an athlete, and grow your coaching business.
So what are some other reasons a coach might need a coach?
Mentoring and Consultation
I am a big believer in mentoring at all levels. As the saying goes, “if we stop learning, then we stop growing”. This applies to us as both coaches and athletes. Having someone serve as a mentor can give you an extra edge as you refine your coaching style and practice. Every new athlete I take on is a new opportunity to grow as a coach. But as the sport expands and becomes more diverse in participants, distances, and types of events (ultras, double Ironmans, extreme triathlon, adventure racing, etc.), having a more experienced coach to provide mentoring and consultation will set you apart from other coaches in your area.
Writing your Schedule
Like me, many endurance coaches also actively race throughout the year. As mentioned earlier, it can sometimes be difficult to remain objective about one’s own training and racing. So having another coach writing your training schedule can relieve some stress and be a big help to the busy coach who also has a demanding family life and training schedule. Having someone else plan your workouts can provide some accountability and give you a fresh perspective that you might not have on your own. This is also a task that can be a shared responsibility between you and your coach.
Supporting the business end of things can be of great value to someone new to coaching, especially during those first few years. Making decisions about pricing, web design, social media, and what services to offer can be overwhelming in the beginning. But even to the most experienced coach, having someone who has traveled down the same path you are on can be priceless in avoiding problems and concerns, and in advancing your business.
As busy entrepreneurs who are often trying to manage the business, as well as training and racing, having a coach can be beneficial in many ways. From planning your training, to consultation and support, dollar for dollar, hiring a coach can definitely be an investment in both your athletic and business future.
Fight for it,