Is coaching for me?

by | May 6, 2020 | -, Blog, Blog Posts, Training Tips | 0 comments

Is coaching for me?

 

A question many have asked themselves, be it amateur or aspiring professional during the pursuit to maximal performance. However, many are unaware of why people may choose a cycling coach, and how to choose the right one for you!

It may seem an obvious answer at first, people choose cycling coaches to help them train effectively and efficiently. But there is a much deeper pit of considerations than just that. Below are a list of other reasons you may decide to invest in a cycling coach:

  • You have been training a few years, but a dip or plataeu in performance leaves you unsure of where to go next.
    • Maybe you need someone to look at the bigger picture. Short term training stress is what causes performance gains, but prolonged stress can lead to chronic fatigue and a decline in ability.
    • If you are familiar with the PMC on TrainingPeaks, a tell tale sign may be a plataeu in CTL. No recovery weeks, no added stress weeks.

 

  • You feel you train well most of the time, but struggle on the less motivated days.
    • Maybe the additional responsibility of a coach overseeing your training might give you that added drive on the hard days, as well as someone to rely on, question and be put at ease by that you’re doing the right things.
    • Low motivation to an extent is normal and everyone faces bouts of it. Perhaps you are lacking direction, goals or the intrinsic factors which push you to become a better athlete. This article from Dr. Jim Taylor may help you identify some of those factors you’re missing! Read it here.
  • Your performance is an extreme peak and trough all the time.  
    • Its never straight forward predicing how you will feel on race day, even for a coach. But it is a puzzle that a cycling coach could help you solve. Maybe there are some underlying factors you have overlooked or never even considered may impact your performance.
  • You have a very busy and complicated work & family lifestyle.
    • Prescribing training is never straightforward. A cycling coach can use experience, evidence based knowledge and analysis of previous feedback to calculate when it is best to work on each training factor.
    • Structured training is by far the most effective way you can maximise your focussed training time. By having an aim each time you train, you never feel like you are wasting your precious time doing something not as effective. There’s this great article written about an Ironman/Pilot found structure and purpose once using a coach. Read about Jeff here.

These are just some of the many reasons someone may choose a cycling coach. Coaching also doesn’t just consist of tell and do. There is a strong element of companionship, friendship, trust and critique involved. A coach should be there for you when you need them. Whether it is sport related, or life related your coach needs to be your council also, as psychological factors, mental wellbeing and lifestyle effect your training outcomes as much as your training regime.

How do you know you have the right cycling coach?

A question many never ask themselves: “is my coach right for me?”.

Once you have decided on your coach, you need to start to analyse and question if they are the right coach for you. Just like everyone, coaches have different methods, different experiences, different qualifications and different motivations.

Some telltale signs your coach may not be right for you:

  • They don’t accept responsibility when things go wrong
    • It’s easy to avoid having the finger pointed at you, but at the end of the days, thats your coaches responsibility and thats why you give them your custom.
    • I really like this tweet from Dr. Andy Kirkland. It sums up nicely some of the questions you should be asking yourself all the time when you’re working with a coach.
  • They think they’re always right.
    • Things do go wrong, even for the best coaches in the world. But your coach shouldn’t avoid the blame, they should accept responsibility and learn from their mistakes. You shouldn’t feel let down though making mistakes causes a steep learning curve and most likely will lead to a positive end result.
  • They aren’t critisising you.
    • Your coach should be working of an experience based, literature based arsenel of knowledge. This balance is imperitive for a physiology based coach. In physiology, there are a very small amount of ‘set in stone’ answers for things. The human body as we know it is the most complex mechanism on the planet. This in turn means that critical analysis should be occuring all the time during your training. Learning how your body works and how every athlete isn’t the same ensures a coach can adapt their methods and learn about the way you respond to stimulus.

All this information should aid you on your quest to finding the right coach, and keeping the right coach.

But why choose Cycling Performance Coaching?

Below are some of the reasons I believe I could be of benefit to your sporting progression and eventual success.

  • I wrote this article
    • That means I know everything isn’t always perfect. I know I am not always right, and I am more than willing to learn from my mistakes. Any coach who doesn’t admit this, is NOT an effective coach.
  • I have experienced the highs and lows of sport.
    • My career in cycling has been diverse, from local racing to international racing. My cycling career has always been fairly problematic, and I know how that feels. I understand the internal stresses of when things go wrong, but without any telltale signs.
  • I come from an evidence based degree.
    • Attending the Cycling Performance Course (of which there is only one in the world) and Sports and Exercise Performance Degree means I have invested my time into becoming an academic coach. My training doesn’t come off what and I think is right for myself!
  • I don’t do packages with limited feedback.
    • In my opinon, limited feedback packages do not work effectivly. Your training needs to be looked at and analysed on AT LEAST a weekly basis, if not a daily basis. Because of this, my phone is always on and my feedback is thorough. If you are having a bad day or think what training is planned for that day isn’t going to be suitable, I am there to contact and adjust accordingly.
    • You can see what services I have to offer over on my Services page, although usually packages are customisable to suit individual differing needs. click HERE to visit.
  • I’m more than just your coach. 
    • I’m your friend, your judge, your information base, your critic, your council and someone you can rely on to provide you with as many answers as I can.

And there you have it. A pocket guide to help you decide, is coaching right for you.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you gained some knowledge from it. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can find my details on the contact page.

Oli – Head Coach at Cycling Performance Coaching.