Hire a Coach if You’re Serious About Making Serious Gains
A coach ignites the spark within you, provides you with clarity of vision, empowers you and cultivates your purpose. How so? Through advanced sport/ fitness-specific knowledge and novel technological devices. A coach is not content with you doing your best but helping you better your best.
Essentially, a coach can provide athletes with a clear direction and take action towards achieving the athlete’s fitness and sports-related goals. Coaches take greater responsibility and accountability for their actions and commitments to their athletes – probably the main reason they are highly sought after.
Be Honest with Yourself
Not everyone needs a coach. If you happen to be someone who expects instant and guaranteed results and has trouble taking instructions or following a programme, then chances are you would most likely not benefit from investing in a coach. However, if you are an absolute beginner, a coach would be beneficial in guiding you along the way in your fitness journey.
If you have reached a plateau in your own training, a coach would help you break out of the rut by troubleshooting and improving the structure of your training so you can continue to make progress.
Questions to reflect on:
– What stage am I at in my fitness journey?
– What are my major and minor priorities in life?
– How much control do I need, including in areas of my life outside of exercise and fitness?
– How willing am I to trust and follow a programme plan crafted by someone who is deemed credible and competent in this area even though I have not noticed any results or progress?
– What personal qualities am I seeking in a coach to ensure a sustainable coach-athlete relationship?
Choose A Coach based on Shared Goals/ Philosophy
Trust is the crux of any relationship. How then do we trust a coach or let alone a process without getting results or having a guarantee of knowing where we are heading?
In order to establish trust in both the training process and the coach, ideally the coach and the athlete should have similar goals and values towards fitness. The coach should preferably be a former athlete and have ample coaching experience with other athletes.
A competent coach knows very well that relying on tried and proven methods alone or adopting a cookie cutter approach towards coaching would not maximise an athlete’s performance. They tailor their training programmes specifically for their athletes which are firmly grounded in scientific theory and do not shy away from incorporating and applying novel approaches in their coaching.
Cutting Edge Technology and Smart Training
Competent coaches are both scientists and artists. They are able to see the forest and the trees, combine the use of tools (technical equipment) and identify patterns and trends to track an athlete’s progress, strengths and weaknesses and adapt training programmes to fit the profile of the athlete and “specific” fitness/ sporting goals. Such coaches do not get bogged down with details or force the programme to fit the technology but rather use technology strategically while devising and revising their training programmes.
Software tools that use algorithmic/ mathematical models enable the coach to track and monitor the athlete’s fitness levels, training peaks, training loads and discrepancies, heart rate variability and fatigue levels. The coach possesses the relevant skill sets and competencies to conceptualise, critically examine and make adjustments to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their highly-customised training programmes.
Cycling coach at Semi-Pro Cycling, Damien Ruse, who utilises data from health metrics in designing his training programmes, stresses that progression must be conscientiously managed by the coach to increase progressive overload and minimise the risk of “staleness”and overtraining. This enables the athlete to do more, recover well and return to training feeling as fresh as possible.
Competent Coaches are Knowledgeable Experts
Competent coaches understand the theory behind training progression and the importance of applying the specificity principle in custom designing appropriate training programmes that align with an athlete’s general and specific fitness goals.
Carefully planned specific training loads increasing both volume and intensity would ensure that the athlete progresses all the way up to his/her event. In this regard, coaches are accountable to themselves and to the athlete. The best coaches keep their smarts under the table and relate to their clients on a level which matches that of their athlete. Of course, they would be more than willing to share the intricacies of this novel technological approaches with their athletes should it be requested.
Essentially, effective coaches acknowledge the usefulness of education to wrap around a training programme. This information and context (motivation) would enhance the athlete’s understanding of the training programme’s aims, objectives and rationale so they are better able to get through their training and understand how their preparation builds to the event.
A Coach’s Care Extends Beyond Training Sessions
Adaptations and performance gains happen after adequate rest and recovery. Competent coaches know all too well that rest and recovery are just as if not more important than training sessions themselves.With adequate rest and recovery, our body adapts and strengthens and our gains will be far greater.
A coach would be especially useful for those of us who find it challenging to rest and recover or to eat well! This is why a coach’s work does not cease when a training session ends.
Putting Things in Perspective
Health and fitness go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, maintaining a high level of sporting/ fitness performance does come at a price. Ask yourself. What does “health” (e.g., social, psychological, physical, spiritual, intellectual) mean to you?
What are you willing to compromise on to maintain high performance levels in your sport or fitness activity? It is every athlete’s challenge to maintain and/or adjust to different motivations over his/her lifetime but it is certainly easier to manage with a coach.
If you’d like to improve your overall health or if you’d like tips on how to improve your nutrition, head to http://www.ali.fitness/90-day-