Monday, February 2, 2009

What do you want a coach for?

Sorry for the lagging on posts, but I've been in Chicago for a weekend of clinics, presenting to both athletes and coaches. Actually, I'm still here and leaving in a short while. We had some great turnouts and excellent, positive feedback from them, and I am excited to bring the athlete clinic to San Diego soon.

One of the interesting things which happened this weekend at the coach's clinic came from my presentation. I presented some evidence and some ideas which challenged what many coaches do and think. I did much the same at the athlete clinic, and the athletes responded fairly well with a sense of understanding and trying eagerly to learn and apply the concepts I was teaching them. (I was doing underwater swimming analysis.)

When I came to the coach's clinic to present, the coaches were there to learn, just like the athletes. They were looking for coaching, on coaching. It was funny though, how it seemed the coaches wanted to hear me confirm more of what they're doing, rather than challenging them on it, with the things I presented to them.

I won't get into the specifics, as you'll have to attend a clinic to hear that. But I will say it was clear that at first, they did not like what I was telling them. When I sat back and thought more about that, I realized a lot athletes respond the same way, although it may not have been for swimming, since many triathletes feel weak in that area. The areas they feel they are strong in though, they tend to seem stubborn, and not want to listen. This is obviously not every triathlete, but many.

It lead me to thinking that from now on, when an athlete comes to me, or I am working with an athlete who doesn't want to try new things I am showing them, I will ask them, "What do you want a coach for?"

So many athletes continue to train the same way, never changing. It seems too risky to them to change. They seem to want me to just confirm that for the past time they've spent in the sport, they haven't been wasting time doing anything which might be incorrect. I don't want to call it arrogance, but they seem to be resistant to the idea that there could be a better way.

So if you're about to get a coach, or have a coach now and feel apprehensive about the things they have you doing, I will ask you, what do you want a coach for?

Coach Vance


Scott said...

GOAL MILE, GOAL MILE, GOAL MILE!!!! A different, yet, hopefully successful approach!

Jim Vance said...

Scott, shhhhh....;-)