Managing Your Coach

Here are some ideas for managing your coach. I recommend that you print this out and run through these questions on your next call.

How are we going to communicate? If you’re not going to be seeing each other a lot then you’ll need to create a system for letting each other know how things are going. It’s important that you both understand how the other person likes to communicate.

Disagreement is usually a breakdown in communication.

What are we seeking to achieve here? Does your coach know what you value in the relationship? In asking this question, I’ve often learned that I was spending significant time on something that wasn’t important to the athlete. By spending less time on “that,” I was able to spend more time on communication.

Create the time to communicate better.

Are we loyal to the goal, or the relationship? In a marriage, it pays to remember that my goal is lifelong companionship via shared experience. On the other hand, when I buy the latest edition of TurboTax, I just want to get my taxes correct. Coaching falls on a continuum between these two extremes. Personally, I’m not willing to explode your life to get you to your athletic goals. Are you?

What does my track record say about my judgment? This is a good one to ask yourself at any time! To achieve your goals, your coach doesn’t need to be 100% right. Your coach merely needs to be broadly right in a context that helps you see, and avoid, serious errors.

What does the past tell us about our mutual judgment?

Is the relationship in balance? When conflicts start to pop up in business, home or triathlon, it can be a sign that the relationship is out of kilter.

Are we avoiding a larger issue here?

I’d encourage you to ensure you to know the “why” behind your sessions. You will do a better job with the components of success when you understand the larger strategy. Most coaches have a library of writing or videos that can help you understand their philosophies.

Remember that we all make mistakes. I’ve fried myself doing a session that my coach (on the other side of the world) had no intention of assigning!

If it doesn’t make sense then ask.

Categories: Planning

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