Coach Philip reflects on how to help get the most out of athletes and how most of the work a coach has to do is almost intangible and may go against the common stereotypes of coaching that modern representations have characterised. There are some interesting learning points here for both coaches and athletes.
Often it can be amusing that people claim that they need a coach. Clearly, as an owner of a coaching company, I would be crazy not to agree! Is it worth it? Are there any times that you can identify a measurable difference as to how much coaching helps? As a coach we constantly try and highlight the usefulness of a coach and identify how the empathy, structure and camaraderie will make a difference along with having the right plan for you. However, all to often a coach's ability is determined by the number of podiums, qualifications or victories that their athletes have achieved and not that all important athlete-coach relationship or the process that got them there. You never hear what happens when athletes fail to hit their target but have still progressed. This article attempts to look at some measurable difference in performance which doesn't necessarily result in an obvious black or white outcome of success and this makes the demonstration of the success a lot more subtle. We look forward to hearing what you think!
In many situations those who are performing well in sport, become role-models or leaders to others wishing to perform to a similar standard. On some occasions, these model athletes sometimes do make excellent coaches. However, there is a key distinction: coaching skills and athletic prowess are not the same thing even though there may be overlaps. However, in our experience of working with developing coaches, these overlaps are made through the character and attitude of the athlete as they make their move to coaching and not the achievements themselves nor knowledge which just can't make that gap from great athlete to great coach. Frequently a coach's empathy, interpretation and compassion go a lot further than fitting athletes into a mould to become better.
Quite often I find it amusing when I meet people for the first time. After the initial question of "What is your name?", the follow up is always the tricky one to explain. "What do you do?". When you say "coach", immediately, your new acquaintance says: "Oh, a PT!" proudly as if they know what you do. Though both a professional coach and a professional PT work with people in a sports and leisure environment, the reality is they don't have as much in common than first appears. It like when someone says they work as Civil Engineer. To say they shovel tarmac is their job...is indirectly what they do, but it is a different role completely. Clearly, the athletes we work with do physical activity but as a result of what we do not as our purpose.
Sharon Simpson, one of the physio's who has worked with us for a couple of years in Portugal and now resides at The Bosworth Clinic is always on hand to help with her insight and expertise. Below she explores three very common injuries she sees and likely causes to help you avoid them and stay consistent with your training.
This blog looks at three simple strength and conditioning exercises and demonstrates how you can use them to become a more efficient cyclist and fundamentally get faster. These are great as strengthening work, or as a bit of fun/challenge to add to your cycling training routine.
With 'coaching' being a norm for triathletes, it shouldn't be a taboo subject to suggest that it may not be working for you in the way you expected it to. With most advertisements talking about why you 'need' a coach, you can easily become withdrawn from the coaching process when you don't feel it is working for you. Athletes are a proud breed, always striving to improve but sometimes pride gets in the way. Here we discuss a few different indicators to watch out for that may mean you should sit down and have an honest conversation with your coach.
There are times in your sport, your job or life where you turn to someone else with experience and knowledge to help you progress and develop. All too often we get far beyond that point in our lives before we actually ask for help and when we do, we look back at all the decisions we had subsequently made before seeking guidance and we ask ourselves: "Why did I wait so long?!". Here we explore some tell-tale signs that indicate that it is time for you to stop being self-coached or relying on "free" coaching from clubs and invest in yourself and start working with a coach in a more formal manner.
Ollie Stoten, a long term coached athlete, race team athlete and friend of Tri Training Harder embarked on an adventure in 2016 to cross the Antarctic (1,100miles) with a team of reservists (SPEAR17).
Here we discuss the part of any athletes year of training and how to plan your off season to enable you to have the best possible results for when race season comes around again. It is the part of the training plan so often forgotten simply because it isn't the sexy, racing side!
As athletes we get to that time in the year when all races have been raced and we are in our 'off season'. However, for most of us we notice the only thing that changes is that we have said we are taking an off season. Is that change in approach sufficient? Or should we be more strict on taking time out? Here we discuss the benefits of taking time out and how an off-season can help you to peak higher than you have before.
Unfortunately, those evenings are getting darker and it is the time of year when the racing season is coming to an end for the majority of UK Triathletes. It is a natural time for reflection on all the racing that has passed in 2017.
As Superleague Triathlon hits the shores of the British Isles in Jersey, with its new format and glamorous presentation bringing an almost 'Rock'n Roll' atmosphere to the format of a classic triathlon, we explore if this new kid on the block is here to stay and what it means for the sport.
As Ollie Stoten reflects on his first year as a doctor, he realises it probably hasn't been a normal right of passage. After a successful 2016, we look at how 2017 shaped up for Ollie. Crossing continents, Alpine ranges and smashing race results. Here, both Ollie and his Coach Philip Hatzis candidly reflect on a truly unique season. [Read about how his perspective changed through the race season here]
Ultimately coach development comes down to a mixture of time and experience, applied on top of solid theoretical knowledge. It can be a difficult journey to walk at times and it can seem like there are frustrating barriers in front of coaches, especially for those coaches who are currently coaching on a voluntary basis but wish to take their coaching further.
Have you had a change in circumstances, and now have the potential to do more training or do you have a change that means you need to consider your investment in Triathlon? Have you attained your goals and wish to make a change or try something new?
Having followed Paul's progress right through from winning our competition, to meeting his coach and undertaking his training, Paul's latest and final blog covers his 'A' race; Ironman Austria.
In swimming, we often hear about how important the catch phase is. It is as we understand critical to the success of our stroke. However by far the most common fault amongst our Holiday Guests in Portugal this year was a lack of a finish to their stroke. But why?
Paul shares his thoughts on his second month of coaching with Tri Training Harder....IM Austria is fast approaching, keep reading to see how he is getting on with being coached, using Training Peaks and how it is still changing his mindset.
Tim has been a coached athlete with Tri Training Harder for 12 months and has been working on his psychology and focus during a race - his most recent race at Outlaw Half demonstrates what a positive difference psychology can make to your racing. Here Tim recounts his race preparation and the race itself, reflecting on what went well and what could be improved for the future.
Solid or liquid...nutrition is a personal decision.
We'd usually try to focus on a liquid only strategy for long distance racing due to its simplicity in carrying what you need. However, often we get asked "what happens if I get hungry?!" as people 'need' solids.
Below is the first of Paul's blogs as to what it is like to be a coached athlete with Tri Training Harder - Paul was the winner of our free coaching competition, follow his story and experiences leading up to Ironman Austria!
Psychology and performance, especially in sport go hand in hand [Check out this blog hereabout how we work alongside psychologists for the very best for the athletes in sport and life]. Here Sorrel talks about some great tips and ideas to implement in your sporting toolkit.
“Even a journey of one thousand miles starts with one step”
This is so very true, yet so often forgotten. What is also forgotten is that journeys have an end point or a target end point and so should your training.
Elaine Garvican reflects on her 2016 season. Her coach, Philip Hatzis dissects some of the observations and offers some insights to where changes were made in order to improve her overall performance in the races that mattered.
Over and over again within my coaching, the situation arises where an athlete has questions about test sessions. How do I pace it? How did I do? Did I do it correctly? What does which bit of data mean? At this time of year it may be the case that you are considering where you are at right now.
With so many different ways of fuelling your body and many different options available to the athlete seeking to fuel their training, what actually works? Below we look at a few different methods that we have seen many athletes talking about recently. It is very much down to you to make your opinion of them but remember nutrition is the fourth discipline of triathlon, so you need to get it right!
Strength and Conditioning, three words that are so often bandied about by athletes and sportsmen alike but what does it actually mean and how can it be used to best impact performance?
Competing at sport means putting yourself 'out there'. Rarely do you find a situation where you are so far ahead that you will just win, every personal victory, be it an Olympic gold medal or completing your first park run, means you woke up that day and you had put yourself 'out there'. You set yourself a goal and you did you best to achieve it. You had to answer a question of yourself that only you could answer. You made yourself vulnerable.
‘Injury’ is probably every triathletes least favourite word with 'physio exercises' coming a close second! Yet they are probably also some of the most common! Occasionally we will be told we can't do something. For most of our athletes we rarely "stop" unless we really need to – and that is a final option and we always bring them back as soon as possible. If you do have to stop, pause or limit your training, here are some great bits of advice.