I heard a brilliant little nugget of wisdom from Pavel Tsatsouline on the Tim Ferris Show recently. Here is it, paraphrased:
Stop thinking of your athletes as clients and treat them as students.
This simple statement perfectly defines how I want to evolve as a coach this year and what I think the job of a coach is. My job is to educate while offering programming for athletic improvement. All sports coaches do the second part, the programming. But how many coaches out there also do as well at the education part? Not many, including me. Sure, I blog and I write a great newsletter, but that goes out to everyone. I don’t have an education track that’s in-house and customized to my athlete’s needs.
I ask all my athletes what they want to learn more about. Mostly it’s nutrition, gear, and race strategy. In fact, I don’t have a single athlete that didn’t list nutrition as a weak point in one form or another. And that is something I am great at. It makes perfect sense to work hard in 2015 to maximize my strengths in a way that benefits my athletes, not to mention the development of our new coach.