The coaching process has a distinct flow to it once it gets going. At the very start it’s all about understanding the architecture of the work with the athlete.
It’s important to view the following diagram correctly. You could actually see it as two people working together for the common goal, but in fact it’s more of an underpinning, or support role. Always the work should be athlete-centric.
Once we understand the structure of the relationship we can get to work…..
1. Initial discussion. Discuss the athlete’s goals. Understand their particular situation. Find out their perceived strengths and weaknesses
2. Planning. This initial strategy is about pulling together the recipe. How much will the athlete train, where will they train, what will they train. This phase also involves working backwards from the major goal towards the start. It means setting stepping stone goals along the way and it sets up all the processes of the working arrangement.
3. Programming. The meat and potatoes. Setting training mixes, testing for the athletes power and pace profile, getting the week right according to the goals.
4. Load management. Managing the load correctly so we are using the 4 basic training principles to improve. Overload, adaptation, specificity and reversibility. Testing along the way that we are on track so we can adjust training as needed
5. Athlete management. This is all about the athlete as a human. Making sure they have everything in place to perform and train. Financial considerations, life balance, stable ecosystem, fun.
6. Skills and technique. The way the athlete moves determines how fast they will move. Skills and technique particular to the individual athlete’s personal fingerprint is the key to success.
7. Race preparation. A well prepared athlete is a well performed athlete. The athlete should have the skills to travel, eat well, manage a budget whilst away, communicate with the coach, be prepared physically so they give themselves the best chance of success.
8. Race. The main game. Maintain a process over outcome mindset. Think about what they have to do under fatigue and pressure and execute with clarity of mind.
Reflect and feedback to the coach
Start the process again and get better.