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Cobbled Coaching: A cycling coach

We have all had experiences with different coaches, had ones who we work well with but also ones who we haven’t clicked so well with.

We have seen riders who are struggling with their training and haven’t wanted to speak to their coach about it because they were scared to let them down but this isn’t the point of having a coach. The aim is to make you a better rider and reach your goals. So we thought that we would write a short post about what we think is needed to have that perfect coach-athlete relationship that will aid you in your road to success.

Communication

It may seem like a simple one but your coach should be somebody who you can phone or text whenever there is a problem. Somebody who you can talk to about life stress, work or anything that might have an affect on your performance. Having this communication will allow your coach to thoroughly have an understanding as to why your performance was lacking or excelling or if you need some extra rest. If you feel like the efforts were too easy or too hard or that you didn’t feel yourself on the bike or when you woke up in the morning. These could all be indicators of something that you might overlook as a rider such as the beginning of sickness. It is so easy to get in a routine of doing whatever is on your TrainingPeaks but it takes a real rider to understand his or hers body and know the limit and be able to communicate that with your coach. At the end of the day, you are the only person who can really feel your body and your limits.

Trust

Now we have spoken about communication, it is important to trust coach is doing the right thing for you. To develop this trust you can ask what the purpose behind the session is, so that you can have a full understanding as to how it is going to benefit you. If you feel the need to add an extra 30 mins on the end of your training session because you feel as if you haven’t done enough then this is showing a lack of trust within the coach-athlete relationship and something that should be addressed.

Feedback

Having positive feedback when a session has been completed good can be a huge motivator to many riders, whilst having constructive criticism can also push them into trying harder in the future. Providing the rider with thoughts of the session that they have just done can make a massive difference in the long term.

Availability

We believe that a coach should be available to talk as much as possible. Technology is so advanced these days, we can communicate with riders over in Australia in a matter of seconds. If a rider has a knee pain in the middle of a session and doesn’t know what to do about it, it is important that the coach is available to reach to offer advise and guidance. This is a big step in developing the coach - athlete relationship!

There are so many factors that contribute to a successful relationship between rider and coach. It can take time or it can happen instantaneously but we have found that trust will be developed and reinforced when stepping stones/ goals have been accomplished.

Having a coach is an investment and can be very expensive but we like to see it as an investment into your career. You wouldn’t want to invest in something that wasn’t going to be beneficial for you in the long term so it is very important to look around, ask questions and enquire before choosing you want to work with.

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