Choosing a Triathlon Coach

Jon and I have been on a large triathlon team for the past three years. They’ve been awesome and Jon completed his first Ironman under their guidance. Last year we went the private coaching route and got hooked on the personalized training plans that address individual strengths and weaknesses. We’ve been on the hunt for new coaches for 2015 and came up with the following questions to guide our search. Jon emphasize the importance of not just asking yes or no questions which was a huge help to me as I prepared questions to go chat with a potential coach. Hopefully this can guide you in a search for a coach of any type!

– What is your coaching philosophy and what makes you different from other coaches?

– How many Ironman [or whatever distance you’re focused on] athletes have you coached? What has your experience taught you?

– How many clients do you have at a time? How does that impact your coaching style and responsiveness to clients?

– How do you see increasing volume with managing injury?

– What are you strengths or primary areas of focus as a coach?

– How do you incorporate technique work during the winter? How do you typically work in person review of swim/bike/run technique with your clients? (Frequency / scheduled or ad hoc / etc.)

– How do you identify weaknesses and develop plans to focus improvement on those specific deficiencies?

– What sort of data analysis do you do?

– What is your approach to addressing the mental aspects of training and racing?

[Communication is a critical area for Jon and I so we developed a few questions specific to that area.]

– What is the expected frequency of communication you’ll have with your athletes during training?

– If I have a question for you outside of those pre-scheduled communications are you available by phone, text, or email and what would a typical response time be?

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