I recently spoke at USA Triathlon’s Art & Science Symposium and then sat on a panel where the five coaches were asked, “What is your coaching philosophy?” In answering, all the coaches admitted that this is a tough question to answer. I have always felt this way as there are so many complexities to coaching and no one-size-fits-all formula. I have admittedly asked potential EF coaches this question during an interview to watch them squirm. I have never really heard a great answer.
The typical answer usually discusses energy systems, physiological progressions, and periodization models. These are important concepts but don’t really separate one coach from another. If you don’t understand these concepts, you really don’t have any business coaching. I believe this question is looking more for what makes one coach unique compared to another.
For me, my coaching philosophy is grounded in trust. Without a trusting relationship between athlete and coach, there is no foundation on which to make progress. My coaching career began in the pool teaching swim lessons to young children. I would often spend multiple sessions simply building trust – trust that I would not let that child drown. Until this was established, there was no sense attempting to swim. Coaching athletes is no different – before we can make any progress, the athlete needs to know that I care about them, have their best interest at heart, and won’t let them fail.
Trust is the foundation of all coaching.
Head Coach, Founder