Jen Rulon

Since starting my triathlon coaching in 2001, the triathlon coaching space has changed DRASTICALLY from meeting clients to a weekly basis to chatting with them via phone, to FaceTime or Zoom Chats with triathletes all over the world. Honestly, I LOVE this change because now I get to coach athletes around the globe from Texas to Canada to Mexico to Sweden. My cup runneth over….

When hiring a triathlon coach, whether they meet you face to face or online, you are going to be shelling out some good cash.  Remember, this is an investment for YOU because you want to improve. Right? I realized that NOT everyone might like the change of being completely online, so I started thinking about questions that you may want to ask a potential triathlon coach. And honestly, these questions could be the right questions to ask for hiring ANY online coach.

Here are some typical questions you might like to use:

  1. How many years have you been coaching?
  2. How many athletes do you coach each year?
  3. Are your coaching sessions group based or individual sessions?
  4. What are your coaching credentials? (Masters Degree, USA Triathlon Certified Coach, Ironman University Coach, etc.)
  5. Are your coaching credentials up to date?
  6. Do you have your first aid or CPR, and is it up to date?
  7. What type of sponsors do you work with if any?
  8. Is there a specific athlete that you work with?
  9. Do you have former athletes that I can contact or read any testimonies?
  10. What is the main reason why I should hire you?

Not all coaches will have certification; it depends upon the area of coaching you are looking for. If coaching is health related, then the coach should have some form of accreditation. If the coach offers self-publishing programs, then it only makes sense that they would have books published. I would check out those books for sure.

One of the biggest things I need to emphasize is that it is essential not to settle for the first coach you come across. Ideally, you want to interview at least three different coaches. Always ask them for references.

Your coach will be working with you on a personal level, and this is why it is crucial that you feel some connection with them. This will be very important if you have to have in-depth and possibly emotionally based conversations. If you think that you can’t open up with them, your money is going to be wasted.

Any prospective coach is going to want to know your reasons for hiring a coach. Make sure your objectives and goals are clear, write them out in depth so you can explain them clearly. A potential coach should be expected to get an interview and not be on the defense. If they do, as Jeff Foxworthy says, “Here’s Your Sign…”

Remember, you are hiring a coach for a reason. To improve and if you don’t want the feedback. Working with a coach is a two-way street. You need to know what to expect, and you must be willing to take criticism as well as advice. Sometimes growing internally involves hearing things you really don’t want to.

I hope these questions help you as maybe you are looking for a coach heading into the 2019 triathlon season or ANY season for that matter.

Check out this chart that I put together to find out if you and I should be a fit? Super stoked about it! Click the photo to download it from my DropBox, but it will ONLY work if you download it :) 






AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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