Jen Rulon

Sidenote: This can apply to any coach, whether it is a run coach, triathlon coach, cycling coaching, etc. If you are looking for a business coach and need to ask questions, you can easily use the top 5 questions, along with 8, 9, and 10. I hope that helps you on your journey whether you are looking for a potential coach in the triathlon or fitness space or a business coach! Want to get on a call with me? Click HERE!

How to Interview a Coach 

Since starting my triathlon coaching in 2001, the triathlon coaching space has changed DRASTICALLY from meeting clients weekly 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, you will be shelling out some good cash, whether they meet you face-to-face or online. 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 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.

Top 10 Questions to Ask a Coach 

Here is a list of questions that I came up with. Comment below to share what you ask! 

  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? (Master’s 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. Who is the specific athlete that you work with?
  9. Do you have former athletes that I can contact or get testimony from? 
  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. The coach should have some form of accreditation if the coaching is health-related. 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. Check out the books I put together with and without a publisher. 

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, so it is essential that you feel some connection with them. This will be very important if you have to have in-depth and possibly emotionally based conversations. Your money will be wasted if you think you can’t open up with them.

Any prospective coach will want to know your reasons for hiring a coach. So make sure your objectives and goals are clear and write them out in-depth so you can explain them clearly. 

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 be willing to take criticism and advice. Sometimes growing internally involves hearing things you don’t want to. 

I hope these questions help you, as maybe you are looking for a coach heading into the 2023+ triathlon season, or ANY season for that matter.

Being a Coach and a Friend with Ana Voss
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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