Since starting my triathlon coaching in 2001, the triathlon coaching space has changed DRASTICALLY from meeting clients on 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 may 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:
- How many years have you been coaching?
- How many athletes do you coach each year?
- Are your coaching sessions group-based or individual sessions?
- What are your coaching credentials? (Masters Degree, USA Triathlon Certified Coach, Ironman University Coach, etc.)
- Are your coaching credentials up to date?
- Do you have your first aid or CPR, and is it up to date?
- What type of sponsors do you work with if any?
- Who is the specific athlete that you work with?
- Do you have former athletes that I can contact or get testimony from?
- What is the main reason why I should hire you?
Not all coaches will have certification, it really depends upon the area of coaching you are looking for. If the 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. (Total PLUG here for my books:
One of the biggest things I need to emphasize is that it is important 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 important that you feel some type of connection with them. This will be very important if you have to have in-depth and possibly emotionally based conversations. If you feel 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.
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 2020 triathlon season or ANY season for that matter.
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