Is having a coach worth it?
The answer is, drumroll please, it depends! Believe it or not, ability is not a prerequisite for myself, or any of my other coaches to work with you. In fact, I’d say ability isn’t ever something I particularly look at when taking an athlete on. When I do, it’s not to determine if the person is “fast enough” to be with us, but rather to determine what coach will be able to serve your needs best.
If ability is not a prerequisite, what is? I do have a few traits that I do look at in potential athletes. The first is the promise to work hard. However, don’t confuse this with training faster or more that’s on your schedule! That’s not hard work, that’s just running as hard as you can without understanding the nuances of training.
Working hard is following the plan to your best of your ability, not finding ways out of doing workouts, skipping runs without reason, and just expecting fitness to come to you.
This leads to the second trait is to buy into the philosophy. To follow the plan in principle. I know that things can be out of our control and adjustments need to be made, but just not doing something because it’s different from what you are used to doesn’t help you, or your coach. Going rogue on a plan means you don’t trust me, the philosophy, or yourself. Change in training is uncomfortable, but not believing in what you are doing almost guarantees failure. I am not saying it’s my way or the highway, but there has to be agreement by both parties in regards to what you are doing.
Lastly, there has to be communication. You’d think it would be easy with all the technology surrounding us, but you wouldn’t believe how many times I have been ghosted by athletes for weeks. Then like a flair in the night, I get a response (and it’s usually- I am hurt) Talk to me, I promise I won’t scold you like a child! I may give you some tough love, but I desperately want to know what’s going on.
Pillars of a Coach
Of course, the flipside of all of this is, what should you be looking for in a coach? Well, some of the same things. The big thing is communication. With our platform, Final Surge, it’s easy to comment on workouts to put context into workouts. I do my best to at least acknowledge a workout that I get notified about.
As an athlete, it’s good to know that someone is at least looking at what I am doing.
Commenting on workouts is a huge start because we can discuss directly about a workout within your training log. It allows for easy adjustments and teaching points.
Another big thing I feel a coach has to be able to do for you is to explain themselves. They are in charge of your training, your health, and your ability to perform at the highest level. If you have questions, they should be able to answer, or at least, provide resources to give you answers. This allows your ability as an athlete to buy into the system a lot easier, no?
The third thing I’d look for is their ability to modify your situation. In reality, we are unique, but our situations usually are not. Given that, a good coach knows those different situations and can keep their training philosophy, but adjust it to a variety of situations.
Overall, having a coach is vital, as long as both athlete and coach are present.
If the athlete isn’t present, the coach gradually just stops taking interest.
If the coach is not present the athlete doesn’t buy in. In both situations it’s a lost opportunity and, more than likely, will end up in a poor experience for both. Now, I recognize that paying for a coach is a big decision, so I would really weigh the things we have talked about today. For us at LHR, we have recognized that paying for a coach can be expensive and so we’ve really tried to provide options for all price points. To see all the options, check out our page www.lukehumphreyrunning.com/coaching We also have a standard first 14 days free with our Bronze, Silver, and Gold options. This is to make sure it’s the right fit for you. If you are thinking about coaching, check out this page and we’d be happy to guide you in the right direction.