From the BarryS Coaching Training Library

Why Should I Hire a Coach? - Part 1

by Barry Stokes

As a Triathlete who may be considering a Coach hire you want the answer to the question: “Why Should I Hire a Coach?”

A triathlon coach plays a wide variety of roles in their Athlete’s training life. The first part of this 2-part article will hit on a few of the roles a competent Coach plays throughout the training and race season. Next month Part 2 will provide a few additional roles a Coach plays and provide a few tips and questions for interviewing Coaches.

Who should consider hiring a Coach? Athletes hopeful of doing their first triathlon, those with the goal of qualifying for Nationals or World Championships, Athletes hoping to PR and still others hopeful of increasing their race distance to Olympic, 70.3 or 140.6 could benefit from the mentoring a qualified, certified Coach can provide. Some Athletes tired of training the same way year-after-year and getting the same unsatisfactory results could benefit from some Coach provided structure. Other seasoned athletes with limited training time may want to stop spending “family time” writing their training plan and turn that responsibility over to a professional. Having been a Coached Athlete for many years and now a Coach with multiple Coaching Certifications, 10+ successful years of Coaching Experience, a few hundred Ironman Athlete finishers and over 1000 Coached Athlete triathlon, running and cycling race finishes at varying distances, I know personally and from communication with our athletes there are real benefits to using a qualified, professional Triathlon Coach with appropriate Industry Certifications.

We asked many Coached athletes (Athletes coached both by BarryS Coaching and other Coaches) – Why Did You Hire a Coach?

To follow are the top reasons:

  1. Accountability – When an athlete knows a Professional who is invested in their success and has an expectation of workout execution will be looking at Post Workout metrics seems to get the workout completed. The extra set of eyes seems to provide added motivation for the athlete to complete their scheduled workout. One of our athletes told me “a large part of my 2016 Ironman success was because you were looking over my shoulder and you had high expectations of me”.
  2. Professionalism – Many of our athletes are busy professionals; lawyers, doctors, business executives, teachers, stay-at-home parents, brokers – stock, housing, futures, etc. As Professional Coaches ourselves we are trained to manage and manipulate workouts to deliver the biggest “bang-for-the-buck” possible maximizing the Athlete’s time.
  3. Structure – As Professional Coaches, we are trained to understand Training Phases - Base/Aerobic, Strength/Endurance, Speed/Endurance, etc. and Cycles – Macro, Micro so we know when and how to build training plan progressions to minimize injury and maximize advancement toward the Athlete’s goal(s). 100% of our athletes want this knowledge and training structure. A couple of our athletes said “I hired you so I could stop obsessing about my workouts and be the employee I was being paid to be and the parent I wanted to be”. Another said “I hired you to provide focused, effective workouts rather than using my rambling, chase the next ‘end-all-to-beat-all’ workout in my self-written plan”.
  4. Injury Prevention – Some of our Athletes come to injured. As a Professional Coach one of our primary goals is to get the athlete to the start line healthy! Given two choices approaching the start line of a race – 1. undertrained and healthy or 2. Fit and injured; I’ll always err to #1, undertrained and healthy. Coaches are trained to see the subtle changes in an athletes’ daily metrics which may indicate impending injury or illness. We build training plans with careful and natural progressions, we pay attention to daily metrics so the athletes remain as healthy and fit as possible.

Why Should I Hire a Coach? - Part 2


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