Triathlon, Lewis Hamilton, Tiger Woods, Christmas and taking a rest all in the one blog? Read on...!
This will be my sixth Christmas in Australia... I still have not yet got my head round the fact that it is likely to be hot and sunny.
Speaking of not getting my head around stuff... why are all Christmas decorations sold in Australia covered in snowy scenes? Anyway, I am digressing...
T'is the week before Christmas which means this weekend in WA is a race weekend. Yes, I am racing.
Although the whole of WA seems to be worrying about the weather for the race. Apparently, it might rain, throw a bit of wind and make the sea choppy! Sounds like a normal Triathlon in the North East of England... woohoo!
At the start of this year I promised that I would take more time to rest from coaching.
As most coaches will know, its bloody hard to take that rest.
Athletes are always asking a question, they NEED their plan in place, they need a change to their plan... an athlete picks up a niggle, it needs to be managed...
From a self-employed business perspective... I get an enquiry about something I need to deal with it. The website needs updating. The camp in Mallorca has an issue... deal with it. You get the idea.
Now, I am not certain I am actually getting better at dealing with these stresses, but, I think I am!
I am being more prescriptive with my time management. Check the emails once in the morning, once in the evening during a working day... to be honest, it is quite hard to escape with mobile phones these days. Emails, Facebook Messenger, Skype etc... I have other tools which I am using or bringing in to enable better use of time and reduce stress.
"Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive!" - Elbert Hubbert
I am not complaining. Far from it. I love what I do.
I believe my passion for being a Triathlon Coach, combined with enthusiasm for this amazing sport and for all F4L triathletes to do well is one of my greatest strengths as a coach. That combined with determination to provide a successful daily training environment, my experience as a coach and the knowledge I have gained from various coaching qualifications over the years can only make me a better coach.
That said, I will always continue to further that knowledge so that I can continue to develop as a coach. I want to enable and empower athletes to progress in the sport. I want to inspire them to push themselves, take on new challenges, achieve results and in-turn inspire others.
I have weaknesses... oh bloody hell... I have those!
I am a stress-head... I worry about EVERYTHING... I can get frustrated... I say stupid things from time to time... I always want to be better...
However, I guess when you are passionate about something, that is what happens. But note these are self-criticisms about me... not... criticisms about athletes.
When Lewis Hamilton comes into the pits at the end of a practice run and says, "we need to change the front wing or the rear suspension" he is not criticizing the mechanics, saying they have done a shitty job. He just wants to the car to be faster next time.
Tiger Woods once won a major golf tournament (well lots actually) - but I remember him being interviewed afterwards. The interviewer said, "Well Tiger, that was pretty close to a perfect round of golf." His response, "no such thing!" (obviously the chance of 18 holes in one is rather slim!)... he knows he can improve something next time.
That said, in both the examples above, they love what they do and have a huge smile on their faces when they do well.
Triathletes and their coaches should too!
From a coaching perspective, nothing makes me smile more than seeing an athlete get the result they have worked so hard for. Triathlon is a lifestyle sport. Whilst some triathletes will look for gold medals. Others will be more than happy with completing an event. And everyone else will be somewhere in between!
What I will say is that, I always want the best for athletes... even if, occasionally, it comes out in a piss poor use of English.
If I am correcting your swim stroke... it is a critique... I am not angry or cross. If I assess a race you did and say, "you could have done this better or that was a mistake or perhaps try this next time" I am not cross or disappointed, I just know you can improve next time.
I know I offer many more positives than negatives... and do my best to incorporate the negatives in a 'shit sandwich'. I have said before, many times, "A coach tells you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear."
As a self-employed coach who is passionate about the sport, athletes and his work... it is hard to take that break... even if it is a few days. But over the Christmas period, that is my aim. So apologies if I don't respond to emails, take a while to respond to phone calls and completely ignore social media...
Ok, so that is unlikely to happen in entirety.
"Life was so much simpler when Blackberry and Apple were just fruits!"
And so I am off to watch Star Wars at the cinema, working on my Spanish and hit some golf balls... maybe ride my bike, definitely go for a swim and very likely go for a run! #havingabreak
Paul is a British Triathlon Federation Level 3 Coach. He is also a Triathlon Australia Development Coach and an IRONMAN Certified Coach based in Western Australia. This is what inspires him to coach. F4L Triathlon Coaching offers triathletes a full coaching and training service that caters to all levels of athletes. Every triathlete has a unique performance goals that need to be approached with an individual triathlon coaching program.
Sign up for the newsletter now... we are offering discounts for any new athletes starting in January