One of my New Year's resolutions was to make sure that I treated myself more like an elite athlete! Ok, that hasn't come out quite how I meant it to... what I mean is that as a coach, when should I take a rest day?
Its something that came up a couple of times towards the end of 2016, and is actually really important. I have spoken with one of my coach mentors, other coaches, also with my wife, also with the athletes themselves.
As a coach, I am always monitoring when an athlete needs a rest day or a break from their training program, but being as passionate about what I do it is very easy to forget to rest myself. This is something I am sure other coaches around the world have come across. Certainly I struggle with making sure I get enough rest. There are reasons that I struggle to stop:
- When you have athletes racing... you want to know how everyone is doing.
- I want to be there at every session
- I want to respond to emails as quick as possible
- You want to be, at least available, for your athletes if ANYTHING goes wrong
- Ideally I want to be with them at a race - I am part of their triathlon journey
- I care about how they perform
- It can be easier to debrief them post race if you are there with them
I have been accused in the past of 'wearing my heart on my sleeve.' I do. That's who I am. I care about what I do, I care about my athletes and how they perform. I also have genuine care for their well-being, so if they need picking up from a date, I do. If they need a lift home, I will. If they need taking to hospital, I will. Being a coach does not stop after you have left the pool deck. It is a 24/7 relationship. I only want the best for my athletes, for them to enjoy the sport and achieve what they want to achieve. Sorry, if people don't like that in a coach. I know that it is one of my strengths (giving a shit)... but I also know it can be one of my weaknesses. No one is, or ever will be, more critical of me as a coach... than me.
I know, this week I have not been on top form with my coaching... I know why (Tyler but also some stress and general fatigue). So I apologise... I will be better. But to do that, to be better, stronger, more efficient and effective I have to stick to my New Year's resolution.
So, I am planning to take a regular day off each week - and do something non Triathlon... possibly Golf if anyone fancies a round (did I tell you I once played off a handicap of 16 and then gave it up to be a swimmer - another story!). I am also planning to switch my phone and computer off at a certain time each night. In addition I need to make sure that I occasionally take a weekend off.
- Be it Stef in Dubai on a bike having been unable to swim / bike or run for a while... enjoying the 70.3 Relay experience
- Or Caitlin, Kendall and Clancy winning at the Australia Day triathlon in WA.
- Perhaps Sveta getting a medal on the same day...
- Or Piera and Eleta enjoying (?) completing their races
- Then down at Busso (I did sneak out the holiday house for an hour to go and watch and show support) - the juniors: Clancy, Trigg and Lucy raced well (you could see the learning sinking in).
- Well done too Kendall and also Maddy for finishing 2nd in the WA State Olympic Distance race (guess the training camp did work!) for having good races there too.