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To be coached, or not to be coached, that is the question

By Mike Cameron. On Dec 14, 2012.

If you look at any of the great performers out there you will find a common thread…. they all have a coach.  I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure if I needed a coach as there are so many resources online and, after all, it’s not like I’m training to win.  I’m training to finish.  Well, this will, by far, be the most challenging physical thing I have ever done in my life and I’ll be damned if I am going to screw it up by thinking that I can do it on my own.  I decided I needed a coach to help set me up to successfully complete this race.

I scheduled an appointment with our swim group instructor and Mission 3 Triathlon Club coach, Craig Murdoch, toward the end of November.  We met for about 30 minutes and discussed some of the different coaching options from a budget as well as a need standpoint.  The following is an excerpt from their website outlining the two main options we discussed:

The Monthly Program
Are you a creature of habit? Do you like the idea of seeing your progressions over a one month period? This program is designed for those who are committed and able to complete their workouts on a strict routine. There is no limit on the amount of communication between athlete and coach.
Costs – $150 PAY NOW
Plan duration – 4 weeks

The Weekly Program
Need a little more flexibility in the design of your program? This may be the right option for you. This program is meant for individuals that require a training schedule that will reflect a weekly changing routine. There is no limit on the amount of communication between athlete and coach.
Costs – $200.00 PAY NOW
Plan duration – 4 weeks

Well, given how crazy my schedule can be I decided that I definitely needed the more flexible option and decided I would go with the weekly plan.  We agreed that I would start on the December first weekend and that we would check in on Sundays via email to assess the previous week and setup the schedule for the next week.

It was interesting that the weekend after that meeting we had our annual CAAMP conference where Joe Theisman was one of the keynote speakers.  He did a great job with a rousing motivational speech over the Monday lunch.  One of the things that struck me was when he talked about the fact that his ego started getting in his way.  He went on to say “You will not be a success if you think you can do it alone!”.  What a great affirmation of what I had already decided.

So here we are almost finished week two of my training plan and I am definitely grateful I made the decision to hire a coach.  The benefits are immense and it is so nice to have the confidence to know that someone with knowledge and experience in the sport I am taking on will be with me, guiding me along the way.  To have someone to reach out to with questions as I make my way through 2013 heading into race day in August is such a fantastic feeling.  Having someone who will simply tell me what to do and when to do it makes things so much easier.  The knowledge that I am following a path to success that has been traveled many times before gives me great comfort.  I often lament that sometimes I wish I could find the same simple path in business to get me where I want our organization to go.  I have really started searching for that path, though I think it is definitely a path less traveled than the road to Challenge Penticton.

I think the key benefit for me is the fact that I now have someone to be accountable to with respect to completing my workouts.  It makes it a whole lot tougher to skip a day when I know that on Sunday I am accountable to report on my week.  Last week was our company Christmas party and I can assure you that on Sunday I did not feel, at all, like completing the 2 hour long workout that had been scheduled for me.  Knowing I had to report into Craig is what ensured that I actually got that one done.

What are some of your experiences, either coaching or being coached?  What are some of your best learning/teaching moments that came out of that experience?  Please share in the comments section.

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