Coaching vs. Training

At this time of the year it is not uncommon to receive enquiries from athletes regarding a perceived "lack of progress" from training. There are many different reasons behind why an athlete may hit a plateau in their training programme, which we plan to revisit in a later blog post. This blog post, however, looks into why using a coach may help to enhance your overall training routine and help you towards your goals.

1. Focus

A coach can bring a renwed sense of focus, not only to the training itself but also to the key aspects outwith the purely physical effort of training. Coaches analyse vast amounts of data that an athlete provides and work with them to identify areas where improvements can be made such as nutrition, recovery and strength & conditioning. A good coach should focus on developing the groundwork and support structure for the athlete to deliver their best performance(s) when it really matters.

2. Structure and Self Discipline

Most athletes who have been coached at some stage in their career will admit that training to a structured programme results in more commitment to the training sessions. Knowing that a coach is analysing and planning the training programme on a regular basis as well as providing feedback directly to the athlete leads to improved self-discipline. The old mantra of 'getting it done' comes into play as athletes are more inclined to complete the training whereas previously they may have had a plethora of excuses to skip that particular one.

3. Motivation

A good coach should be a good motivator. Whether it is motivating an athlete to complete a tough session on a day when the athlete isn't at their best or picking them up after a poor performance ready for the next one, a coach is there to help the athlete be the best they can be. A large part of this is the mental training and support that allows an athlete to get the best out of themselves on a near daily basis. With today's technology it becomes ever easier to keep in touch on a close one to one basis and ensure a strong understanding is in place to help nurture the coach / athlete relationship.

4. In-depth Analysis

A lot of athletes, when starting out on a self-prescribed training programme, will reach for a plethora of websites, articles, podcasts and books to learn as much about their data as possible. Whilst this is a positive approach it can snowball very quickly and become overwhelming in terms of the sheer volume of information, advice and tips available. How do you know what is right or best for you as the athlete? A coach allows for this to be taken out of the athletes hand saving them time and stress whilst providing the specific feedback, advice and planning needed for the athlete to continue their development.

5. Knowledge

Coaches sacrifice time and money to learn their trade. Their knowledge is built up over a vast array of training seminars, on-the-job courses, examinations etc. A coach has a passion for their sport(s) and the development of their athletes to perform to the highest of their ability. They have a thirst for knowledge and a drive to share this with their athletes to get the best from the people they are working with. Use their knowledge and experience to tailor and perfect your training plan.

At Soper Performance Coaching we are driven by a passion to see our athletes deliver to the best of their ability which is why all of our athletes are on bespoke training plans specially designed to their needs. You won't find us prescribing generically made training plans.

Interested in finding out more how we can help you become the best cyclist you can be? Feel free to get in touch for a no obligation call.

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