To achieve the rank of professional coach, a candidate generally needs years of coaching experience and a winning record at a university. Some coaches may not have previous experience as coaches, but, nevertheless, they are hired at a professional level because of their success as athletes in their sport. So what makes a coach a good coach? It takes painstaking work to find the right person, someone you like, respect and who has the necessary knowledge to help you in your goals. The coach who works for your best friend may not be the right one for you.
Keep this in mind and do your research. Coaches must see beyond the physical and perceive beyond the basics. They must look at the details and analyze how to improve their athletes beyond what they consider possible. Understanding all aspects of performance, both mental and physical, isn't easy and can be tiring.
Successful coaches stay attentive, aware, and understand the spoken and unspoken needs of their athletes. Coaches are good at gathering information and then clarifying it for the person being trained. They typically have strong listening skills, including active listening. If you're a parent who works full time and has four children, hiring someone who has similar life experiences or who works with athletes like you will help you understand the schedule you need.
When hiring a coach, start by asking your fellow athletes and local stores for recommendations, or consult a directory such as TrainingPeaks or a coach directory from the national governing body (NBG). A coach instructs people about the skills of a sport and can train an amateur or professional team or athlete. The process should take a couple of weeks of checking references and interviewing different training options. Off the field of play, coaches study team statistics and images from previous practices and games, and work with athletes to improve their performance.
Progress is the most important thing, and if the athlete doesn't feel that he is making progress, he should be able to ask the coach to give him his opinion on how to change things. Great coaches and coaching leaders are happy, if not thrilled, when the person they're training achieves something. It has been said that coaches should never offer opinions, but should only ask questions to guide the person being trained on the subject. The most important attribute of any coach is that they want to help the person or people they are training to learn.
Training is awakening, developing and improving skills and performance, but there are even more responsibilities that are fundamental. When looking for a coach, spend some time asking him how he can tell you how realistic your goals are and what you should do to improve your swimming, cycling or running. TrainingPeaks offers an easy way to find the right coach for your needs with its Coach Match program. There are three levels of training certification within USAT, with Level 3 being the highest and relatively rare.