It’s the time of year when many people start to think about 2016 and their cycling and performance goals. Having a coach in your side can help you on your way to achieving those goals. Having a great coach in your corner leads you, teaches you, helps you, and makes sure you achieve those goals. A good coach and a great coach; there is a difference.
Here at ALP Cycles Coaching, we believe know what a great coach is, but to be sure, we put the question to social media. What makes a great coach? The answers varied and included things like; understanding, common sense, and the ability to explain a plan. The ability to listen and a partner in success. Personality, versatility, and phone calls. Someone you trust. Someone who has the ability to balance goals, personal life, vacations, recovery periods, and work travel. Racing experience. Ability to motivate and encourage. Enthusiasm. Genuine concern for athlete and their progress. Constructive feedback. Helping an athlete recognize their strengths and weaknesses.
With this social media feedback and our own experiences as coaches and as athletes being coached, it would seem that a great coach is a partner and a teammate. A great coach is on your side with your goals in mind showing and teaching you the way to achieve your goals—through thick and thin, through good times and bad.
Interested in a training plan, but not full on coaching? That’s ok! We have you covered. ALP Coach Alison Powers created a 12-week off season training plan complete with strength training exercises, videos, and on bike cadence and leg speed drills. You will not find a more detailed and in depth 3 month training plan. The goal of this off season strength and training plan is to make you are more complete athlete with challenging full body strength and coordination exercises and workouts, and on the bike workouts to increase your leg speed, leg strength, and endurance. Check out the TrainingPeaks training plan here.
We put the question to our ALP coaches. A great coach is someone who is organized, has passion for the sport and it’s athletes and competitors. A great coach has a true desire to help people reach their goals. A great coach is someone who is always learning and striving to be their best by sharing their knowledge and wisdom with their athletes. Someone who is always there for an athlete, no matter if everything goes as planned or if things are a bit difficult. A great coach is always keeping up what her/his athletes are doing and the athlete is never without a plan or communication. A great coach learns from their mistakes and turns failures into successes by practicing what they preach to their athletes. A great coach provides a high level of accountability and is truly invested in their athletes both on and off the bike. A great coach is part physiologist. A great coach is a true teacher of the sport.
When looking for a new coach, many people do not know what to expect from a coach. Why is one coach $150 a month and another one is $300 a month? Other than a training plan to get me fitter and stronger, what else does a coach offer? This is where coaching and coaching services vary- big time. There is no set standard on what a cycling coach should provide. Some coaches provide an excellent training plan but do nothing to teach you how to race the last 5 laps of a criterium so you have the best chance at winning. Some coaches are so excited to help you reach your goals that they don’t take the time to listen to how you are feeling and responding to the training. Some coaches have big names and big business but send out their training plans 2 days late leaving you guessing. You must take it upon yourself to determine what you expect from your coach.
So, what makes a great coach? From the social media feedback and personal experience, for each person a great coach something a little bit different. A great coach to one person may not be a great coach to another person. Each athlete is looking for something different in a partner and a teammate to reach their goals. The most important take away is to find a coach that you know will be your partner, your teammate and will work with you 100% toward your personal goals. 87% is not a great coach- 100% is a great coach.