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Virtually Coaching

  • By Lance Watson
  • Published Apr 6, 2012
Illustration by Hunter King.


Do your homework

There are coaching schools, certification programs and continuing education for coaches. Coaches can have a wide background of learning and university degrees—often in physiology, kinesiology or human performance, but also education and nutrition—coupled with years of experience working in single-sport or multisport fields.

» University education: A degree in sport science or related field is a big benefit to understanding the elements of athletics and performance.

» Coaching certification: Is he or she USAT-certified or similar? This will be one indicator of experience and knowledge levels.

» Track record: How long has he or she coached, and to what level of success?

» Additional certifications: Does the coach have additional certifications in nutrition, strength and conditioning, psychology, etc.?

» Experience coaching athletes in person: This is where a coach acquires technical coaching skills and understanding of the finer points of biomechanics and physical adaptation to training.

» Experience in online coaching: How much experience does he or she have coaching online, which requires a different skill set?

» Triathlon background: Does your coach have racing experience, and does he or she train? Experience competing and training, specifically in triathlon, enhances the coach’s understanding of what the athlete goes through.

» Roster size: Work with a smaller athlete base number, ensuring more attention to your needs.

It’s always a good idea to get references or to ask other athletes about their experiences. Most coaches are in triathlon because they are as passionate as you are about the sport and the potential for individual success. Open the door to coaching and see where you can go!

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