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November 25, 2008

Thoughts on coaching…

I am formalising my coaching program at the moment with the eye on a launch for Jan 1st, 2009. I have a name and the basis which I want to coach off, and have put a limit to the number of athletes I can realistically deal with to start on each level which I want to be involved with people.

I want to coach on 3 levels of interaction with guys, and basically, the more interaction you want, the more you need to invest in me. It’s a relationship which goes both ways.

The best athletes never seem to make the best coaches. I have only had relative success as a triathlete and I don’t consider myself an elite level athlete. Never have been and never will be. I am what you would call an elite age grouper and enjoy my time there. Its a good balance for me. I have a huge hunger for knowledge and I have been blessed enough to have regular access and spent time with guys like Gordo , Joe Friel and James Cunnama , all 3 are established coaches and ultimately were very successful at implementing their strategies. Thousands of successful athletes will quote you these guys as their source of happiness. They all focus on a balanced lifestyle, not just the finishline.

My basic philosophy for coaching can be summed up as follows:

“Has your life improved because I am partnering with you to achieve your goals?”

I don’t care if you win races. I want my teachings to positively influence every piece of your life. I want you to live a balanced life. I want you to have a girlfriend who loves you because you are becoming an Ironman. I want you to be happy and energetic when race week comes.

I also don’t want to coach everybody. I want to coach athletes who have discipline and the ability to listen. Athletes who want a better life, not just a result. Athletes who are patient and realise that they might have to go slow before they go “relatively” fast in endurance racing.

I have spent the last few years digging for knowledge and the same thing comes up time and time again.

“There is no easy way” is the famous line from Epic Camp. I have to agree. If you want an easy sport, try lawn bowls or darts. You can drink, smoke and be fat and still be a world champion. You can have middle names like “The Power” and be wildly popular among overweight British slappers.

We prefer triathlon because it improves our lives. Because it’s hard. But it needn’t be stupid. You needn’t kill yourself out there everyday to come home tired and irritable, hating your sport and being an idiot to your loved ones. You needn’t doubt yourself all the time. Surely your sport should be the antithesis of tired, unconfident and unmotivated?

So if you are interested in being coached please drop me a line at raoul@urban-ninja.co.za and we can discuss your individual needs for next year.

3 Comments on “Thoughts on coaching…

James Cunnama
November 25, 2008 at 11:51 am

Honoured to be held in the company of such great coaches!

I agree with you 100%! Triathlon, and life, should always be about balance. And everyone’s balance is found in a different mix of all aspects of life. For some an 80% focus on triathlon is just what they need, for others squeezing triathlon into only 20% of their daily energy expenditure will provide them all the balance, motivation and fitness they require.

It takes an objective and knowledgeable assessment in order to find this balance, and for most this is where the coach’s real value lies.

Find yourself a coach who understands you, your lifestyle and your goals and you will find yourself true happiness and balance in your triathlon and life. And the results you want will follow.

J

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Raoul
November 25, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Hey J.

first off – will fix the spelling of your surname. DOH!

I learnt some of my best lessons about race week prep from you this year and hope to increase my involvement in the next year with you. You are on my list of people to invest in, as we share alot of the same vision.

I have no doubt that in the next year, with the guidance of an awesome new coach and a new structure that provides you with the support you deserve, that you will be taking on new heights in your career. Not just for Kona, but for life.

Its an honor to know you. Raoul

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Marilu
November 25, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Aaaaah! boys, you give me happy tears…

Being a nubi, i have so much to learn still and know that I will crawl a while before i walk and run like you do. It is great to be in the company of you both and to be able to learn through YOUR falts will make my journey so much easier. Thank you both for making them and voicing them to us.

Happy training days.
Urban Angel ML

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