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Find a coach who cares
by on Monday, December 16, 2013  (2 comments)


"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." - John Wooden

Recently, I received a request from someone who wanted me to coach her daughter. In the end, I had to say no. I won't get into the details but it just wasn't a good fit. I didn't feel like my working with this individual would have been in her best interest. More than picking up another client, I wanted to see her do her best. Even in declining to coach her, I cared about her as a runner and as a person and wanted to see her get what was best for her. It's always hard to turn someone down but sometimes it's in their best interest.

I don't often write about the topic of coaching or coaches on the blog because I'm afraid people might get the impression that I'm interested in self promotion. That's not what this is about. It's just a statement of what I believe is the most important aspect of being a coach and, if you are thinking of getting a coach, one thing I truly hope you will think a lot about before hiring anyone.

If your coach doesn't care for you, is your coach going to invest enough of him/herself to really help you get the most out of your running? Is your coach going to give enough attention to the details of your personal life that make you different from every other runner in the world and build your training plan to work around that life? Is your coach going to be paying enough attention to adjust that plan as unforeseen circumstances present themselves? Is your coach going to be personally invested in your success?

If not, what are you paying for?

There are many coaches out there. There are varying degrees of knowledge, from those who are true masters of the sport to those who have only been involved in the sport for a few years. As important as it is to pick someone who has deep and broad knowledge of the sport and how to succeed in it, it's also important to pick someone who is going to care about you as an individual and is going to be personally invested in you. There are coaches out there who meet both qualifications. If you're looking to hire a coach, make sure you're picking one of them.

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I think you made a good call there. From coaching xc in the past I can kind of imagine what your reservations were.

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I'm sure most people who have been in coaching could fill in at least some of the details but the details don't really matter in this case. What matters, in my opinion, is how you respond. I want this girl to succeed and the best way to help her succeed in this case was for me to not get involved. Sure, I could have taken on the "easy" client but it wasn't in her best interest and her best interest is my only interest. In my opinion, any worthwhile coach would do the same.

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