Happy New Year!  I hope 2016 was everything you wanted it to be, but I also hope it left you wanting more for this year!  Now is the time of year that you need to capitalize on your training time and continue to increase your fitness if you want to begin the new season stronger than ever!  Below are some reasons why a coach is beneficial and why you should considering hiring one to ensure your next season is as successful as possible.  Remember too, cycling coaches are not just for the professional athlete.  I have worked with athletes who are literally just swinging their legs over the top tube for the first time!

A coach sees the forest for the trees

Most athletes who hire me have 1 request: “I want to be faster!”.  This is of course what the end result and goal of coaching is, but this should not be the sole focus.  Training is not just riding your bike and killing yourself day after day.  You need to have balance and take rest days, utilize active recovery spins and not think of them as a waste of time, foam roll and stretch, and make sure you are not showing signs of overtraining before it gets too late.  All too often I have seen athletes get really into cycling and just completely bury themselves with their training so by the time June rolls around they are too fatigued to even perform at a decent level.  Having a ton of form is no good if you cannot capitalize on all of your hard work due to being overly fatigued.  So, seeing the tree of “getting faster” is important, but seeing the forest of cycling is bigger still.

A coach is not just someone who prescribes workouts

I think the biggest difference a coach can make to the athlete is being a positive mentor and leading by example.  Yes, the athlete needs to be prescribed workouts to improve, but they also need to be motivated to keep on track.  The coach should be someone the athlete looks up to; they should be practicing what they preach!

A coach increases your learning curve

The coach you choose should be someone who is invested in his/her education and has a passion for teaching.  Imagine starting a business and having access to Bill Gates or Mark Cuban to heed advice from and ask questions to.  Granted, not every coach has the credentials as these two, but when you hire a coach you are also hiring a wealth of information that is readily accessible.

A coach simplifies your life

Numerous athletes have told me they like the fact that their workout for the day is waiting in their e-mail box and they can look ahead to see what is coming up.  The athlete does not have to use resources thinking or questioning what they should be doing, planning for their season, or ensuring what they are doing is actually having a positive effect.  Instead, they can just focus on improving and save their energy for what matters!

A coach keeps you accountable

If you miss an appointment, you can bet the receptionist will give you a call to ask about your whereabouts.  The same is true when you hire a coach.  If you miss a workout it is their job to call you out on it (of course there are times when missing a workout is acceptable).  Even better is that the coach can modify the athlete’s training block to assure they continue to improve.

A coach gets you to where you want to be

Having trouble getting that category upgrade, improving your finishing time, or even snagging that Strava KOM?  A coach can dissect what it is that you are doing, what your event requires you to do, and what needs to be changed to get you to your goal in the most efficient and effective way possible.

So, in 2017 quit banging your head against the same wall and make this the year when you ride that first century, win the race you have always wanted, or just look better clad in Lycra!

GET IN TOUCH WITH US!

About the Author Shayne Gaffney

Shayne holds a bachelors degree in biology, is a USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, USA Olympic Committee Safe Sport Certified, and a Category 3 road and cyclocross racer. He is the owner of GC Coaching and the creator and director of P2 Cycling. He can be contacted directly via info@gaffneycyclingcoaching.com

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