Posted by on Nov 23, 2013 | 3 Comments

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

There is a misconception out there that success is easily attainable by simply following a standard plan.

If that would be true we all would be equally successful. I am probably going to irritate some folks now by saying that this is luckily not the case. Where is the romance?  I think that athletes need to develop a strong emotional relationship to all goals. The achievement of a goal must mean something very special.

A training plan can be described like a road map that gives directions. But, let’s be honest, how often do things go to plan? Usually, we encounter obstacles on route to the destination–in the athletic world we deal with hard and long training days or other stressors (work/sickness/injury) – which force us to generate enormous amounts of willpower to overcome or to resume a detour.

It’s the rocky way that usually leads to the final destination. The journey to the goal builds the athlete and develops mental and physical skills. There is no short cut or easy way to explore one’s potential. It takes work, time, trust and patience. Why wouldn’t you want to enjoy the journey?

As a coach I am not only giving you a training plan but more importantly trying to help you to create opportunities to find a way to access your own resources (skills, believes) which then can be applied in extreme situations (competition).

My goal is to provide you with the tools to enjoy long-term success. When an athlete learns the ropes of training (interaction between training content and training purpose), appreciates training & race action, and combines it with great desire for the goal, we have created a very powerful foundation for success.

How do you achieve trust in a coaching relationship?

  •  Be reliable (do what you say, be proactive and accountable).
  •  Be honest (for example, tell the truth (if you don’t follow the plan it’s not the coaches fault that you failed to achieve your results),   communicate, share concerns and what the achievement of a goal means to you as an athlete).
  •  Be open (speak your mind, simplify and intensity as need be, explore, provide room for flexibility).
  •  Display loyalty, show integrity and be authentic (i.e. emphasize objectivity & fairness).
  •  Know your coach, his background, his story, his philosophy (select your coach carefully which can help to avoid future trust issues).

I have never witnessed and experienced success when an athlete didn’t show trust in the coach, the training plan and lacked confidence in athletic abilities. You and the coach must from a strong team and work together in order to develop every aspect of a successful coaching relationship. Only then are results attainable.

Torsten Abel

San Francisco

3 Comments

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