What should you look for in a cycling coach?

What should you look for in a cycling coach?

When you're looking for a cycling coach, do you know what to look for to get the best coach to suit you? Qualifications? Experience? Status? Devlin and Brad discuss things to look out for or to investigate when choosing the right coach for you.

If you're looking for cycling coaching be sure to check out the CoachParry Cycling Coaching Packages or join the CoachParry Training Platform.

Otherwise, have a listen to the podcast below to find out what you should look for in a cycling coach.

What are you training for?

Simply click on any of the images below to access our cycling training programmes.

Transcription

 

BRAD
Welcome back to the next edition of RIDE with Coach Parry. I'm Brad Brown, we've got our cycling coach with us once again, Dev, nice to touch base once again.

DEVLIN
Hi Brad, thanks. Good to be back.

BRAD
Dev, an interesting topic we're covering today and it's about coaching and coaches. And it might rub some people up the wrong way. But I think it's important to talk about because there are people popping up left, right and centre who own a bicycle and therefore they're a coach. Dev, take your coaches hat off, as an athlete, what should you be looking for in a coach?

 

What should you look for in a cycling coach?

 

DEVLIN
Look, as an athlete, personally, I would want to be looking for someone who has some form of track record, firstly. So look at the kind of athletes that currently, do a little bit of background research, see what athletes they're working with, are they in the discipline that you particularly want to focus in. So if you're a mountain biker, for instance, do they have more of a mountain biking background. That isn't always the be all and end all, because the theory and the idea of the coaching and the coaching structures and philosophies will overlap quite a lot from discipline to discipline.

That's not a problem but I think first see a track record, the kind of athletes are working with, the results they're getting with those athletes, that's probably first and foremost. And then also have a look at qualification. So it is quite important that you're dealing with a coach who is qualified to coach, but coaching, it's also handling people rather than just knowing the science and the theory behind it. But also then, knowing the science and the theory behind, having some sound research and knowledge to be able to back their decisions on.

So I see it from time to time, there's a lot of copy and paste programmes out there, for instance, that riders use and when there's two riders that are actually mates and they go and have a look at their programmes, it's a copy and paste programme but they're both very different riders working at different intensities. So qualification for me is a big thing when looking at what sort of background does their coach have, and what they're basing their knowledge and their decisions on.

 

Keeping up with the times

 

BRAD
And Dev, I'm sure you'd agree with me as well, it's like any, I mean, any good coach for them it's a career, it's not a hobby. For someone like you, this is what you do. But it's also a case of as in any career, you've got to keep learning. Things are always changing. Science is evolving, people are discovering new things. And you've got to keep up with the times and keep up with the changes. So having that mindset as a coach where you're continuously trying to improve yourself as a coach is important as well.

DEVLIN
Yeah, correct. And that's exactly it. So it's a continued education the whole way through, constantly reading up on what the current trends are, how you're basically keeping your athletes competitive, whether they competing to win or competing in the sense of getting better, so how you're constantly improving the athlete. I actually heard a pretty good thing the other day, in the sense of, we need to remember we might see various athletes, but that athlete that we see has only got one career, especially when you start dealing with sort of elite level athletes and top end athletes, this becomes their entire life and the entire career.

So it's up to us as much as we might have various athletes to make sure we giving each individual athlete the best that we possibly can, the right information, the right tools to be able to make their decisions as well and make their training work. So I do think it is very key. And it can be quite a sensitive subject. There are a lot of [***4:05] coaches out there as well. And you mentioned I mean, people who have a bike, whether you might have been a national level athlete or an international level athlete, it's also quite key to know that great athletes don't necessarily make great coaches. So it's how well you handle people as well. And you can relate to people as well manage people, that's ultimately what coaching is as well.

 

You get what you pay for

 

BRAD
Yeah, absolutely. And Dev, it's also important from an athlete's point of view to know this, and I don't want to say call it out, but be aware of what's going on. Just because someone is giving you a very good price on a coaching package doesn't necessarily mean they're a good coach. So you pay for what you get, at the end of the day, I mean, you if you're looking for quality, quality is going to cost a decent amount of money, but you are going to get the results. And that's important to take note of as well.

DEVLIN
Correct and look to sort of just add a spanner in the works and a flip side to that as well is you do also have the risk of because a coach may be very expensive in what they charge doesn't necessarily mean that that is the best. Again, there's so many different coaches on the market and a lot of information out there, and everyone's trying to get something new. So you need to find, firstly, do a little bit of homework, do a little bit of research. Also see does that coaches philosophies and coaching philosophy actually suit you as an athlete as well? So do you have the same values? Or does their interest match your best interest in trying to get your performance right, if that makes any any sense?

BRAD
Yeah, Dev, it's also not a one way street. It's not the coach saying, hey, here's your programme, this is what you have to go do this week. You need to look at it and go, okay. And I've had this conversation with other coaches in other sporting codes and as an athlete, you actually want to interrogate your coach as to, not necessarily to question why are you doing certain things, but why certain things are in your programme? Like why is there a long ride in your programme? Why is there a high intensity session in your programme? And if a coach can't give you the answers to that, then that is not your coach, you need to find someone who can tell you the reason for every single session in your training programme.

DEVLIN
Correct. And again, it's a case of what knowledge and what scientifically sound evidence that that coach presenting to you when it comes to the training programme. So yes, it's like you said, it's not necessarily an interrogation and calling you out as to why you doing this, but for the athlete it's an educational purpose as well. So for the athlete to understand physiologically what this type of session or this interval or whatever might be doing to me, and why it's benefiting me.

And again, I think some of the best coaches that are there are coaches who can actually take a hard look at themselves as well and realise, okay, so we made a mistake with that particular athlete or on that particular training block. And there's never a correct answer with everyone. So every person, every beast we're working with is very individual. And there's times that things work and there's time that it's a complete flop and you need to be able to look at yourself as well and take a step back and say right, back to the drawing board, how are we going to do this? So I think that's key as well to have a look at the the personality of the coach and what their values are for me.

BRAD
Yeah, absolutely. If you're looking for one on one cycling coaching, make sure you check out the Coach Parry website, I'll put the links in the show notes below this as well you can check them out, go through check out our various options for one on one coaching. We've also got a very interactive at training platform where we've got a whole bunch of time based programmes for various distances from beginners right through to advanced in various disciplines as well road and mountain biking. So go check that out. All you need to do to find more about that is head over to coachparry.com/cycling. Dev, as always, great to catch up. We look forward to catching up with you next week.

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