Races are canceled, and we are in a shelter-in-place order in most places in Georgia, US and around the world. Hiring a coach seems like the last thing you should do. However, now is probably the most important time to look for professional guidance to keep you safe, fit and focused.
Coaches help individuals in so many ways. Specifying workout routines is the icing on the cake for the depth of knowledge, experience and support they provide. Coaches who have completed the USA Triathlon coaching certification have extensive training on how to motivate and support their athletes, avoiding injury, and how to listen to their athletes. Think of this person as a support system dedicated to your health physically and mentally. Additionally, they receive training on nutrition both during workouts and daily nutrition.
We are in a strange situation right now. Even though there are no group workouts. More workout options are available now for free or virtually free through digital delivery of workouts. This is amazing, and the trend will hopefully allow more people to become motivated and interested in movement to improve their physical fitness. However, this is very risky because individuals have very little feedback on what is the right workout for them and virtually no feedback on if they are performing the exercises correctly. This leads to individuals wasting time on workouts that are too easy for them or risking injury doing workouts that are too advanced for their current level of fitness.
When individuals begin working out more, there is an increased chance for injury or at least soreness which over time can lead to injury. Massage therapists, chiropractors and physical therapists are limited in the service they can provide, which is why avoiding injury is so important during these days of social distancing.
Physical exercise is known to provide measurable benefits for physical and mental health. Benefits and of physical exercise need to be balanced and individuals should proceed with caution. So here are some of the top reasons to hire a coach:
1. Set realistic goals
Many athletes use completion of a race as the target goal. Now that races have been canceled for the time being, what are healthy goals? A coach will work with you to understand your past fitness and your interests to create measurable milestones to work towards in your fitness route.
2. Select the right workout for you
With so many workout options available, how do you choose what is right for you? The coach knows your abilities and your goals. With this, they can help sort through these activities and select the ones that will help you personally meet your goals. By sharing your interests, they can help you decide when you do which workout to make it most enjoyable and beneficial for your goals.
3. Design workouts
Coaches with experience have created workouts specific for individual’s goals. Many online training plans for endurance sports will have very little instruction for how you should do the workout. Instead, it typically will prescribe a duration or distance. A coach will tell you specific drills and intensities to use during these workouts to provide you the highest benefit.
4. Check in on you
A coach cares about YOU! They will check in with you regularly to ensure you are on track and doing well. These check ins will be different throughout the week and may be different based on the coaches’ style. Phone calls, video chats, texts and using online tools are some of the methods that are used in today’s environment. Most coaches use these methods during pre-coronovirus times when they work with individuals remotely. When we are able to see each other again in person and if the coach lives near you, they will also meet up with you to analyze your form and provide live encouragement.
5. Measure progress
Coaches use digital tools and apps to share workouts with you where you can provide feedback back to them. This feedback should be qualitative such as how you feel and quantitative such as how fast you went. Smart watches help to share this information. The coach can use this to help you understand your progress. Also, by analyzing the feedback, they can start to understand when you might be close to injury.
Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash
6. Someone to talk to
Families and friends are great and speaking with them about how you are doing is important. Coaches are specifically there to help you be your best. They want to know about the stresses in your life because overall stress impacts how you perform in sports. By taking the steps to become a certified coach, they are caring people. Because a coach becomes a close confidant, choose a coach that is relatable for you. Every coach is a person and has a different style.
Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash
7. Help you avoid injury
Coaches become very interested in your success. They enjoy seeing you progress toward your goal and hope to celebrate the accomplishments with you. Their training provides them the resources to identify when you might be close to injury and will prescribe recovery activities to help you heal. With physical therapists offering limited services now, this is a very important reason to work with a coach. Without a coach, you may over-train and could be more likely to incur injury.
Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash
8. Save you money
So many sophisticated training tools and equipment exist. With advertisements of smart trainers, highly engineered bicycles and electronic devices, the opportunity to spend money building your home gym is endless. A coach will work with you to identify the mix of training equipment that is best suited for your goals, lifestyle, space and budget. Furthermore, many coaches have worked out discounts with stores and brands so you might get an exclusive deal on the desired equipment.
Photo by Diane Helentjaris on Unsplash
Training is hard work and training in a social distancing scenario can be lonely. A coach will hold you accountable and check in to make sure you’re doing your best. Sometimes having someone check in on you who cares and wants to see you succeed can help you stay motivated, focused and excited during these isolating times.
Photo by Harry Cunningham on Unsplash
Most coaching certification organizations require coaches to keep up their knowledge through continuing education. This is on top of the already rigorous training and testing they received to become a coach. By hiring a coach, you learn from their education and experience.
Photo by Beau Runsten on Unsplash
Most coaches work with a handful to several athletes. In normal times, some have group workouts or activities. There are some who have remote athletes and have been doing virtual sessions using Zoom even before shelter-in-place was a common term. These days, having a community of like-minded people can help us enjoy the moments to focus on ourselves. When things return to normal, you can join your new best friends in group workouts, activities and races.
Photo by Coen van den Broek on Unsplash
When things return to normal, we will all be relieved and excited to participate in the activities available. For now, we each can do our part of flattening the curve by social distancing and sheltering-in-place. Hiring a coach and finding a support crew will help you get through this and give you more to look forward to when we are able to go out into the world. Stay safe!
Stay tuned for the next article about "How to Find a Coach".