Training Secrets of Olympic Athletes, for Everyday Warriors! (Part 2)

Coaches' whistleLast week, I wrote about the importance of combining multiple modes of training as an essential component of effective training, for peak health and peak performance.

This week, we take a closer look at the value of coaching expertise and the power of a support network, for elite athletes and everyday warriors!


Gather expert advice and support from your team

Ric Charlesworth (Head Coach of the Australian Hockeyroos): “What I enjoy about coaching is that it’s an opportunity to help people realise their potential, and it’s teaching, it’s handing on your knowledge. It’s expanding people and raising their expectations. Most of us when we’re young, we don’t really appreciate what we can do, and the coach can hopefully be a catalyst for that development.”

Elite athletes deserve much of the credit for their outstanding, world-beating performances, because without the athletes putting in the hard yards, there are no gold medals, no world championships, no races run.  But behind every successful performance, every productive athletic career, is a team of experts and a team of people who care.

For an athlete to continue succeeding throughout their sporting lives, they need individuals around them with the knowledge and expertise to fine tune their skills, their physical capacities, and their mental wellbeing.  Equally as important are the sources of encouragement, inspiration, and unconditional support that athletes receive from family, close friends, and fans.

Chris Wardlaw (Craig Mottram’s running coach): “A good teacher or coach makes themselves redundant. The athlete becomes self-directing. I teach them my system, based on fundamental time-tested principles. Then we meet up for camps and go overseas before a big competition.”

The story is the same for you and I.  If you are really, truly, serious about your training, about improving your fitness, and about supporting the health of your body, then you already know about the value of a good coach or personal trainer!  But how do you know if your trainer is “good” for you?  A good personal trainer is one that has an established knowledge base but is continually seeking to build upon it and learn with you.  A good coach is also a teacher – they have your best interests and individualised goals in mind at all times, and should be working to “make themselves redundant” by helping you become accountable for your own training.  And of course, a good trainer listens to you, encourages you, and proudly leads the support team – in other words, they’ve got your back!

We’ve previously spoken of the value of establishing a support network as you progress through your lifelong health and fitness journey, and the message remains the same here.  Whether it’s a training buddy, a group of friends with similar goals, or just a supportive family, draw strength from those who will share the joy of your successes and help you through the challenges and obstacles that will come your way.

Next up, in part 3 of this 5-part series, we will discuss the lessons learnt from 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans about the importance of paying attention to the details of your training.

(Image source: ActionCoach)