Coaching Others, Coaching Yourself

By Mark Wilson
Hudson Valley Triathlon Club

Mark H. Wilson-Professional Triathlon Coach & Founder of the Hudson Valley Triathlon Club (HVTC) coaches athletes to the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, Ironman 70.3 World Championship, ITU Long Course World Championship, ITU Age Group Duathlon World Championship, and ITU Age Group Sprint/Olympic Triathlon World Championship. For more information: or 845.679.8602.

Triathlon ResourceWhat makes a great coach?  Is it knowledge? Is it experience? Is it good coaching? Is it a God-given gift that can’t be explained? Maybe it’s all of them combined. Regardless, you can feel it! You can tell when the person leading and teaching you is someone special. Let’s discuss why.

A talented coach is the best student. He is always finding ways to improve his ability to lead and instruct others. He seeks out learning opportunities. He wants to be the best teacher on Earth and searching for others like himself, he fills his toolbox of ideas and options to the max.

A talented coach is a born leader. It is challenging for this type of individual to keep quiet and watch others teach. Her desire for excellence is so overwhelming that it can be physically painful to witness bad instruction, and she feels compelled to assist in some way.

A talented coach is generous. A true coach is always willing to give some extra tips after practice. Unfortunately, this is usually at the expense of his family and friends. She can’t help herself! She has a big heart and wants others to benefit greatly from her knowledge and experience.

A talented coach can coach himself. Rarely are individuals able to guide themselves objectively to reach lofty goals. The great coach can because he uses himself as a “guinea pig” or “learning tool” for coaching others. This alone drives the gifted coach to learn more which offers invaluable insight to his students.

Lastly, a talented coach is humble. In success or failure, a humble coach remains thankful for the opportunity to have learned from each experience and avoids becoming attached to the outcome, and embraces the process. This is the ultimate essence of a natural teacher. Most coaches know physiology, periodization, nutrition or even exotic equipment. But the great coach understands that the key to a healthy and successful life is to live with an attitude of gratitude. And his athletes feel it! Recommended Resources:


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