Coach or No Coach, a Guest Post
Pam Sayler wrote this guest post earlier this year. Somehow it was categorized incorrectly in my email and I found it during holiday break. I believe this is a great post to start thinking about plans for 2012. Coaches, and if you need one is a common questions as people start pushing themselves in the sport.
While pushing the Kirby this weekend my mind drifted to the subject of coaching. Why would the average rider hire a cycling coach? What advantage would a coach have to one whose cycling ambition is less than the current world champion?
I paused vacuuming long enough to check in on my son who was practicing piano.
Jacob is in his second year of lessons and progressing nicely. But like many 9 year olds he looses focus and spends about ½ of his time just playing. While I try to take a back seat and not micro manage him I do find it necessary to step in and make sure he is completing the work of understating music theory, structure and technique. By ensuring he spends time on developmental drills I am assured that my investment has a positive
return and Jacob has a broad awareness of music, stronger hand to eye coordination and simply plays better. Even if he does not have the desire to become a concert pianist Jacob’s father and I see music as a door to many future opportunities and will give him a well rounded view of life.
It took me vacuuming the remainder of the family room and down the hallway to connect those dots. Just as I stand behind Jacob seeing he stays on task a cycling coach will help me ride more efficiently – prevent injury and cycle longer. Not just that one day, but cycle longer in life.
In turning to a coach you are entrusting someone to look over your shoulder. Not to compete against, but to draw along side of you and guide you. Coaching is that special mix of relationship and expertise. One needs to trust their coach. A technical and certifiable background is necessary but equally important is the human factor; how well you interface. Before signing on with a coach, ask yourself the following:
Why do you want a coach? – specifically, what are you looking for?
What is your budget?
What is that person’s experience and education?
How much interaction do you want? Individual, group, online?
During the interview process look for someone who asks these questions and has good answers for your questions. Determine how long it will take to reach your goals and make sure your to contract for a brief period first – a longer contract can be drawn up after you are confident this coach is the right one for you.
And finally, remember that no matter how good a coach you hire, and how lofty your ambition nothing will happen if you don’t set aside time and stick to the plan. The investment in yourself will only pay off if you apply time and effort. Otherwise you are just throwing away money. And if you have money to throw away, please let me know. I’ve got a few years of piano left to fund.
Pam Sayler is the North American Sales Manager for Kinetic
She lives in Minneapolis with her Bike-Shop owning husband and their children. Last year Pam commuted 2,000 miles to work on her bike
Motivational Monday : Pam Sayler
A Monday morning tradition that we are starting to keep you motivated and to be striving for your goals even during a hard week or long hours at work. Do you know someone that motivates and inspires you? Send us your answers and photo to girly@BikeShopGirl.com
1. What’s your name and location?
Pam Sayler, the cold frigid Minnesota. (Pam is the North American Sales Manager of our newest sponsor, Kinetic Trainers.)
2. What type of cycling do you enjoy?
Commuting, road and mtb
3. What is your first cycling memory?
On the farm, had a Schwinn Bantam with the convertible bar. We set the bike’s training wheels on cinder blocks, because mom would not let me ride down the dirt road. I was about 3. I rode that thing for hours every day. It was GRAND
4. Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?
Riders: Amy Xu, Ironman and RAAM, because she never gives up. Millie Tanner because she is so enthusiastic and humble. Meredith Miller because she does everything and does it amazing. Industry: Linda Jackson, because of all she does for Women’s cycling. Georgena Terry for womanizing bikes – decades ago. Elysa Walk for tackling a man’s job in a man’s world and doing it better than any one could. My husband, because he puts up with me, AND because he serves all cyclists equally with his shop Trailhead Cycling and Fitness; first time comfort riders to World Class Athletes, he treats them all with the same respect and listens. Must be why he is so successful.
5. What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?
A Century with my husband and our 8 year old son
6. In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?
Commute more often, actually enter one crit and one mtb race. Complete the MN Ironman and Headwaters 100. Increase my cadence – spin circles better.
My Bikes, are you curious?
My rides: Road: Bianchi 928 D/A 10 sp Mavic Ksyrium Wheels, MTB: Bianchi Grizzly (upgrading to Dyna-sys) Commute: Bianchi Camaleonte Ultegra.