My Coaching Style
How I coach people with ambition
For over four years, I have been leading an all female running club based in the heart of Swindon’s Old Town. My coaching style bears some similarities to how I lead my running club. The only major differences being the absence of a whistle and considerably less lycra! The bias for action is very much the same.
Our club sessions have purpose and structure. Of course, runners come to the club for different reasons and with different levels of fitness; where they are and where they want to be with their running varies hugely so I have to be flexible.
“Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best”.
(Michael Johnson, Olympic Gold medallist sprinter)
I agree with Michael Johnson to a point but in life, the coaching process can result in the hard work not feeling so hard and the creation of more opportunities to perform at our best. Our “brief moments” may get longer!
The club sessions themselves are designed to provide a workout; help runners develop pace and strength, deal with off-road terrain or the monotony of long hills (“train for the pain”, I call it). I am helping runners move out of their comfort zone so they gain confidence and new skills which encourage them to take on new challenges of their own. As with coaching, there is real joy to be had in seeing someone achieve what they thought they couldn’t do.
I encourage and celebrate successes. When individuals beat themselves up, I remind them of how far they have come and help them learn from their experiences. I do all of this with a good dose of humour and positivity.
Making changes to the way you work is very like running training; you need a plan with a specific target to aim for, some means of progress tracking and plenty of commitment. Most importantly you have to do something. As you act, you learn more about your capabilities and confidence builds. As your coach, I will support you with this and make sure that you are clear about where you are starting from and where you want to get to.