I’ve been doing this for a while now, making it lucky 13 in 2022, and I have loved every minute of it. But it is always a challenge to educate people on exactly what we do as endurance (slash fitness, slash sports performance) coaches. If I had a dime for every time I heard, “I didn’t know you guys did that,” I could stop coaching now and head to the lake tomorrow. But we take full responsibility for this confusion, so we aim to clear it up!
There are many misconceptions about what we do, who we work with, and how we can benefit people from all walks of life. So here are the top five things we (and every other coach out there) want you to know:
Yes, we can help with that
That’s not just a textbook sales pitch. If your goals fall in the realm of athletic (see point 2) improvement, a good coach can create a training system for you. We call it a training system because a training program alone does not always do the trick. And your training may or may not be the thing standing in your way. A good coach will look at every angle while formulating the plan that takes you from A to B. And that plan may change along the way. But a coach will be there every step of your journey. We have several athletes who only train to increase their quality of life and “age gracefully.” Some train competitively within themselves, and then some are highly competitive individuals. So wherever you fall in, a good coach can help.
Yes, you are an athlete
Many people think they can’t benefit from a coach because they don’t consider themselves an athlete. If you do any activity (in our case, swim, bike, run, or multisport) more than occasionally, you are an athlete. You don’t have to be competitive to have a coach. You just have to have the desire and commitment to be the best version of yourself you can be.
Yes, you are good enough
We often hear, “I didn’t think I was [good, fast, strong, etc.] enough to work with a coach.” I’m floored every time I hear this! The fact is, the less experience you have, the FASTER you will improve with the help of a coach. You’ve had less overall training and less time to develop bad habits, and you generally have an open and realistic mindset regarding long-term and short-term goals. I say bring on the greenhorns!
No, you are not too far gone
If you are reading this from the couch, because that’s where you’ve been for a while, there is no time like the present! A good coach isn’t going to throw you right into an incredibly demanding training program. Everything will be progressed based on realistic goals and your improvement along the way. A coach puts their reputation on the line with every person they take on, so you can be sure they will do everything in their power to help you succeed!
Yes, you CAN do that
Many people avoid setting big goals not because they are scared to fail but because the thought of preparing for something like an ironman, a century ride, or a marathon is overwhelming. No idea where to start? How long to prepare? What gear do you need? A coach will save you the hassle, time, and anxiety of the whole process. We are there to guide you and answer any questions along the way. So you can stop wasting training and family time searching the web for plans and answers that other so-called coaches have posted.
BONUS: No, you are not too busy
Many folks think they can’t benefit from a coach because they are “too busy” for a structured training plan. I’ve got news for you; we work with many extremely busy people with hectic schedules (nutty hours, international travel, kids’ games, oh my!) and have yet to find one we couldn’t work the training around. That is 80% of the benefit of a coach – working quality training around your busy life. All it takes is extra communication between you and your coach, and it’s smooth sailing.
As Always, TRUST YOUR TRAINING
Dale Sanford is the co-founder of BPC Performance, Inc. and has been coaching endurance athletes all over the world since 2009. From first-timers to world championship competitors and everything in between. Dale is also BPC’s bike fit and movement specialist. He is an avid triathlete himself, earning USA Triathlon All-American honors and qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. You can catch up with Dale @bpcperformance, bpcperformance.com, or listen to the Coaches on Couches Podcast.