The Craft of Coaching

The Craft of Coaching is Joe Friel’s ultimate guide to becoming a better, more successful, and happier coach.

Drawing from his 40-year career as the world’s most trusted cycling and triathlon coach, Friel shares the lessons he learned about athlete performance, the athlete-coach relationship, mastering the business side—and how to make coaching more rewarding.

Follow The Craft of Coaching to accelerate your practice and save decades honing your craft.

Joe Friel’s guide for coaches is available to Coaching Essentials members and FREE to active, licensed USA Cycling Coaches. Please log in or join.

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performance and gains from year round training

Performance Gains from Year-Round Training

Coaching works best as a process of building performance, rather than a hot pursuit of an outcome. Coach Julie Young describes the performance gains a busy executive experienced at the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. Breaking from his habit of cramming for the event with just six months of training, he committed to year-round coaching, incorporating strength and stability work and building the mental resilience that made him a better athlete.
Lessons From The Lab

Lessons from the Lab

When athletes show up at the lab to test lactate threshold or metabolic efficiency, they are often fixated on a goal or data point. Julie Young encourages coaches and athletes to take a broader view, and notice gaps that might exist in fitness. The lab simplifies the path forward, showing how the body is responding to training and taking us back to the basics.
what it takes to succeed Julie young

What It Takes to Succeed

To achieve a top performance an athlete must be both physically and mentally prepared. It's the mental piece that can be the toughest to coach. Joe Friel talks with Coach Julie Young about how she develops athletic potential and resilience over the course of training her athletes.
Scott saifer biking

The Unexpected (But Highly Satisfying) Evolution of a Coaching Career

Coach Scott Saifer started out coaching elite-level road cyclists. Over the years his coaching business has evolved with the needs of his existing and prospective clients. Now many of his clients work toward goals outside of racing. He discusses what it takes to work with athletes who might lack ability or motivation, or both.
Christine in a race

How to Build a Beginner-Friendly Coaching Business

By coaching athletes of all levels and aspirations, Christine Schirtzinger has learned how to build a better business—and be a better coach. She sees the limitations in working solely with high-performance athletes.

Athlete Ability Doesn’t Change the Coaching Process

Coach Joe LoPresto has made a name for himself in Chicago’s triathlon scene by welcoming newcomers to the sport. Whether it’s the last person to cross the finish line or the ones standing on the podium, he believes they are more alike than different. The human desire to improve and grow is the focus of his coaching.
Athlete Centric Training Plan

The Athlete-Centric Training Plan

There are some tough conversations early in the athlete-coach relationship as you identify where the athlete stands in relation to their goal. Coach Dave Schell talks with Joe Friel about how he gets buy-in from athletes, and creates a dynamic training plan specific to their individual needs.
Coach Ryan talking with female athlete

What Drives or Limits Performance?

As a coach, you are in the business of addressing the weaknesses that stand in the way of the athlete’s goal. Because every athlete is unique, no two plans should ever be the same. Let’s take a look at how you can best create a specific and dynamic plan.