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.

Latest: Page 2

Creating a Race Plan to Guide Training

Work with your athlete to create a race plan for the season—and then build your training plan from there, but remember there's plenty to factor in.
Training-Metrics

Training Metrics

Joe Friel provides an overview of the key training metrics that help coaches quantify training load and plan for performance.
tired-athlete

Troubleshooting Performance Plateaus

Joe Friel addresses the problems that athletes most commonly face en route to their goals: training plateaus, inconsistent training or lack of motivation, inadequate sleep, and prioritizing performance at the expense of health.
Julie Debits coaching an athlete

Is Your Athlete Approaching Their Athletic Potential?

There's a fine line separating performance and athletic potential—and ambition can easily blur an athlete's judgment and decision-making. This case study highlights an athlete hoping to qualify to compete in triathlon's debut at the Olympic Games. It illustrates the real consequences of overtraining, the road back to racing, and how training load can be better managed to avoid the high-stakes gamble altogether.
race-day-readiness-Joe-Friel

Race-Day Readiness

In this video, Joe Friel discusses how best to bring an athlete to form by striking the right balance between fitness and fatigue. It can be a fine line—and will be different for every athlete.
women-running-marathon

How to Gain Wisdom in the Aftermath of Racing

Every coach will be involved in athletic performances that fall short of expectations, leaving both the coach and the athlete dissatisfied. What is the best way to handle these situations? In the aftermath of failure and disappointment, the coach needs to gather and analyze the available evidence, thinking through exactly what led to the poor performance, and then make decisions about how to get the athlete back on track before the next competition.
The Craft of Coaching - How to Avoid Difficult Relationships with Athletes

How to Avoid Difficult Relationships with Athletes

No one wants to “fire” an athlete. But there are times when the coach-athlete relationship is clearly not working. Coaches need to reflect on these difficult situations and athletes so they can identify problems before things get personal.

Coach-Athlete Communication

Coach Melissa Mantak prioritizes communication with her athletes above all else, particularly in the onboarding process. Find out more about the different levels of coaching she offers at The Empowered Athlete, and how communication plays out.