This workshop helps coaches see the “forest for the trees.”
Joe Friel provides an overview of different coaching styles, methodologies, and philosophies, then looks at some well-known coaches in both traditional sports and endurance sports to better understand these concepts.
Finally, he opens up the discussion to a panel of coaches, including Neal Henderson, Grant Holicky, Mike Ricci, Rebecca Gross, Joe Gambles, and Trevor Connor as they identify and reflect on their own style, methodology, and philosophy.
Meet the coaches
Joe Friel 00:05
Hi, I’m Joe Friel, and I’m here to talk to you today about a topic that’s close to my heart, which is the craft of coaching. And I brought in six coaches to share their ideas and to help us think about what is this thing we call coaching? I’d like you to meet these six coaches? Let’s start over here with Neil. Let’s do this folks. What is your name and what is your sport?
Neal Henderson 00:30
My name is Neil Henderson and I work with athletes in cycling across many disciplines as well as triathlon.
Grant Holicky 00:37
My name is Grant Holicky, I work with athletes, basically encompassing the entire endurance spectrum, mostly cycling a little bit of triathlon, a little bit of swimming,
Mike Ricci 00:46
I’m Mike Ricci I coached primarily triathletes, but I’ve coached ultra runners, and mountain bikers and Cross the endurance spectrum.
Joe Gambles 00:53
My name is Joe Gambles, and I’m a triathlon coach.
Rebecca Gross 00:56
I’m Rebecca gross, and I coach cycling across all the disciplines
Trevor Connor 01:01
My name is Trevor Connor, and I am primarily cycling, though I do some triathlon.
Democratic vrs Autocratic
Joe Friel 01:07
Thank you all for being here. We’re gonna talk about three topics today, some of which you probably got some feelings about already. But one of which I suspect you haven’t really thought about before. And we’re gonna see how this where this conversation goes with all of us. Three topics are your style of coaching. I’ll explain that in a minute. The second is your methodology of coaching and the third is your philosophy of coaching. So we’re going to progress through those three topics and by the end, really the thing I’m looking for at the very end, is who are you as a coach, especially in terms of your philosophy. The viewers, hopefully, we’ll be thinking about this at the same time, as you hear us talking about this topic, and be considering what you consider to be your philosophy by the time it’s all over. So with that in mind, let’s get started. I’m gonna start off with a topic which is near and dear to my heart. It has to do with coaching style and there are basically are two styles of coaching. I’ll show that same basically because they’re polar opposites. But in between us showing a little bit, there’s a lot of variations on these two. One is the democratic coach, and the other is the autocratic coach. So let’s think our way through that and while I’m doing this, let’s think about who you are, in terms of this whole topic of coaching style. Here’s an example. I’m sure you’ve heard of heard of Tony Dungy, the retired coach of the of the Colts football team. This is a quote from from Tony Dungy from his book. The secret to success is good leadership and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better. Now, just knowing this about him, what would you surmise his style of coaching to be? Is he toward the democratic end or the autocratic end?
Neal Henderson 03:04
Joe Friel 03:05
Democratic, Why would you say democratic? What’s it about this that indicates democratic?
Neal Henderson 03:11
It’s a collaboration and caring for others as like a highest priority?
Joe Friel 03:15
Okay, caring for others and being concerned about how they react to the your coaching of them. So it’s not a one way street. It’s a it’s a two way street is what he’s saying. He’s concerned about good leadership, making the lives of team members and workers better that’s concerned for other people. This was this was in the Washington Post just a few weeks ago. He made me hate soccer. Players say they left NWSLS which is a Women’s Soccer League spirit team spirit over the coaches verbal abuse and this is from the article. Anything could set him off, she said, prompting him to unleash a torrent of threats, criticism, personal insults on McCullough and her teammates. So democratic or autocratic,
Grant Holicky 04:09
Joe Friel 04:13
This is fairly obvious this this person is way off the deep end. It’s it sounds like so what we see here are two examples, extreme examples of the way coach’s styles operate. Now that was very simple because it’s obvious what’s going on here. The first one Dungy, she was a concern for other people, his his his athletes, yet he’s in a sport which usually has autocratic coaches. That’s the sport of football is quite well known for autocratic coaches. We’ll come back and we’ll learn more about that topic a little bit. But we also have the soccer coach, who is obviously autocratic. He’s only been with the team for two years and reading this article. People are leaving the team they can’t stand this guy as a coach. But he’s improved their win loss record they are winning more now than they did before. So all is not bad, necessarily.
Joe Friel 05:10
Okay, so let’s move on. So this is this is the continuum, democratic to the left side, autocratic to the right side in this case. And there’s all kinds of positions in the middle between this, your some place on this line based on the topic that comes up. If I said, data to you, being a coach, you may have a strong reaction to that word data. And that drives you to one end or the other. You immediately say, Well, I love data. And that makes me you know, because I’m not going to get involved in thinking about this with the athletes, should you use data or not? I’m saying you’re going to use data, I want your data that is moving toward the right end, I’m giving orders now. I’m not asking an opinion, I’m giving an order, you’re going to you’re going to use a power meter, heart rate monitor, etc, etc, etc. So that’s to the stem. But if you said to me, nutrition, what should you eat? I may turn to the athlete and say, What do you think? What would you like to eat what do you think would be best for you? So I may have different positions on different topics. So this is a sliding scale, that is going to be something that we all experience in our coaching, we see various ways of doing this whole thing. So this is kind of summary idea. Really what it comes down to is athlete inclusion versus athlete exclusion and what we’re saying is on the Democratic side, the Democratic coach on a topic where we’re going to include the athlete would be something like, what do you think, athlete? What’s your opinion on this? whereas the more autocratic coach is going to say something more like, here’s what I think, I’m going to tell you how to do this workout, or, you know, process data or eat? I’m going to give you the answer that question on the athlete exclusion side, the Democratic coaches says something more like my suggestion is, in other words, he’s still not saying or she is still not saying, do it this way, making a suggestion to get feedback from the athlete, whereas the autocratic coach is saying, my way or the highway, we’re gonna do it my way or you can just find another team, you can go someplace else with a different coach. That’s what the McCullough was doing with the NWSL. Team, he was coaching, the spirit team. So this is this is the kind of the concept of where we are right now, as far as this one topic, which is style, you’ve all got a style and it really kind of comes down to how you’ve developed over the years, things like your parents, how were you raised as a kid, and all kinds of stuff. Again, the psychology of this would be like a gigantic discussion about how you became autocratic or democratic on given topics and we can bring up a topic, and you can give us your opinion, and we’d get all kinds of opinions going here. But let’s, let’s take a look, what does the research tell us about this? Now, unfortunately, the research on coaching is not very deep, there is not a lot of it and unfortunately, second, unfortunately, it really goes back to 1980s. And 1990s, with a couple of studies done back the 1970s, almost nothing newer than that and to make matters even worse, most of the research studies was done with male coaches, as opposed to female coaches. And to make matters even worse, is mostly dealing with teams as opposed to individual sports. So we’ve got all these what ifs thrown in here. So I’m gonna tell you what the research says on certain topics. But take it with a grain of salt, because there’s so many what ifs and how comes? And what do you thinks thet are thrown in to this mix that is going to be very, very difficult to to draw conclusions about what you should be doing.
Research of coaching styles
Joe Friel 09:20
But let’s just see what the research has told us over the years. What is the desired result? They’ve done research on that autocratic coaches, democratic coaches, what is the result they want? Well, I’ll just tell you, the result they want is basically the same thing. The autocratic coach wants to win the competition. In most cases, now we’re talking about a team sport, whereas the democratic coach is more concerned about having a good performance by his athletes or her athletes. That was a major difference we found there and that still seems to hold true to this day. When I talk about autocratic and democratic coaches or get to know them. I still see that sort of thing going on. And we’ll come back to that idea later on. So the autocratic coach may say something like, win at all costs. Whereas the democratic coach may say something like, I would rather lose with my best performance than win with my worst performance. So we’ve got different ways of seeing the world, they still want to win. We’re not saying that, but they’re just fight phrase, there coming to that conclusion, from different perspectives. So, how will athlete motivation be affected by those two extremes? And what the research says is the athletes tend to be more motivated by the by the Democratic coach. Why? I don’t know I would guess something because the democratic coaches is involving the the athlete in the process. And so when you’re involved in the process, you take ownership, and when you take ownership, you have more motivation. So the whole thing kind of fits together as a neat little series of things that happen when you coach the athlete in a more democratic way. How does the style affect the win loss records of autocratic and democratic coaches? Again, now realize this was done mostly with team sports, male coaches, etc, etc. I’m going to go through all that again. And what they found in this research was that there wasn’t much difference. A little bit difference in one sport a little bit difference in the other the other way to another sport, but there really wasn’t a lot of difference. Coaches won with both styles of coaching. As I mentioned before, with the soccer coach, he improved their their win-loss record.
Joe Friel 11:51
Will your athletes be inclined to focus on process or outcome? It’s an interesting topic, and what the research has said on that is that the Democratic coaches athletes will tend to focus on the process. How do I go about performing? How do I do it? As opposed to the autocratic coach, their athletes become focused on winning the outcome? We’ve got to have the higher score. That’s my focus and so the coaches have blended that way of thinking into their athletes minds. So their athletes are seeing the sport the same way the coach is seeing the sport, how will your focus affect the athletes pre race stress? I thought that was an interesting one. And what the research found on this was again, and by the way this could be this is actually pre competition stress. I’ve just changed the language here to fit into our worlds a little bit better. But pre competition stress, what it found was, you can probably guess this is that the autocratic coaches athletes tend to have more stress before the competition, whereas the democratic coaches athletes tend to be a little more relaxed going into the competition. So we’re starting to see patterns develop here, just from this old research done with football, baseball, basketball teams and male coaches, etc, etc. Not that these things don’t still hold true for our sports. What type of coach do endurance athletes prefer? I actually found one study on this. What would you guess? What would you guess? Democratic democratic. Endurance athletes seem to favor democratic coaches. How male and female athletes respond to autocratic democratic coaching styles? What would you think there? I’ll tell you, you gotta realize this is an old study, these are old studies, they found really little difference. They could live with either one of them. However, the subtle nuance there was that female athletes, although they might accept an autocratic coach, at some level, it’s got to be a male autocratic coach, they would not want a female autocratic coach.
Joe Friel 14:12
The male athlete in the same question wasn’t as concerned about that issue of male coach or female coach. So again, a little bit of nuance there. But again, old research, it’s hard to draw strong conclusions. It gets us some things to think about here. How older and younger athletes respond autocratic versus democratic. What the research shows on this is that the younger athletes much prefer to have a democratic coach. The older athletes were more likely to choose didn’t need they prefer more likely to choose an autocratic coach. More of them would accept an autocratic coach than the younger athletes would accept. The younger athletes are more like you know, I want I have a say in this, the older athlete is, you know, coach me, tell me what to do. And I’ll do it. So that was kind of the difference between those two. So with that in mind, with that little bit of research, old research, highly questionable research in mind, but still somewhat applicable, I would say to that to this day, what would you say is the nature of the athlete coach relationship? In both styles of coaching? Could you summarize what that what the athlete coach relationship is? What style would you prefer, as an athlete, if you were the athlete? Which style would you prefer?
How athletes view coaches
Grant Holicky 15:43
Some of what I think is interesting about this is that if you look at how people view coaches, the research is very much in contrast to what the regular worldviews a coach and what their job is. So so much of this comes out as democratic styles are preferred, but when you look at popular culture of popular sport, the autocratic coach is somewhat celebrated. And I think, you know, we it’s especially a lot of us in this older generation, how we were coached, was very autocratic. I mean, it was this research that was coming out in the 80s, was new and special, right, we didn’t get that I got chairs thrown at me. And I mean, you mentioned it earlier, Joe, talking about the NGBs. We’re not necessarily coaching coaches on how to do this, or teaching coaches on how to do this. So some of these coaches walk into the profession, and just do what they did before. They don’t think about what they prefer. So I think that’s one of the real interesting aspects of this is what people see on the outside. So when an athlete comes to the table, maybe expects, they almost expect to see an autocratic coach, and it maybe is incumbent upon the coaches or the the coaching industry and profession to instruct the athletes of what they should expect or what they should want. I’m super democratic side of that continuum. And a lot of the research with sports psychology speaks to self determination theory, how important autonomy is, how important competence and relatedness is, and all those things can come directly from a coach.
Joe Friel 17:19
Sure. interesting topics, good things to think about their let us put it this way. Are there good things that could come from being an autocratic Coach?
Neal Henderson 17:29
Joe Friel 17:30
such as, give me example.
Neal Henderson 17:32
Yeah. When there is safety, safety as a primary aspect,
Joe Friel 17:36
How would that be autocratic?
Neal Henderson 17:38
Having rules that are very clear to reduce reduction and harm.
Joe Friel 17:42
Okay, such as?
Neal Henderson 17:43
if you had a group of cyclists going out on the road, and there’s certain rules that you have set for that group and somebody breaks those rules, having an immediate stop and correction of that, that is not questioned in that way.
Joe Friel 17:56
We are not going to discuss it.
Neal Henderson 17:58
Exactly this is not allowed, like I mean, coaching the CU triathlon club team many years ago, pulled over 20 athletes off the side of the road and gave them a very clear indication of what was being done, how they were riding was unsafe, unacceptable. And if they were going to continue to do that, that was the end of their enjoyment of the team environment.
Joe Friel 18:21
Is there another example of you know, what is good about being an autocratic coach?
Balancing democratic and autocratic
Trevor Connor 18:26
Something that’s worth bringing up, particularly in cycling, is that this part is a little unique, where we have a coach and a team manager, where in a lot of your team sports that’s the same role. You never have the coach at the tour in the car calling the plays, that’s a completely different person. So you do separate that a little bit. And I can tell you from my own experience, I’m also a very democratic coach. When I started managing teams, my first couple team meetings did not go well. Because I pulled everybody together go, Well, what do you think? what do you feel like doing tomorrow? What do you have and they all went to the rest of them, I have no idea what to do and they didn’t know how to ride as a team and I learned very quickly in that manager meeting when I’m more than that manager coach type role. It’s you are doing this, you are doing that. Here’s the team plan and if you don’t take that more autocratic position, the whole team’s gonna look around go I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how we’re working together.
Joe Friel 19:22
Good point. That’s a sideline road cyclist interesting sport in that regard. It’s got a lot of that team flavor mixed into it that we don’t see in other endurance sports. So when the coach when they started calling the coach, the sports director in the car, says William, I want you to go right now. There’s no debate, there will be no discussion. William has got to go right now you don’t say, William what do you think about going right now? We’re gonna go so there are decisions that have to be made. So this is not the same not trying to make the point that there are good and bad types of coaching. There are just differences in Coaching, and in some situations, it works to be democratic. But other situations, it doesn’t work as well to be autocratic, works better be democratic. So you’re always balancing these two things. That’s why I say, if I bring up a topic in the room with this group of coaches, we would get different positions on how to how to address that particular issue. Some would be more autocratic, and some would be more democratic. It’s just the way life is. There’s nothing that’s there’s not a pure way of doing this. Okay.
Joe Friel 20:33
Let’s move on to coaching methodology. So hopefully now you’ve got an idea of what style is about coaching style. Let’s talk about methodology. Because this is where we all come from. This is where we spend our lives as coaches, it seems, our national governing bodies, encourage this, this is where we spend all our time thinking and talking, is on this very topic right here, methodology. These are the sorts of things that we as coaches think about all day long. You know, it’s always in our heads, we’re thinking about what important decisions, what’s the most important decisions I got to make for my athlete? I saw this on on Twitter the other day, somebody asked this question, if you had to pick one thing? I think it was three things in this person’s budget, pick three things that appoints you get from your athlete, what would they be? you know, sort thing. This is what coaches have. They got tremendous response from people talking about that sort of question right there. Because that’s how we spend our time as coaches. We think about this day and night, we’re always thinking better methodology. How do you involve the athlete and development and refinement of the training plan? So you come to the training plan, and we’ve already got people saying, well, I’m more democratic, than I am autocratic. And I suspect that one of the places that occurs for the, for those coaches, is in coming up with a training plan. Let’s involve the athlete in designing the training plan, I’m just not going to design it for you and say, Hey, okay, here it is, do it or, or hit the road. I’m gonna want to say here is what I come up with what do you think? just churning program vary depending on the athlete? And you think about that all day long also I’ve got I’ve got Sam over here, who does it this way? And I’ve got Bill over here, who’s better really doing it this other way? I’m do more volume over here, not do more intensity over here, or any other mix of things? And so that’s going to be high on your, your mind also. What do you look for analyzing your athletes progress? This is this is the stuff we live on. This is this is coaching, as we know it stuff that keeps us awake, keeps us awake. Yes, true. How do you mentally mentally prepare the athlete for competition, nutritionally prepare the athlete for competition, and the list goes on and on and on, we are always weighing these things in our minds as coaches. But I want to make the point that you do have a methodology, I could ask you about the balance between endurance training, you know, just volume of training and the intensity of training. And you would have an opinion on that. And you’d be able to say, well for this type of athlete, I’d do this and this other type of athlete, I’d do this. And you might have all these nuances going on your head because you thought about this so many, many times in your coaching career, that there’s no questions about it. philosophy comes from everything in your life. This is just a sample. It’s not, it’s not just these things. This could circle it’d be much bigger with all other kinds of stuff thrown in here. But that stuff all affects your philosophy. Your philosophy is why? why do I coach this way? Why do I use that methodology?
Joe Friel 23:40
Why would I have this athlete do a lot of volume? And this athlete do a lot of intensity? Why? That’s the question. And that’s the hard question to answer, isn’t it? That’s difficult. What you know, the methodology is is what? and how? That’s all it is. What are you going to do? And how are you going to do it? Then that’s, that’s appear all the time. Why you’re doing this is not always quite evident to us. Sometimes the athlete will ask, Why am I doing this? Which is a great question. In fact, I would suggest helping the athlete know that upfront, so they don’t have to ask the question, you’re doing this because and that’s been made, the athlete understands that because the conversations you and the athlete have had over some period of time, and as you got to know each other, your methodology has become the way you do things and the athlete understands that. So your coaching philosophy is why? why do you do what you do? Basically, your philosophy determines your methodology. So once you know the what, and the how, it’s simply a result of having decided what the whys are for your coaching. Why do I coach this way? You’ve already decided that so if you know your methodology, but you don’t know your philosophy What you can actually do is reverse engineer this. If you know your methodology, you can work backwards and say, well that that says my philosophy must be this. And once you know your philosophy, then as I see it, you become a whole coach. You now understand who you are as a coach, you’re not just somebody who writes workouts for athletes. You’re somebody who’s thought about this and has reasons why they write these workouts for athletes. So let’s move beyond simply what and how.
Joe Friel 25:30
So you know, your methodology, therefore, you’ve got a philosophy. So let’s see if we can do that. Let’s take me, what I started doing a long, long time ago, is I started looking for what I call the limiters, let’s holding the athlete back. If I can figure you know, the athlete has has a goal they’re trying to achieve. And they’re hiring me to achieve that goal. So my question is, how come you can’t do it on your own? What standing between you and success? If I can answer that question, I’ve got a limiter. It could be something like their VO2 max isn’t high enough, let’s say, or they don’t have enough aerobic endurance, or their diet is not very good. Or they don’t see themselves as being able to achieve their goal, psychological response. So I can have all kinds of reasons why. But all these things are limiters. And so if I can narrow down what are the things are holding this particular athlete back, maybe one thing two things, three things, I don’t know what it is, if I can figure that out. So I determined the limiter, if I can measure that limiter, VO2 max if I can measure that limiter and I come up with a number. It doesn’t have to be quite that that nicely. That’s that’s a really pure one. It couldn’t be the athlete doesn’t sleep enough. Could be the athletes nutrition is very poor, could be their spouse as opposed to them being endurance athlete, you got psychological problems going on. There’s all kinds of things here that may be limiters to this athlete, but if I can determine what it is, and then somehow measure it, that’s that’s the hard part. How do I measure your spouse not being supportive of you and being in the sport? That is extremely difficult to measure? But I could probably figure out a way and I can I can get a sense of this from the athlete, you know, how did your sport your spouse feel about you doing this training for the for an Ironman Triathlon? How do you spouse feel about that? Because I’ve got this sense, you know, in the back of my mind, I get the sense that does spouse is not supportive? Was the athlete think about that? And then I asked the same question a month later, because I’ve tried to involve the spouse now, in the whole process. I’ve not kept the spouse at arm’s length that involve the spouse and making decisions about the training plan and workouts what days your gonna do things, what is your what is your spouse think about that, you know, it’s like I can, I can figure out a way to measure it may not be a pure measurement. And then if I can monitor this thing regularly over time, what I found was that if I could do those three things, with a known limiter, I can achieve success for my athletes, they could achieve they could achieve their goal. But I first had to figure these things out these limiters. And once I had them, then I just started measuring them all the time, just started taking a look at how’s this thing going, how’s this thing going? How’s this thing go, whatever it may be. And over time, I see how the athlete is progressing relative to their limiters. So working that backwards, reverse engineering this. That’s my philosophy over there, which is real simple. And I get a lot of pushback from it by the way, when I talk about this, that which is measured improves. If I can figure it out, what needs improvement, and then measure it. And I keep measuring over and over and over. And we talk about it every time I have a conversation with the athlete, you know, these are the three things that are your limiters. And we talked about every time we have a conversation, the athlete becomes aware of these things. You know, all the numbers say this all everything I’m seeing says this, what is your impression about how this is going? If I keep that going like that? If I focus attention on those things, they improve. If I say well, I’m not going to worry about that limiter over there, you know, psychologically, he thinks he’s a loser. But I’ll make sure his VO2 max is really high. Well that’s really not taking care of the athletes limiter. The limiter was psychological I need to deal with that. Not his VO2 max. So I’ve got to determine what these things are for someone. Somebody asked that question the other day on Twitter. What are the three things you would like to know about your athlete on a on a weekly basis? What data would you like to see? I didn’t respond to it. But my initial reaction was it depends. I don’t know. Tell me who the athlete is and more about them then I’ll tell you what I think. But everybody’s unique is I can’t give you the same answer for every athlete. So that’s reverse engineering, your methodology to produce your philosophy.
Insights from methodology
Joe Friel 30:13
Okay, let’s take that a little bit further now. So what insights can we draw from the methodology of coaches that you may know something about? John Wooden, I suspect most of you know John Wooden was UCLA basketball coach, he’s now passed away. I forgotten how many national championships UCLA won under his leadership, he’s produced all these tremendous pro basketball players, so forth from one of his books. Success is knowing you gave it your best possible effort of which you are capable. And that’s pure John Wooden. That is pure John Wooden. John Wooden is the quintessential democratic coach, you will find nobody who is more democratic than John Wooden. If you ever want to learn about how to coach democratically read any book you can find about John Wooden, anything he’s ever said anything, anything he’s ever said, and you will come away from it, knowing how democratic coach operates. So if we know this, and this, this is just a tiny little snippet. If you know just this tiny little snippet about his methodology, what could we surmise then that his philosophy might be a rough idea?
Mike Ricci 31:32
It’s about process not outcome. But his process was so systematic that he got the outcome he wanted.
Joe Friel 31:39
He always got what the school wanted. But he also achieved what he wanted, which is it produced better people.
Neal Henderson 31:45
Personal excellence for these players.
Joe Friel 31:46
Yeah, he wants personal excellence. That would be a nice thing to say about his philosophy. Also, he wants his athletes to experience and become excellent people. Not just excellent athletes, but excellent people, which includes their athletic life. And you talk to any of his athletes and that’s what they will tell you. They’ll tell you his philosophy as soon as you talk them. So that was pretty easy to figure because we know him quite well. And and again, you want to read a book about democratic coaches. That’s the guy to read about. Franz Stampfl. He was Roger Bannister’s coach. Everybody knows Roger Bannister. So explain that. He was the coach. Hardly anybody knows this guy. For 1955, Robert Bannister broke the four minute barrier, in May of 1954. In 1955, Stampfl wrote a book called Franz Stampfl On Coaching. And he doesn’t really come right out and say his philosophy. But he says things throughout the book that grab your attention, for example, “effort is really a mental image. I am convinced that the basis of the athletic coaching must be to make the state of the mind so strong, that a world record performance is reduced to the level of instinct”. that’s pretty deep thinking that’s the kind of guy he was what could you surmise something about his philosophy from that?
Grant Holicky 33:15
mind over matter
Neal Henderson 33:16
Joe Friel 33:16
it’s very, very much psychological. He’s going to train the athlete extremely hard, physically, but also mentally, and he’s going to he senses that the mental side of this preparation is more important than the physical side. But he what he did with his athletes, Bannister, for example. He spent more time with them in restaurants and bars than he did on the track.
Grant Holicky 33:41
He’s convincing them that they’re capable of that performance.
Joe Friel 33:44
Exactly right. He spent time talking to them about the goal and what he thought about their potential to achieve the goal which was always very positive, you can achieve this goal and he’s always talking about that with his athletes. So Bannister went on to, you know, four minute mile. And then he also had the two guys who were the Pacers for Bannister that day, were named Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher. And I may get this confused, but I think it was Chataway goes on to break the world’s record for 5000 meters and Brasher goes on to win the gold medal. I believe it 3000 meters in the Olympics in 1956. So very successful coach, if you read about him on Wikipedia, they’ll go through all the athletes he coached and just be this long list of the best athletes runners the 1950s. So the mind is the important thing physically you’ve got to achieve physically, but the mind is got to be convinced. That’s why you saw the world. Arthur Lydiard one of the most successful coaches of long of all time, successful training is intelligent trading. Intelligent trading is knowing the why of an exercise, as well as the what and how that’s kind of a methodology statement. What you can surmise from that couldn’t be snippets or pieces of this philosophy.
Grant Holicky 35:15
have a plan execute the plan?
Joe Friel 35:18
Yeah. In the plan, he would take that one more step I think the plan has to be based on physiology science. He is very science oriented, very science oriented, he has no science background. But he became he coached himself and he tried things, he tried everything. And he and he developed a way of training, which became something like we call periodization today a plan, if you will. And that became all he, what his philosophy was also is develop this way of coaching based on based on science, based on experience, his experience mostly, and experience he had with other athletes because he could so many tremendous athletes back in the 1970s and 80s. Tremendous coach, even in the 60s. So, running coach, we know a lot about him because of his successes.
Joe Friel 36:17
Lets move a little more to the current day a bit of a of a somebody who have raised a little bit of emotion with folks sometimes. Dave Brailsford, he’s the general manager the INEOS, cycling team. And a common quote of his, which you see when you’re reading about him is constantly seek to the aggregation of marginal gains. Sounds very deep. But what is he saying? What’s his philosophy? What’s he trying to talk about?
Joe Gambles 36:51
Leave no stone unturned.
Joe Friel 36:53
Okay, Leave no stone unturned. That’s a good idea. He would agree with that.
Neal Henderson 36:57
Yeah. All little things in combination are the big things.
Joe Friel 37:01
Yeah. All you know, pay attention, all the little things going on, watch the details
Joe Gambles 37:06
At that level though, when you have this. They’re like these athletes that are racing INEOS are already the 1% top 1%. So then, yeah, but that doesn’t really, really apply to maybe the age group athlete, the beginner athlete doesn’t really apply. I think people do maybe get caught up in that now. They look at the 1% when really try and get the 80% done correctly, and then maybe look to other things, but for a thing like this, it makes perfect sense.
Joe Friel 37:34
He’s got a unique set of athletes he’s working with and what he’s saying is, you know, make sure all the details are taken care of little bitty things like they have their own pillows, you know, they take all the races by them as well. Nobody ever thought of that the handing out the bottles and feed zones. They all wear I think it’s orange or yellow forgotten. The team support team does. So he’s making sure we get all the details covered. And that’s what he’s all about is making sure we have all the details taken care of. Because a little bit of controversy about him because of the INEOS team, etc, etc, etc i’m on not concerned about that stuff right now, just thinking about his philosophy.
Joe Friel 38:14
Let’s get even more controversial. Brett Sutton, you can bring a Brett Sutton’s name in any group of triathletes especially, and you will always get comments. People have strong emotions, strong feelings. So let’s go to a couple of athletes and what they’ve said about him. He’s or people he’s coached to have been pretty good athletes, Christine Wellington. I don’t know the full quote here, but she’s quoted as saying what he said follow orders and don’t question everything. And on the other side, he instills a belief within the athlete that they can achieve their goals. So those are somewhat contradictory, maybe not contradictory, but they kind of fly in the face of what you might say about him. What could you summarize as being from what you know about him as being his philosophy?
Grant Holicky 39:12
Polar opposite of John Wooden,
Joe Friel 39:14
okay. He’s, in other words, he’s an autocratic, he’s an autocratic coach. He’s very autocratic. And that draws a lot of emotion from especially from endurance athletes and coaches because we tend to be more democratic. And yet, here’s somebody who’s had great success. You can’t argue with success. As far as putting people on podiums at major events, you really can’t argue with that it’s how he gets there is where everybody has concerns and it within the sport.
Joe Friel 39:48
So let’s move on then. This is from a coaching consultant. He’s an Australian. He’s a three time Olympic medalist in rowing. He does research He does, consulting with coaches. So he’s kind of stayed in the sport, even though it’s no longer an athlete, as a coaching consultant. He says, research suggests that a coaches perception of coaching philosophy is influenced by their experience as a coach. Typically, less experienced coaches have difficulty understanding the concept behind the coaching philosophy, I can see that they’re still trying to figure out their methodology and are more focused on making sessions safe or fun. So their focus is, is on things which are almost obvious to an experienced coach, obviously, we’re going to make it safe, fun maybe a little bit debatable, depends how you define that word, but it’s certainly going to be safe. So that’s, that’s another thought about this whole idea from somebody who’s actually involved in the process of coaching, or consulting with coaches.
Grant Holicky 40:59
Joe, could we go back to the Bo Hanson slide for just a second? Sure. Because I think it’s a little bit interesting the difference between maybe bo’s experience in Australia and kind of coaching in the States and in Australia, I think there definitely is this idea of, of, we’re focused on making coaching safe and fun. But American coaches start with defining with with their their concern about winning, winning and losing or creating speed. And this is very true from a swimming perspective. And you know, talk about NGBs, not necessarily doing their job, but starting in with swimming. We have swim coach after swim coach after swim coach that comes into the profession, that was just an outstanding swimmer, didn’t know what to do when they left college, because they didn’t develop any other skills. And I went through this as a coach and you walk in and you go, Okay, what’s my job now, if you walk in as a summerly coach fun is your job, if you walk in as a, I got thrown into a national training group for one of the biggest teams in the country at 22. My job was to make national qualifiers, my job was create speed. So my coaching philosophy, when I was inexperienced, was incredibly autocratic. So what I was taught, that was what I was told I had to do. And then you start to go through this process, some of whom your own sport, as Joe talks about, you learn science, I was fortunate enough to work with Neil and learn so much more about the science of it from somebody who’s brilliant at the science of it, then you start to look through these things and go, Okay, well, now, how do I want to create result? And what’s the definition of result? And from a philosophy standpoint, I think, you know, you hit the nail on the head when you say why, but also, what’s your goal as a coach? Where do you think results come from John Wooden will say result will come from happy athletes that are engaged in the process? Brett would say the results come from doing the work. When we when we look at somebody like Brett, you brought up a continuum, right? Coaching on a continuumn in terms of methodology. There’s also another continuum that is the trainer versus the coach, right, and we train horses. Hence, Brett’s background. You train horses, they’re not going to talk to you, they’re not going to necessarily answer they’re not going to say anything back. And the result is everything that matters, coaching. And we get caught up in this as a profession, especially with the coaches of the caliber that we have here. There’s so many professionals that are taken into consideration. If I have a professional, I’m going to be slightly more autocratic. Listen, this is your job, you have to do this. But if you’re looking at the full spectrum, a coach is yes, is there’s training, there’s methodology, there’s their sports science involved in it, but we have to convince them that they want to do it, they have to convince them that they can do it. We have to convince them that we’re the person that can help them do it. All of those things are important. So to me so much of what what gets lost in educating coaches is how important the relationship is.
Joe Friel 44:11
subset is autocratic. Yep. But the big picture is democratic. Yes, absolutely. Good. Good. Good point. Good point.
Neal Henderson 44:18
Yeah, using that word, I mean, coaching relationship, that’s something to when I when I talk with an athlete before I ever start coaching them, it’s establishing are we going to be in an effective relationship and it’s a conversation it’s no, we’re not getting married, I’m very happily married have been. And we’re though gonna have a high importance in each other’s daily routine to some degree, sometimes much more than others. And so this has to be a two way relationship for me to feel value and not gonna feel value if it’s exclusively give, give, give and you just never have some communication back in that way. And this relationship at some point may end Whether it be on on knee deciding I can’t, can no longer actually potentially commit the time and energy that that athlete needs to perform and find success, or that that athlete finds that I’m not providing what they’re needing at that time. And there’s some interesting things that we see actually, for me working with a lot of athletes over time and having athletes that have come from a very different coaching style that have had a lot of autocratic coaches, and I am very much not an autocratic coach, and trying to, okay, you expect this, but I’m not going to give you what you want. But I’m going to try to give you what you need, and convince you why this method is useful and helpful for you. But it’s really sometimes a push and a pull and trying to find, okay, you want to this, okay, I’ll give you a little bit of that. But you also need to give me this, in that some education.
Joe Friel 45:51
Anybody here ever ever fired an athlete? Because you just couldn’t complain?
Grant Holicky 45:56
Neal Henderson 46:00
Fired but also last year, actually a very successful athlete who’s on an absolute tear right now, I said, I can’t give the energy you deserve. And it was hard for me as a coach, because what was happening, young athlete just graduated from college, in a post COVID environment training for a sport by themselves in a series of circumstances where every workout was basically a custom session. And just literally the time required to be able to do that was not, it wasn’t I had other athletes who were Olympic medal hopefuls, and I had to basically say, I can’t give what you need, I believe in you, 100%. But I can’t provide that right now. And I’m extremely excited for, you know, for what she has done. And you know, we’re in communication and go out ride with her, you know, go out on some, some of her recovery rides, you know, every few weeks, just to touch base, because I care about her as a person as well,
Joe Friel 47:02
the crucial issue there was I think, was time, time.
Neal Henderson 47:06
the energy required was beyond for my family, the boundaries that I had set. So that’s the other thing as a coach, what are your boundaries.
Joe Friel 47:14
Boundaries, Yeah, very good point. We’ve got to say, this is this is when you can call me and this is, don’t call me after five o’clock, or whatever, whatever your life is, you know, have some boundaries. Those are important things.
Grant Holicky 47:28
Another thing that that that dovetails into is the in this, again, something that’s really important for coaches to learn, I think he learned over time, but if we can teach coaches, a little bit of this ahead of time, they get a jumpstart, but that’s work life balance. What do you want your life to work life will look like? And how do you do your best work. And, and it is interesting about how that goes on. And I mean, I can’t, you know, and I know each other very, very well. But how I know how he does his programs, I know what he would do, he would wait till the family went to bed, he don’t like families over here, I’m done. I’m going to go do my work. And it worked for him. I can’t do that nearly as well. So I had to come up with a different way to do it. It was very, very hard to find it. And and he’s an incredible husband and incredible dad. And I hope I’m the same but you what you think your what you call my wife and ask when what you do as a coach, though, and and where you draw those boundaries. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the outside world sees that as well. I’m not giving enough or you’re not giving enough, it’s not about enough or too much. It’s about the right amount. And if you’re giving the right amount, the relationships gonna work. But that might be less than what that athlete wants right then. And that might be too much for you to give in your life. And you have to make those choices again.
Neal Henderson 48:57
Yeah, and define those things and be clear with it. That’s that communication and being upfront
Joe Gambles 49:01
Ya, do it early. That initial investment where you start out is huge. Like when you start with someone new, those first few months. They’re exhausting. But you need to put in that time then to figure things out, make sure you’ve got a nice pattern, or it’s not going to last a year later, you’re like both unhappy and you’re like, Okay, we needed to put more time in and that initial chair. I was actually coached by Neil Grant. And they I’ve had my first meeting with Neil was like that. I think it was like a two three hour meeting. But exactly what he said, laid out everything. This is what I’m like, That’s exactly what I need right now. Yeah. And then three years later, he taught me everything basically to be added to myself. And now I’m a coach.
Grant Holicky 49:47
He did his job. It was success. Yeah.
Trevor Connor 49:49
But I do think there’s something that there’s such a thing as giving too much because an athlete can become overly reliant on a coach and I believe very strongly, an athlete can’t be truly successful if they don’t take some ownership of their own coaching. So for example, it’s very easy for me to just say, Do this, do this, here’s every day do it don’t question me. But I don’t think an athlete trains as well, because out the road, they have to make a whole lot of decisions that I can’t be there for. So I actually have my athletes planning out their weeks, I give them feedback. But I want them taking that ownership. I want them to start thinking about how does this fit together? Is this the right way to organize? And sometimes I’ll get an athlete just says, I don’t want to think tell me what to do. And just give me a plan. And and I don’t want to hear anything about it, I’m not the coach for you.
Know your philosophy
Grant Holicky 50:38
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s why it’s so important to know your philosophy, know who you are, know what you’re trying to get done, because you’re gonna have athletes that come to your doorstep that don’t want that. And you almost have to be willing to be the person that says, you don’t want me you want something different. And, and it’s hard in coaching because I think Sony or Sarah, most of us are in this because we want to help the athlete some capacity, right? So you look at that, like, maybe that’s the wrong thing for them. I think I can help them. But they have to be on the same page, they have to be bought in and that autonomy. I think it’s just it’s crucial for the success of an athlete. And it’s it’s really important in a relationship with the coach, because otherwise, there’s no ownership. There’s no accountability on either side,
Joe Friel 51:24
When somebody comes to you and says, Will you coach me? Do you always say yes? Or do you sometimes say, let me ask you some questions first.
Grant Holicky 51:33
I always say that. Yeah. There’s always a conversation. Oh, yeah.
Joe Friel 51:37
Yeah. So you’re not making a decision just because they’ve got money in hand. And
Neal Henderson 51:42
it’s not a two way interview. It’s not a one way interview of them interviewing me whether they’re gonna hire me, it’s whether I’m willing to, again, impart energy and time and invest in them as well, that is very much a two way, like, you can come with whatever money but that’s not why. It’s not why I got into this. It’s not, you know, it’s not why I do it. And it’s not why I don’t do it either, I guess.
Neal Henderson 52:05
But that’s an important question. Because my ads would be at what stage of my career, when I was started out and just trying to pay my rent my screening tool was, will you pay me? I’ll work with you. And certainly that led to take it onto athletes that I probably shouldn’t have taken on. But I had no choice. I had to pay the rent. And I’m very sympathetic to coaches who are in that situation.
Grant Holicky 52:29
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a key part of that experience in taking all those athletes.
Mike Ricci 52:29
but you learned a lot doing that right?
Joe Friel 52:34
you probably learned what if you had all these athletes come to you. Some of them were appropriate for you. I’m guessing from what you’re saying? And some who weren’t appropriate. So what were you learning there?
Trevor Connor 52:49
Well, certainly, there’s this kind of interesting dynamic that early in my career, when I probably knew nothing. As a coach, I thought I was a fantastic coach. As I got to be a better coach to discovered no, so very early on, I certainly didn’t mind. So I was like if I can coach anybody, I can make anybody a great athlete, and discovered very quickly, no, that’s not the good source of athletes I work with and it was oil and water. And we just didn’t have a good dynamic. And I realized no, they’re are just some athletes I can’t coach. So now I know. Like, I actually am very aware of their certain types of athletes, I can coach really well. certain type of athletes, I can’t. And some of that style, I will never train a great sprinter. That’s just doesn’t quite fit with my style of coaching. And now I am much more selective. And it’s all a lot of is this somebody I can help out? If I don’t feel I can help them? I’m not going to take them on.
Joe Friel 53:43
So do you have a set of questions in your head when somebody comes to you with money in hand? That you’re, you’re thinking about to decide whether or not to take on this athlete or is there? Is there something going on up here looks like this is a checklist?
Trevor Connor 54:00
Well interests a love that you brought up philosophy because I’ve learned very first conversation, I actually explained to athletes my philosophy, and then some of my methodology. And I always get a reaction to it. And I’ve quite literally had some athletes say, Well, that’s very interesting. I don’t like that. And that’s the end of the conversation, I will have other athletes go oh, that’s exactly what I was looking for. That’s what I really want and then I continue the conversation,
Joe Friel 54:24
Okay, and you’ve got a set of questions that I think is a great thing to be doing. This comes back to your philosophy, you know, what am I all about as a coach, who when it comes to coaching athletes is not just because as you suggested, when people are when you’re well established as who most of you are, in your careers that you don’t have to everybody that comes down the road with a you know, $100 bill in their hand. It’s you’re looking for the athletes are going to blend with your philosophies, your methodology, your style, and so you got something going on up here, I would suggest putting it on paper. writing out what are the what are the things I really have to ask? That’s when I decided that I had to fire to coaches, my, all the years I coached. And once I got the second one fired, I realized it wasn’t the athletes fault. It’s my fault. It’s my fault, because I didn’t do a good job, good enough job of screening the athletes, I do better job. So I sat down started writing down questions, what things do I need to ask? Because if the answers is this, I’ve got a real problem. If we get several answers like that, then it’s not going to work. Or something along that line that I was just having these, this tool that helps you decide who you coach and who you don’t coach,
Coaches working together
Neal Henderson 55:41
On a really, I almost say different topic, I think there’s a lack of discussion of how other coaches can work with one another over time. And I would say, you know, the best coaches or the best managers, managers of resources. And as a coach, I’ve actually had athletes, I said, you need to work with this coach that specializes in this area to develop those skills, they have the the time energy knowledge that I don’t have in that area, I can, you know, coordinate other aspects to work with work with them as as you know, we’ve had an approach for a very long period of time working with, especially with triathletes, where, okay, maybe I had more expertise and time and energy for certain aspects, let’s say the bike and Grant had more time, energy and capacity and their swimming, and we would then collaborate, you know, together on other pieces, but often, coaches kind of get siloed a little bit, you know, if they’re out just on their own, and sometimes, you know, trusting other coaches and having especially, you know, those relationships of knowing who like if you work with an athlete, and you’d be like, You know what, they would be a really good fit with this person, because I do get a lot of requests from athletes that I’m not the right fit for them for wherever they’re at developmentally, or you know, what their goals are, what their focus is, and like, who can I guide them toward that I know would be a really good fit.
Joe Friel 57:04
So what you’re saying is, you don’t know everything? Well. And that’s what I
Neal Henderson 57:07
know a lot more of what I don’t know now than I did 20 years ago.
Grant Holicky 57:12
And I think that’s a great point. That’s exactly what Trevor was alluding to, right? When we walk into the business. We think we know at all. I’m 30 years into coaching started coaching when I was 17, or something ridiculous, right? Now somebody comes to me for strength, I know where I want to point them in the direction of strength. Can I give them general strength stuff? Absolutely. But I don’t know everything. Nutrition is a great example. I think there’s so many endurance coaches that are happy to dive into nutrition. I’m really fortunate I have a registered dietician that is my wife. And I’ll turn around and say, What do you think about this? And she’ll give me answers and this and that, but I’m still gonna direct somebody to a nutritionist know what she know. But it’s just as important to know what you don’t know.
Joe Friel 57:58
So Rebecca, you were you were in the Air Force. I was also, I didn’t fly, but I fixed is what I did a long time ago. And I know it had an influence on the way I coach, as I have coached athletes ever since then it just, there’s something about being in the military that changes the way you see the world a little bit, if not a lot. That happened to your coaching also,
Rebecca Gross 58:21
I would say absolutely. I think, first and foremost was the leadership training that I went through as an officer. And I think it’s set me up for the democratic style very thoroughly. I know that the leadership training and military has various degrees of success, but I feel like it did a lot for me. My master’s afterwards was also in sports psychology. So the democratic positive psychology side of it, I think, I’ve found and seem to be most effective, completely. So I’d say definitely steered me in the democratic direction. As far as the leadership training received,
Joe Friel 59:01
yours is different than mine then. I’ve never been called so many names in my life. As when I went through basic training,
Rebecca Gross 59:10
yeah, and I mean, that part was there too. But I think as an officer, you progress towards leading other folks and then you get a chance to see what works and what doesn’t work and I definitely experienced some bad leadership and I know that that influenced me being more democratic as well just because I could tell when leaders were more democratic with me I definitely responded much more effectively.
Joe Friel 59:33
Great. Good info good good thoughts. There’s always something in your life many things in your life that impact how you coach who’s going back to all this all this stuff, your personality, your family, or what you’ve read what you’ve been given what you learned in school and all this stuff. You’re when you’re a kid, how are the kids treated you? These things are so this they just drive who we become not only in coaching, but it Life. So coaching is just one aspect of our lives. A fun one but its one one big aspect. Mike, you, I know you, you talked about the name of your company is D3, Multisport. And I’ve always wondered what that meant, where it came from. Yeah. Because it had something to do with your, your philosophy.
Mike Ricci 1:00:24
So, D3 is desire determination, discipline. I had an amazing football coach in high school. And he talked about the five DS every day. So it’s desire, determination, drive, discipline, dedication. And so I used to have this little thing on my refrigerator. And it was a picture of the mountains, which was inspiring to me and had d to the fourth power because I thought drive and one of the two are kind of the same. And then when I came up with a name for a company, I thought about triathlon being three, and then I came up with d3. And I took the best three from that. And that’s how I came. I always wanted to Yeah, so funny enough, I talked to a old football teammate many years ago, and he said, Did you get that from Coach Morrow? And I said, I did. And he knew, so kind of cool. But I was in the Marine Corps too. So I mean, I had this I have the same thing with you guys. And I think that, you know, that’s definitely an autocratic type of leadership and growing up in an Italian household, same thing. So, for me, the Marine Corps was no big deal, right? It was just like, Okay, this is what everyday life is not a big deal. But you certainly pick those leaders that you like, that allow you to grow as a person and I was enlisted. So I had responsibility. Not as a as an officer, but different responsibilities that you had to understand, like, you know, which of the leaders you like, and those are the philosophies that probably shaped how I coach. And I would say on that scale, I think a lot of I think some athletes definitely need more of an autocratic coaching style, because they don’t, they don’t listen, and they don’t follow things, and you need to say to them. This is the way you need to do it if you want to improve because if you don’t do this, you know, you’re gonna, you’re gonna fail. The surprising thing for me is when an athlete when I’ll say to an athlete, hey, I want to know what your favorite workouts are. Let’s get those in there. And when I, in their surprise, they’re like, you’re gonna let me I’m like, Yeah, I’m gonna give you some of this ownership, like we talked about, like, that’s a big thing for people. I think some people have been coached old school for so long, but they don’t understand. There’s another way to do it. Yeah.
What is your philosophy?
Joe Friel 1:02:13
Okay, so now it’s come to the end of this. You know, your methodology. You know, your style. What is your philosophy? How do you see what you’re all about as a coach, you may not be able to come up with a pretty phrase, like we did for wooden right there for anybody else. But there should be a few thoughts bubbling around in your mind about what your own philosophy is. So let me stop talking now and listen to you what, what are your philosophies?
Grant Holicky 1:02:50
I have actually put thought into this. I, you know, I’m fortunate enough to be in graduate school right now. And this is one of the things we went through. And, as I wrote it out, and this won’t be as pretty as how I wrote it out, but my philosophy is, is helping athletes to achieve their life and sport goals through sport.
Joe Friel 1:03:13
Okay, very succinct. I like that. You’ve got a couple of points in there that obviously indicate democratic coach. So we’ve seen We’ve seen your style, we’ve got an idea a little bit about your philosophy about your methodology. So now we know your your philosophy also. Good. Anybody else wants to just what theirs might be?
Joe Gambles 1:03:32
Well, my background in coaching comes from actually racing this professional athlete for 20 plus years of triathlon. So not at all, no, not at all. But a lot of, I guess, the way I approach comes from experience, and I sort of end up generally working with professional athletes that maybe that was me 10 years ago. So I’d see my role as a mentor, mentoring sort of role in guiding them and maybe stopping them making some of the mistakes that I made along the way. But at the end of the day for racing, as a professional athlete, it’s all about performance and making money and gaining sponsorship and maybe winning the way I’m in or whatever their goals are. So my role right now is to be able to step back and look at the big picture while these athletes get very narrow focused and which is and I can relate to that personally because that’s where I’ve been in the past
Joe Friel 1:04:34
I understand, so let’s break it down to a sentence.
Joe Gambles 1:04:39
O so yeah, I guess. Yeah, I need some help on this. I haven’t thought about this till yesterday as well. So
Joe Friel 1:04:48
I’m sure nobody has really, but except for that you mentioned the word mentor. Yeah. Can you play with that? How does that fit in with Philosophy.
Joe Gambles 1:05:01
I guess I see guiding the athletes through their whole career as more of a mentorship.
Joe Friel 1:05:12
Okay stop right there. Yeah. Okay. You see yourself as being a mentor to your athletes?
Joe Gambles 1:05:19
yeah and that’s more with the professional athletes I work with. Understand as opposed to the age group is that’s a completely different.
Joe Friel 1:05:25
Different ballgame. Yeah. Okay. So you’re qualifying that, so that’s fine. Okay, anybody else? Trevor?
Trevor Connor 1:05:32
So yeah, mine comes down to one word to the point that what I was thinking of names for my coaching business, I looked up the French and Italian translations to see if it was a cool word do as a coach. But its purpose are purposeful coaching, I am a big believer in there needs to be purpose behind everything we’re doing. And more importantly, the athlete needs to understand that purpose. There needs to be a purpose behind the plan. There needs to be a purpose behind every ride. And I have this talk with every athlete where I tell them to the point that if you go out for a ride, you get on your bike, and you don’t know why you’re doing that ride, turn around, go home, give me a call, and we’ll talk about,
Joe Friel 1:06:14
do you get any phone calls?
Trevor Connor 1:06:16
No because I spend a whole lot of time on purpose before they go out. Because we know what those costs are.
Joe Friel 1:06:22
Your living your philosophy, you’re living it very good. Who else?
Neal Henderson 1:06:27
May not it’s something definitely I’ve thought about. And as I’ve been coaching for a long time, the more I coach, the more I think about these aspects for sure of, okay, what am I trying to do and one thing I said to an athlete, is I’m trying to make my job irrelevant for you to develop that you the the ability for the athlete to execute everything they need to develop that autonomy. So there’s an aspect in that that is then an athlete centered, you know, with purpose progression to develop capacity and competence to perform to the athletes goals.
Joe Friel 1:07:05
So it’s kind of a you’re developing self self coached athletes.
Neal Henderson 1:07:09
Yeah. efficacy, I wanna, I want them to want to call me but not need to call or want to be liked, but not needed.
Joe Friel 1:07:17
Exactly. Good, good.
Rebecca Gross 1:07:21
My philosophy, I’ve also spent some time thinking about it is that the athlete is a person first. And I want to focus on the whole life perspective, so that they’re mentally healthy and in a good place to compete.
Joe Friel 1:07:34
Okay, kind of like the franz Stampfl point of view here.
Rebecca Gross 1:07:37
Joe Friel 1:07:37
Very much up here. Yeah, I want to make sure the athlete is convinced they can achieve their goal. absolutely excellent.
Mike Ricci 1:07:44
I’ve definitely written this out a long time ago, I probably forgotten most of it. But you know, in the beginning, I think with coaching were for me, it was really just helping people have, you know, through sport, like Grant was talking about, have a better life, and you know, longevity of life and all these, you know, different things as we age, we want to, you know, be healthy and mindful of all that, you know, while helping people achieve their goals, and I’m sure I put the word dreams in there, and all kinds of things like that. But, you know, some of this is, you know, using coaching experience, and some of its using science. And so there’s, there’s a mix of all that stuff. So, in terms of philosophy, I mean, I’ve always said, Let’s just make better people, you know, through through their athletics or through triathlon, you know, primarily, but yeah, it’s, it’s definitely I need something to put a pen to paper and really figure it out. The idea is floating around out there. Sure. It’s a combination of all these great, great things that these guys have said.
Joe Friel 1:08:34
have started getting. And I hope out the if you’re watching this, I really hope that you’re doing thinking the same way. These coaches are thinking about, you know, why do I coach the way I do? The why that’s what so that’s where we have to start from why do we do this? Why aren’t Why do I coach like this? Again I want to thank everybody, for coming out today to participate in this I, what I my hope is, is that you take something home with you from this, thet will make your make you a better coach, and therefore produce better athletes and athletes who like the way you coach and take it to the next level. This isn’t the sort of thing we can do. Coaching is kind of like a family. It’s kind of like we’re all growing together, as opposed to be competitors. I never liked that idea. We’re competing with one another. We’re actually competing together or working for the same thing which is produced better, better athletes. We can all do it. Thank you