Be as teachable as a kid for success


8″Your emphasis on the most fundamental aspects of sprint mechanics and valuable insight in diagnosing technical weaknesses has given me greater understanding and confidence in my sprint.” Faris Schlueter, Cat 2 Racer, on his coach’s teaching skills

My first criteria for choosing to privately work with a rider is teachability – not talent but if a rider can be taught, take advice, and ask for and give feedback. Any rider can improve if taught what to do with limited abilities, receiving direction for how best to use what they possess. With feedback, the coach can constantly improve rider adherence to programming or change the program to match rider needs.

Bike racing is information-intensive. Experienced advice in all things cycling is necessary to not only be competitive but to reach full potential. I’ve trained riders with incredible physiological self-knowledge who needed tactical advice; and tacticians who didn’t understand sprint training from tempo rides. Fostering communication sets up objective analysis for an athlete unable to objectify when training and goals are mismatched.

A multi-disciplinary approach includes technical knowledge of equipment, positioning, aerodynamics, etc. It takes a village – a team of cycling expertise and resources behind one great professional racer. Every rider should have a similar network of advisors if improvement is a goal. So should every coach. Seek a teachable coach – one who will be flexible in applying rider input to training and performance. This is especially important during athletic transitions, such as: extending performance beyond a usual time-frame, periods where you lack confidence, injury recovery, and career choices that call for stressful changes. 9“This gives athletes the opportunity to take greater responsibility for their careers, and to gain more understanding of their sport.” If you’re the strong silent type riding for enjoyment, just ride. For excellence, put your team of experts together, listen but be ready to talk and give feedback!

Prayer for Teachability
“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” 10Proverbs 12:15
“A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.” Proverbs 17:10

We are thankful for knowledgeable teachers. We confess we are too independent sometimes. We pray for the ability to listen, learn, and take advice – even if it’s hard to hear or requires extra effort to implement. We pray for the discipline to give an account.

Ponder Am I surrounded by yes men or do I have someone who will provide kind but objective feedback? Affirm I am always learning. Watch how good advice saves trial and error.

8“Road Testimonials,” posted by Coach David Brinton http://www.ridingtowin.com

9“Coaching Conversations – A Way of Fostering Athletes to Peak Performance,” By Rune Høigaard, University of Agder and Arild Jørgensen, USOC Olympic Coach e-magazine, 2007

10The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

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