Athlete Expectations – A Coach’s Perspective

A summary of the article from Training Peaks “How to Improve an Athlete’s Racing Attitude and Expectations” by Taylor Thomas

The role of a coach is to prepare each athlete to achieve their goals. This includes the program, hard technical skills, nutrition, equipment & mental preparation.

Athletes invest a lot of time, money & energy into training for one or more main events per season. This can make athletes stressed and anxious in the lead up to the event or during key periods in the season.

To help reduce stress & anxiety leading into a race, athletes should focus on the following:

  • Review key workouts such as training races or race simulation training sessions just prior (within a few weeks) to your goal race. Was it successful? What can you improve on? Did you hit the anticipated speed/pace/power/time etc.?
  • Discuss your race day strategy with your coach. This should include equipment, nutrition plan, the course, weather conditions, your strengths & weaknesses and pacing. Also review all pre-race considerations including registration, nutrition, warm up etc. For more information check out GPC’s blogs:
  • Reflect on your overall preparation for the race and long-term improvements. It is important to recognize “where you have come from” in relation to your training and racing. Beginners will see a greater change in their skills & fitness compared to a more experienced athlete but you should be able to find one or two things you have improved throughout the preparation.
  • Discuss the goal of the event with your coach. Does your goal align with your coach’s goal for you? Do you have the same expectation for the event? The expectation may be to finish the race, gain experience, win, podium, gain qualification points etc. Whatever it is, this needs to be clear for both coach & athlete & discussed.

As you become more experienced as an athlete some of the above-mentioned points may not require as much time or consideration.