Stephane – “Why I Coach”

Coaching for me, is about the memories. Those moments that are the culmination of months or years of hard work and a partnership with an athlete. For me, the athlete’s goal becomes my goal, my mission. If the athlete fails in achieving their goal, I fail too. Equally, your success becomes my success. Each time one of my athletes achieves their goal, I am filled with emotions such as pride, satisfaction and happiness. This is what keeps me in the business of coaching.

Working together with an athlete and setting goals together means a great responsibility for the coach and the athlete. If the partnership is to achieve the goal, sacrifices are likely to be made along the way. My style of coaching supports one of “no bullshit” and “no excuses”. For a goal such as qualifying for Kona or winning a world championship medal to be achieved, then commitment to the training program needs to be 100%. There are of course circumstances such as work, family life, illness and injury which need to be considered and factored into the program.

I value and respect actions over words. If your goal is a PB, show me your 100% commitment to the training program and OUR shared goal. If you talk about training more than you actually do training, the chances are that I will lose respect for you as an athlete and lose interest in your goal. If you’re 100% in, so am I.

One of the moments that I will remember forever is sharing success with Shari Livingston & Kate Bramley at the ITU World Champs in Chicago. Both women had a dream to medal together in the same age category at the world champs. They had already spent a few seasons training together and gradually improving to the point where this became a realistic dream. The three of us spent 5 months specifically preparing for this event – a shared goal, a shared dream. We trained hard, we trained smart and stuck together as a tight unit through the rollercoaster of an event preparation. The culmination was two women having the race of their lives to stand 1st and 2nd on the podium in the same age category, from the same country and the same squad.

My body still shivers looking at this photo. It was the moment we checked the online results to confirm the girls had placed 1 & 2 at the ITU World Champs Sprint distance in 2015.