Mentors, Teachers, Athletes and Learning
As I young coach I studied training theory constantly. Bowerman, Canova, Coe, Cerutty, Lydiard, Brother O'Connell, etc. For years, I bought or borrowed nearly every training book I could find and read until all hours of the night — in fact, I still do.
My mind was filled with theory, but my resume lacked a depth of experience.
So I searched far and wide to find the best mentors I could, mentors who had decades of experience and coaching far longer than I'd been alive. I asked questions. I listened. And I learned even more.
And I kept studying. Every week I read something related to the craft of coaching athletes. You could say every author was an instructor who complimented the real-time learning from my mentors.
And, of course, all the while I was coaching athletes myself. Doing the best I could writing training, encouraging people, developing race plans, solving problems, and searching for any way to help each get better.
I learned a lot from books, even more from mentors, but to this day, I learn the most from interacting and coaching athletes.
Practice and race day is where I learn the most.
It is funny, often the coach is looked upon to be the teacher, the one with all the knowledge to disseminate. However, the reality is we coaches are more student than teacher.
We're teachers of the sport, yes, but students of each and every athlete whom we coach. Always and forever.
Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm