If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” (Ken Robinson)
As both a coached cyclist and a coach myself, I have the unique opportunity of experiencing both sides of the objective/subjective dichotomy. As a rider, I ask questions of my coach that are based mostly upon subjective feelings and comments; his answer is based around keeping my mind focused on what is important…extracting the best performance out of my ability. As a coach, I answer my clients’ questions with information that will help that manage their situation and simplify their total stress level, again in an attempt to help them extract their best possible performance. Thus coaches don’t always tell the client everything! They tell them what they need to know!

When I worked as my own coach during my neo-pro season of 2011, I had to have objective AND subjective discussions with myself. I found the best way to plan and complete my race season preparations was to sit down for 1-2 days at the beginning of each month to objectively analyze my previous training and establish goals and protocols for the coming weeks. If I wrote it down, I would do it! Those were 1-2 days of stress! Then come a training day, I would revert to the subjective rider, how do I feel? Am I motivated? Recovered? If not, I will modify the plan slightly, but not totally toss it aside. This way I could take solace during my rest days and satisfaction after completing my hardest.

So how does a coach keep it all in order? Coaches should build checklists! And for that matter, so should teachers! There was a great piece by Dan Coyle (one of my favorite authors) recently discussing this. Plus, with checklists that bred a means to an end, what can instill an atmosphere between the client/student and the coach/teacher that fosters communication, trust and eventually creativity! Building a lifetime appreciation for learning either through athletic pursuits or artistic journeys.

Find Your Own Style