I get this question pretty frequently about my cycling coaching. Some people think coaches are just for professional athletes or CEOs – I’m here to tell you coaches and mentors can probably help you right now!
First, investing in yourself is always a good idea. No matter how you chose to do this, start today. Coaching is one of the best investments you can make.
I think everyone should hire a coach even if they donâ€™t practice a sport. Ever wish you had a really good mentor? Well, you can have exactly what you want! This post applies not just to sports coaching, but all types of coaching.
We are all starting new sports/projects/hobbies/businesses all the time. We learn from our peers, we learn from the internet (like when I was learning to country dance and I would watch YouTube videos all the time), we learn from books, courses, and we learn from coaches and mentors. So when is the right time to hire a coach?
Say you are trying to start an online business. There is a ton of free material out there on the web. I bet you could teach yourself everything you need to know by finding a bunch of blogs and videos by experts in what you want to learn about. That will get you 99% of the way to where you need to be. But it might take you a lot of time to go out there and figure out which information you can really use and what doesnâ€™t apply to you.
If you are learning something new like how to play chess (or guitar, or cycling), the process of discovering slowly over time can be fun, like reading a good mystery novel. For other people who like to be as good as they can be, hiring coach (or reading a book or taking a class) enables them toÂ learn a lot faster.
It can take a lot of time to learn something, and we still donâ€™t always get things quite right. Imagine how bad we would be at reading and writing if we never had a teacher – I probably would have quit once I knew enough words to have a basic conversation. It makes so much sense to hire a coach (or take a course) when you are just starting a new endeavor so you don’t repeat mistake someone else has already made.
I think the best investment in yourself is to learn something. My rule of thumb is that you should buy every book you need and canâ€™t get at the library. Follow the bloggers your like, and if they offer a course that can help get to the next level, you should probably buy that course also.
If you devote even a small part of your budget ($100 / month is reasonable) to paying for the key things that can help you, do it. It is way cheaper than college, and about a million time more applicable. When is the last time you used what you learned in your college introduction to anthropology course?
Just like how financial people are always touting the power of compounding interest, think about the compounding power of hiring a coach or taking a course. They can take away your job, but not what you know.
A coach gives you a steeper learning curve. You get access to everything they know. They say time is money, so trade a little bit of money for the experience a coach had to spend lots of time to accumulate.
A coach sees things that you don’t see and can help with the big picture. We all know the best advice to give to other people, but make the same dumb mistakes our friends do. Â This is because we think our problems are unique. Hiring a coach makes it easy to listen a know that you are getting personalized advice. Â So much of my cycling coaching goes beyond the sport to other important parts of life.
A coach makes it easier on you Â by simplifying your life. You don’t have to think up all the workouts, plan the season, etc, so you save lots of time. If I was rich, the first thing I would do would be to hire a personal assistant to take care of all the details of my life, and a good coach does organizational work so you can focus on improving on your goals.
So hire a coach when you want to get better faster (when you are in the first few years of a sport), when you want to take it to the next level and break through a plateau, or when you are busy and want to focusÂ your energy spent on training andÂ racing. Think like a CEO or president – you need to reserve you energy for high level acitvities (i.e. improving what you want to be good at)
The most dangerous thing is to go it alone (in life?) – you never know when you will go down a misleading rabbit hole. When I was younger I thought that if I just rode as hard as a could every day, I would get fast. Turns out rest is important too, which I didn’t learn until I had a coach.
For you cyclists out there, I hope I’ve convinced you to enlist the help of a good coach. Please check out my coaching page and my coaching philosophy if you think you might want to invest in yourself and take your cycling to the next level.
Question: Have you had a coach in the past that made a big difference for you? What did they help you with the most? Leave you answer in the comments!