Wednesday, March 28, 2012

USAT Coaching Clinic

I started with my coach about 3 and a half years ago. I had gone abroad for the spring semester of my junior year and upon returning decided I did not want to return to the crew team. I also knew I did not want to be without structure and guidance. After a summer where I competed in a few triathlons and planned my first Olympic up in Maine, The Lobsterman Triathlon, I decided to get a coach that fall. I owe SO MUCH to Mideast Multisport. I decided it might be fun to get certified to coach as something to do while in school so at the end of February I went to Charlotte, NC for one of their coaching clinics.

It was 2 full days of listening to lectures ranging from nutrition, bike skills, periodization and planning, swimming, triathlon skills and strength training. I most enjoyed Bob Seebohar’s talks. He was a super good speaker and after reading his book about nutrition and metabolic efficiency it was nice to hear everything he believes in first hand.

I probably learned the most from the talk about “mental fitness”. One of the things I struggle with most while racing is my thought process. This is obviously common and goes along with all the things you hear, like:
            -Sports are 20% physical and 80% mental
            -The major difference between a great athlete and an Olympic athlete is their mind
            -People that can push themselves to athletic achievements have a better ability to endure pain

Even thought I have heard this over and over again it doesn’t make fighting the mental demons any easier. Yeah, it’s a great fact and wonderful to know that the person next to me also feels like crap but these facts do nothing to tell me how to conquer my thoughts of sucky-ness. Dara, the instructor for this part of the lecture, went over tools we can use like visualization and mental mapping/preparation to try and turn situations where you are battling your brain around. So once I start triathlon-ing again I will give these tricks a go!

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