Coach Taz aka Wes Hargrove is not just a great athlete who’s qualified for Kona Ironman World Championships and respectable successful coach. He’s a man with a huge heart. His family at home is his priority but those at work and on the TriCoachGeorgia team are not just acquaintances. They are genuinely and deeply cared about. He values loyalty, dedication, and integrity. He wanted to write a quick blog on the concept of coaching with integrity.
Coaches Need Integrity
I have been reading blogs by Coach Slayer on how coaching depends on the relationship between coach and triathlete and one on TrainingPeaks.com that coaching is more than just training. This got me to thinking that integrity is at the base of all relationships. That trust needs to be emphasized today in this little blog because it is so important to achievement of jointly developed training and racing goals. Without it, the coaching relationship is doomed.
Make Sure You Surround Yourself with the Qualities You Value
When I decided to get into coaching I wanted to make sure I went about it the right way and followed the lead of my mentor. I tried different people in different capacities until I settled on Coach Slayer. I was very lucky to have leadership from an experienced coach with lots of integrity and loyalty. This flows both ways with him to his athletes and vice versa. I try to bring that to my coaching style too.
Without integrity from both sides of the coach-athlete relationship, it is difficult for either side to be productive. Firstly, to be at your full potential as a coach you have to be committed and true to to the process. This commitment, in turn, can affect athletes, who are trying ever so hard to reach their goals. They sense and feed off of your honesty in terms of feedback and presence. Technically, it is essential too for the proper workouts to be on offer.
Open Communication is Key
On the other side of the equation, if the athlete is not communicating accurate data, not reporting data at all or in a limited fashion, or not noting bodily situations like soreness or injury, then the whole coaching process is thrown off due to the lack of integrity. The progressions are interfered with and, ultimately, everyone fails.
Loyalty is Huge Too
Coaching doesn’t only rely on integrity and trust. Loyalty is also important in this equation for longevity and productivity of the relationship. I preach loyalty not just to the team but to the process of building endurance. This sport is not about microwaving; it’s about slow cooking to perfection!
Again, loyalty has to be a two way street; it simply does not work if it’s only one sided. You have to feel valued and important or the relationship will fall apart quickly. When you feel your coach is loyal to you and understands your needs, motivations, and fears, you climb to even greater heights to fight for the both of you, as well as your support groups, on tough training days or race days.
The amount of coaching effectiveness between an athlete and a coach will only be as strong as the relationship between the two. That foundation must be solid. Anytime that I meet with an athlete, it is important for me to make sure we have the same goals and that they are attainable. More essential even, we must ensure that we are a proper fit in the way of personality. Like any relationship, we have to keep working things as we go along.
To ensure a proper fit between an athlete and a coach, the morals and character must line up in a place for complete trust on both sides. Investigate who you are making commitments to before you sign the dotted line by using Coach Slayer’s suggestions from the blog cited above.
I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. Without a good bond that is built on integrity and trust, that goes above an beyond just athletics, an even bigger obstacle or limiter is created that will impede any coached athlete from reaching their goals. People that come to a coach and trusts him or her with their dreams and goals will reward with better results the coach that digs in to help them honestly and genuinely. As a coach, I consider it an honor to remove the doubt about my intentions or morals and want to help my athletes find their most success.
If you want to discuss this concept more, feel free to message, email, or call me. Otherwise, assess this concept in your coaching relationship, and see how it impacts your performance. Don’t be afraid to make the changes you need to make if necessary. Good luck and, as always, #DoYourJob!