Well almost… but not quite. It’s coming to the end of another race season and another twelve months of coaching support, with lots of wonderful, exhilarating new heights reached. Just a few, final super challenges remain.
Looking back, it’s been a really good year for me at ZigZag Alive – working with a wide range of people, some comparatively seasoned and reaching for new higher goals, others completely new to the world of triathlon, swimming and other big endurance challenges.
Within the mix there’s been some I coached the previous year, signed up for another twelve months of working together, and some I’d not worked with before who came forward during the year at different stages of training.
To single out any for special mention wouldn’t be right as just about each and every one of them has done extraordinary things. For me one interesting thing, though, has been several new clients who came wanting to start right in at the deep end of longer triathlons, with no previous experience before going for very challenging distances and events: one going for Olympic distance, another a half ironman and another going straight in at Ironman (and opting for one of the toughest out there at that!).
I know some coaches would frown upon such unconventional practices. My sense is that as triathlon grows it is attracting more people from wider, more varied backgrounds and with different ambitions and motivations than has perhaps been the case before. How brilliant as a coach to have the opportunity to respond and support people alongside those with more traditional performance focused goals of PBs and podium places. I recently wrote about the principle of respecting people’s ambitions in a Confidence Centred Coaching blog post (more of which below).
And you can see from the expressions of two of these three first time ever triathletes a little of what it meant for them. The third tells his own story on the Stories page.
PBs and podiums of course have their place too and it’s been great working with some very exciting, in at the very sharp end of racing, GB athletes. More stories to come very soon with one of these selected and heading for his first Paratriathlon World Cup event in Madeira in less than four weeks. And into November there’s a big hairy challenge of the legendary Ballbuster duathlon looming for another athlete, rounding off an inspiring year of great off road, sprint duathlons and road runs.
Alongside the coaching, I was selected to be a British Triathlon mentor to coaches on their Level 3 programme. How great to be involved in helping bring on other coaches and being a part of the High Performing Coach education programme.
Closer to home and the end of the race season means we’re back to providing training at our Club’s junior section, Sussex TriStars. I’ve not been as involved in coaching the adult section of Brighton Tri Club this year so it would be nice to get back into that too. My regular lessons teaching swimming to children with disabilities through the charity Level Water completes a nice rounded mix.
This year has also been a big step for me with the launch of the new Confidence Centred Coaching network for coaches from across all sports. We are gradually attracting members and building up the network, beginning to share experiences and learning together. There have been lots of opportunities to put into practice the theory I’ve researched and developed – it really works with some truly glorious results, a little of which will be captured in a new blog post on the site.
So into the coming year we head. Several people have already committed to continue into the coming year. There are still a few places left if you’d like to work together over a twelve month period, as outlined on the triathlon page (though can be any combination of swim, bike and run).
Within the year there are also likely to be spaces for a few in need of shorter term, more single event specific coaching support.
And the Swim Analysis continues for the full range of swimmers, from complete beginners to the more advanced looking for that extra speed or technique enhancement. Plus there’s Run Analysis, incorporating our own ZigZag Strength & Conditioning programmes and training plans.
So lots to look forward to. Get in touch if you’d like to know more and work together. And in the meantime be ready for a final big cheer for our two remaining stars who are still out there, their year waiting to be complete.
Big, big thanks to everyone I’ve had the pleasure of working with this year, to friends and supporters.
Comments below welcome.