Reflection from the USAT conference
You can find out all about what a USA Triathlon (USAT) coaching certification for Level I is. But to actually be there was really one of my favorite non-kid-related parts of what I’ve started to call the Triathlon experience of the past year and a half.
Some people there (43) were professional coaches, but most weren’t yet. That was encouraging to me. Many of us expressed an interest of turning this triathlon training stuff from more than just the hobby it is now into something that is really making some side (or full-time) money. Obviously my goals are a little bit different, but that’s for a different time.
Each day was 2-3 topics ranging from pretty technical but useful nutrition, mental focus for athletes, the business side of things, the protection our USAT Coaching Level 1 Certification provides us, Running by Bobby McGee, Tactical parts of cycling, swimming and the sport as a whole. Todd Waldner from Fresno was also there and we found at least one other youth-oriented coach but heard rumors of several others throughout the country. So that was encouraging and disappointing at the same time.
Nutrition: Eat to Train, don’t train to eat (so I can’t justify drinking mountain dews any more by saying, “oh well I ran 6 miles this morning…”)
Sports Physiology: I have a lot to learn about how the body works
Psychology: Good here, but I should be able to talk to my kids about it without smirking.
Swimming: rotation, learn to ADAPT to different conditions.
Biking: I want to better learn how to “fit,” someone and get my kids fitted for the bikes we have.
Running: Lean forward about 5%, pretend that you’re pulling strings down from your face. Bobby McGee is a god among men.
Coaching: Time=Money. Most people coach because they love triathlons, but this conference wasn’t free after all… (hint: I’m still very committed to keeping my club the only one in the country that I know of taking low-income youth and teaching them triathlons)
Training: Periodization baby… (I don’t really do this for my own athletes… need to do a better job about that.)
Two ideas for next year immediately:
1) Divide things up into “sessions” as Todd does… make them pay like $10 up front but then give it all back if they come to all the practices and stuff. This will take more donors and fundraisers, but hopefully ensure more commitment.
2) Less races, more training. I love how we were able to do a ton of races this year, but it was a lot of money and time that perhaps didn’t need to have happened if we really want to focus as a triathlon club.
3) I need someone willing to help organize camping trips, HELP apply for grants, keep the records of the kids times, etc… which could all be done on the web hint hint? Email me if you’re interested.