Tips on Finding the Right Coach by Elizabeth Azze

“Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.” Pete Carroll

The word coach may conjure up many different images and definitions. Throughout our lives most of us have had a “Coach” whether in football, wrestling, track & field, cross country, etc. Even if you never participated in an organized sport, your gym teacher or simply a teacher could of had the same influence. Whether positive or negative, the impact is never lost.

Personally, I have had both negative and positive experiences. In high school, my track coach, Coach Franklin, pretty much told me I wouldn't amount to anything as an athlete or in life. I'm not sure if this was his way of motivating me, but I almost gave up entirely until the assistant coach apologized for his remarks and offered words of encouragement throughout the year. She took it upon herself to bring out my best. I attained a Varsity letter and a scholarship to college because of her. If it weren’t for her words, I would have lost interest in running and most likely wouldn't have chosen a career in fitness & coaching.

Now running is and will be a part of my life forever, it has given me the strength to overcome many of lifes obstacles and has shaped me to become the adventurer that I am today.

I have now been a coach for over 18 years! Within that time I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of athletes with varying goals, whether it was to finish a 100 mile foot race, improve their 5k time or climb Denali. It is a role that I am very passionate about.

Elizabeth coaching Harry Hamilton to his first finish of the Hardrock 100!

Why Having a Coach is Key

Maybe you simply want to get healthy and need guidance or you want improve your current performance, run your first trail race or ultra marathon and are unsure of how to get started. These are all great reasons to hire a coach for the season or for a couple of sessions.

Today the endurance world of triathlon, running, ultra running, trail running and even cross fit are bombarded with coaches; which is great, but choosing a qualified coach that’s right for you can be pretty hard. Below are a couple of tips I hope point you in the right direction.

How to select the right coach (in my opinion)

  • Education and the appropriate certifications.
  • Has many years of experience working with athletes from beginners to elites.
  • He or she truly cares, you are not just a number.
  • Your coach is continually learning and never assumes he or she knows all.
  • The best coaches GET THEIR ATHLETES TO BELIEVE in themselves.
  • Holds you accountable.
  • Addresses your weaknesses first, whether structural or lifestyle.
  • Balances your training programs to fit your lifestyle.
  • Addresses lack of sleep, poor nutrition and stress.
  • Studies the accumulation of training throughout your life.
  • Looks into your injury history.
  • Incorporates recovery and varied training cycles.  
  • Incorporates strength training, cross training and corrective exercise methods.
  • He or she is or was an athlete themselves.

Always remember even the best athletes do not make the best coaches & what works for them may not work for you.

Here at Mountain Peak Fitness, we believe in you! Our passion mixed with over 18 years of experience in the industry offers the best quality of training. Move in the right direction with MPF!

Currently MPF coach Ben Nephew has 4 spots open for the 2017 Calendar year. I have a couple of spots open and Joe Azze has 2.

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