Many coaches claim to be the best, but not all have what it takes to take their students to the next level. We have identified a few traits here for what makes a running coach competent.
First and foremost, coaches should be tough enough to take on the challenge. This does not only refer to physical toughness but also to mental toughness. These individuals need to encourage their students non-stop without complaining about personal issues.
Competent coaches should be approachable under any circumstance. Whenever there is a need or question from an athlete, a good coach should be prepared to listen and to give advice. It does not help anyone to put up a mean face all the time. Friendliness is always welcome.
Great coaches know all about making gradual gains in fitness. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it takes time to get to a desired level of fitness. Avoid coaches who try too hard too fast – there is no shortcut to fitness.
Health and progress should always be at the forefront of a trainer’s concern. A good running coach will know how hard they can push before allowing an athlete to recover. They can also give some nutritional advice.
Emergencies and accidents always happen. Trainers should be considerate enough to understand if a training regime is interrupted. Training programmes should be flexible enough to include a contingency plan.
Coaches with a good track record should be considered. If other athletes have found success with a trainer, then there is a likelihood that you will too. However, this might not always be the case. Everyone is different and may need another set of skills from a different trainer to get the same results.
A trainer with appropriate qualifications is always worth considering. This can also mean that the trainer is passionate about improving themselves. This automatically makes a trainer more devoted to their practice. However, nothing beats experience, and qualifications are only a steppingstone.
A coach can have multiple qualifications but without the experience necessary to train athletes. Combining the qualifications and track record of a coach will give an athlete a better indication of the coach’s competency.
There are many other traits that may not have been mentioned here, but these mentions will definitely provide readers with a little bit more perspective on what to look for in a great running coach.