My Coaching Philosophy
Triathlon provides us the most amazing opportunities to explore our potential in so many ways and helps us believe that there are no boundaries to what we can achieve. I believe absolutely that if we can conceive it, we can believe it. And, if we can believe it, we can be it. And so, as a coach, I live by my mantra: dream, believe, discover…it will change your life!
As a coach, I believe in potential, possibility and the infinite capacity of the human spirit. I believe that potential must be cultivated, discovered, nurtured and developed. Triathlon, with its demands for mental, physical and emotional stamina and its ability to show athletes who they are and what they are made of, provides the opportunity for me as a coach to teach athletes how to endure. This means how to endure not just in our training, but in our work and our lives. With its requirement for endurance through discipline, commitment and courage, (no matter the distance), triathlon builds strength, breeds success and sustains faith that we as human beings have a profound and amazing capacity to overcome.
My higher meaning as a coach is the cultivation of potential with the highest level of professional integrity I can achieve. I have a little sign in my office that says “never, never, never give up” and below it is taped a saying from Winston Churchill that reads:
Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.
My job as a coach (and my most fundamental goal) is to cultivate potential in each and every person I meet, and, to do so with the highest possible level of personal integrity. I work with my athletes to make them better each day and to help them learn good sportsmanship, etiquette and ethics, and through their training and racing experiences to better understand their potential contribution to their sport, their families, friends, community and society. I strive to role model the professional integrity I expect of them as athletes and as members of society.
My coaching values can be summarized using the word POTENTIAL
P – People are first
O – Opportunity is everywhere
T – Time is available
E – Ethics are essential
N – Numbers are helpful
T – Transformation does happen
I – Instincts are fundamental
A – Ability is inside
L – Learning is living
Roles and Responsibilities
My role as a coach is to cultivate potential with the highest level of professional integrity possible. This means that my decisions must be grounded in accurate research and data, reflect good judgment and be based upon a solid ethical framework. My actions and decisions must always be done within the rubric of Safety First. I pledge that I will not cheat or knowingly put an athlete, assistant coach or anyone under my charge in harm’s way or at risk.
My expectation of my athletes is that they engage fully and freely in the training, to dream, believe and discover their potential through the training, and to be curious about the program and learn about why we are doing what we are doing in the pursuit of identified goals. My expectation of my athletes is that they will keep me informed about training-related issues (including injuries, etc.) and will behave with integrity.
As a leader in sport, my role is to lead by example; to be professional and above reproach in all activities; to uphold the rules and regulations of the sport; to support, encourage, teach and learn from my athletes, fellow coaches and colleagues about sport, sportsmanship, competition and the complexities of both success and failure; to continuously learn and develop professionally as a coach; and to be an ambassador in my communities for triathlon and for sport in general.
As I reflect on my coaching philosophy, my coaching values and personal mission, I see very clear alignment with Triathlon Canada’s direction. While my tenets may be more specific, the overall themes of world-class leadership, trust, integrity, excellence, accountability, resilience and respect are both evident and deeply embedded in my approach.