In this short series about certain aspects of online coaching and programming, I listed the issues a coach will face as he or she adopts distance coaching, the problem of not being able to give real-time input and the challenge of obtaining the most relevant and detailed training and health information about the person as you prepare to coach them.

The first exchanges with the new athlete/client are critical. I’ve been criticized for not being commercial enough since the whole process of testing, writing reports and evaluating is not included in the package price. My option: I don’t feel comfortable establishing an agreement before I know I can deliver that service. Sometimes I can’t: that person needs medical attention before enrolling in a training program proper.

After I establish the first two-month program (and that comes after one or more 15 days testing routines), I need feedback. Feedback includes:

-          How did my intensity prescription / subjective perception of effort (reps in stock) work?

-          Did anything change in the execution post-instruction?

-          Soreness

-          Discomfort

-          Sleep

-          … and a bunch of other items

Video is extremely important and the most common response is: “Sorry, I forgot to video-tape it”. Progress reports are frequently: “it’s all good”.

I tried using the spreadsheet itself with a space for their comment: it works for a small percentage of them.

After many years, my experience is that unless you are working with elite athletes highly motivated to achieve some important landmark, their feedback will be minimal. That doesn’t mean they are not doing their work. It just means it became routine and they do forget that you need that input.


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