LETC growing up (PART 3); coaching

LTAD and coaching needs at LETC

IToday we're looking at coaching relative to the different stages of Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD).

As we said yesterday the LETC coaching philosophy is that everyone has the right to be trained like a high performance athlete. The results may not be high performance, but if you are willing to train and behave as a professional, we are willing to treat you as a professional. However, as with any professional, you still have to learn your way to the top by acquiring behaviour habits and earn respect for modelling those habits. This takes time.

Each stage of LTAD requires some specialized coaching skills.

An athlete at the learning to train stage will gain no more advantage from a coach who works with those competing to win. In reality, the opposite may be true as the higher level coach may not be familiar with the needs of developing athletes as much as they are with the needs of the more advanced athlete. Similarly, skill, fitness and behaviour assumptions of the advanced coach may be incompatible with the abilities of the developing athlete.

Active for Life

At this stage, a triathlon coach needs to be well rounded and build a training group around his or her strengths and weaknesses. The biggest challenges are all about balancing personalities and diversity in the group. As with any large group, you can't please everyone all the time and those coaches who realize this are those who avoid burn out!

  • many active for life coaches are more like mentors ("this is how I learned to...") as opposed to trained coaches ("this is the best way for you to learn to...")
  • in an ideal world, active for life coaches are no longer mentors but coaches who can apply LTAD principles and stages of development to all ages and abilities of athletes
  • recognizes need to balance sport-life-work-social
  • coach may be skills instructor
  • coach may be fitness instructor
  • coach may be motivator
  • most coaching in group environment
    • coaches who can't manage large groups need to work with smaller ones ;-)
    • limited individualization of group workout around individual needs
  • training program experience is more seasonal in nature
    • more advanced programs may allow for some long term growth from season to season through varying the durations, intensities and number of workouts
  • coaches recognize the needs of new athletes coming in and experienced athletes returning or leaving

LETC and Active for Life

We strive to provide coaching that encourages triathlon as a positive lifestyle choice while making high performance routes open to those looking for those options.

The LETC training program provides a group workout plan and the LETC coached workouts provide a group coaching environment for skill learning, social opportunities, self-directed learning, a sense of affiliation and discovering the sport at your own pace.

For those seeking some individualization of their program, both coaches offer this service based on first come first serve at a monthly rate. The LETC training program is used as a template and personal goals, strengths and weaknesses are factored into each athletes modified plan.

For those seeking some individualization of their skills instruction, both coaches offer this service at an hourly rate.

Competing to Win | Maintenance

  • Coaches at this level are masters of the art and science of coaching. They have years of experience as both coaches and sometimes as high performance athletes.
  • Very often, these coaches have 10+ years of coaching and 10,000 hours of coaching backing them up
  • Coaches are highly skilled in yearly AND quadrennial (4 year or Olympic cycle) planning
  • Coaches balance individual and group workouts based on workout objectives for each athlete
  • Tactical, psychological and logistical support at international events
  • teaches athletes to be independent as much as possible, while still leading the program
  • manages an individualized support team- physiotherapists, massage therapists, sport MD, sport psychologist, physiologist, performance analyst, sport technical coaches, managers, etc.

LETC and Competing to Win

LETC does not have the capacity to support athletes at this level. The Triathlon Canada National Training Centre in Victoria is where these athletes should be receiving coaching support.

Contact Alan for more information

Training to Compete | Investment

  • Coaches at this level know the art and science of coaching. They have experience as both coaches and sometimes as high performance athletes.
  • Coaches are highly skilled in yearly training programs
  • Coaches can balance individual and group workouts based on workout objectives for each athlete
  • Tactical, psychological and logistical support at domestic and some international events
  • Coaches are able to identify international level talent and direct those athletes to the programs and resources they need
  • manages a training squad support team- physiotherapists, massage therapists, sport science experts, sport technical coaches, etc.

LETC and Training to Compete

LETC does not have the capacity to support athletes at this level. The Triathlon Canada National Training Centre in Victoria is where these athletes should be receiving coaching support.

Contact Alan for more information

Training to train | Specializing

  • Coaches at this level have experience as both coaches and sometimes as athletes.
  • Coaches can manage yearly training programs
  • Coaches manage group workouts mostly with sub-group individualization based common needs
  • Tactical, psychological and logistical support at domestic events
  • Coaches develop talented athletes into triathletes
  • Coach has access to a support network of physiotherapists, massage therapists, sport science experts, etc.
  • Coach educates athletes as students of the sport

LETC and Training to Train

LETC does support athletes at this level and offers group and individualized programs as well as individual sport specific technical coaching.

Contact your LETC coaches for more information

Learning to train | Sampling

  • Coaches at this level may have experience as both coaches and sometimes as athletes.
  • Coaches manage seasonal training programs
  • Coaches manage group workouts mostly limited individualization based on immediate needs
  • Logistical support at regional events
  • Coaches facilitate progression from athletes into triathletes
  • Coaches teach behaviour habits of athletes
  • Coaches encourage use of support team

LETC and Learning to Train

LETC supports athletes at this stage and offers group and individualized programs as well as individual sport specific technical coaching.

Contact your LETC coaches for more information

To finish up, here is how the workouts available through LETC roughly address the different LTAD stages;

  • LETC coached swim, bike and run: Active for Life, Learning to Train, Training to Train
  • LETC uncoached sessions; Active for Life, Learning to Train
  • ADDED COST OVER LETC BASIC MEMBERSHIP and available to LETC members
    • one on one skills coaching with Alan or Andrew: Active for Life through Training to Compete
    • small group workouts with Alan's Tri Squad: Training to Train through Training to Compete
    • individual training plans with Alan or Andrew: Active for Life through Training to Compete

None of these options are restricted to any LETC members, however you may not be at a level to benefit from the more advanced group sessions or coaching offered if you do not have the basic skills inherent to that stage of LTAD, i.e.

  • Attending second run intensity in a week may result in excessive fatigue, injuries and illness
  • Similarly an advanced open water swimming workout may not help if you get dropped by the group
  • Tuesday Night Bike Crits before you have learned basic group riding skills

If you have any questions, talk to your coaches!

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