Teach, do NOT use !
Life in the Fast Lane !
Outside of a mastery of the science of the particular sport one is coaching (in our case distance running) one of the most, if not the most important responsibility and indeed necessity of any coach is to teach and not use the athlete for your own personal gain.
It is the responsibility of the coach to develop each individual athlete at the relevant rate to allow for appropriate and safe adaptation. You must tailor the training to the student and not the student to the training...this is seemingly a rudimentary statement and yet is holds within it your competence to be a professional coach (distance coach). You are charged with responsibility of coaching an athlete for a particular period of time, be it Middle school, High school, College, Open, or Masters. It is your job to leave them in a more advanced and knowledgeable place than when you first started with them and to teach them the 'why' of what is attempting to be accomplished as well as the 'what' ~ If you do this then you have passed one of the key tests to being able to call yourself the all too easily used title of 'coach'. Teach do NOT use. They are NOT your own personal experimental of one and to this end, you can and should have a philosophy as a coach but not a recipe. Every single student is unique, from a different environment, with different DNA and skill sets, different upbringings, different rates of maturity and experience, different physical and psychological make ups...
Do not hold the status quo as a coach, you must evolve and grow too and as such the teacher must remain the student otherwise by default you are falling behind the times. There are excellent resources out there that grow every day, so read, study and watch and analyze and mold your ever increasing knowledge to your style of counseling and coaching and challenge the authors you are reading so you can intelligently debate and become more confident and assured in what you believe in....
Teacher must be the student must be the challenger and ultimately grow stronger and deeper as the master and then and only then can you distinguish between how to teach (coach) not use !
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