“Confidence is the most important quality in all athlete-coach relationships.”- Franz Stampfl
I really like this quote. It is extremely important for you to have confidence in your coach, but it’s just as important to have confidence in yourself. I think it’s a 2 part equation- first, you have to have confidence that your coach is giving you the tools you need to succeed and second, you have to have confidence in yourself that you can do it.
On the flip side, i must have complete confidence in all of you in order to get you to the end goal. This is the easy part. I spend all day, every day, training people and pushing people just a little outside their comfort zone. This isn’t always easy but this is the ONLY way you will see improvements in your fitness level. I think this is where my counseling background really comes in handy for me. I will never be the mean coach we see on tv. I will never berate you and scream and yell. I will, however, push you and encourage you to push yourself a little harder.
Running is simply not easy. I still struggle. I still remember what it was like when i couldn’t run more than a few minutes at a time. I still remember being embarrassed to go for runs because i didn’t want people in cars to think they might need to call 911 for me! Most importantly, I still remember the moment i decided i would stop giving myself excuses and put my all into it and become a runner. That’s when it all changed for me. It started to become more enjoyable and, at times, it even felt a little easier. Don’t get me wrong, i still have plenty of days when my body is telling me i can’t go a step further, but i really try to fight it mentally. Don’t say you can’t; just say you’re going to try your hardest and see where that takes you.
The body is an amazing thing. It feeds off of physical and mental stress. This is how is gets stronger. I’m going to quote a passage from a book i’m reading (Guide to Injury Prevention by Dagny Scott Barrios) and then i want to address a few things specifically. “Running injures the body. It causes tiny rips and tears in your muscle fibers; tendons and ligaments are traumatized by microtears and tugs; your glycogen gas tank, which provides fuel for the muscles, is depleted and near empty. You can’t see any of this but you can feel it in the form of soreness and join pain. Recovery… can undo this damage. When the healing is complete, something amazing has occurred: the body is now stronger than it was before and able to handle greater stress, which is to say more running. Repeat this process enough times and you experience a “training effect” in which your body is able to handle more stress, running.”
Basically, what this is saying is that you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to excel. If you always run the same amount or always stop the second you feel like you need to, you’re not giving your body the opportunity to get used to the stress and move past it. With that being said, you must do the proper things you need to do to recover- eat and drink properly, stretch, strength train if you have certain weakness, and rest if super sore or unusually fatigued.
When designing programs, whether it’s a running program or a strength training program, i always think about how i can move that person to the next level. It’s important to me for my clients / runners to see success. I will push a little hard when i think it’s manageable, but i will also back off when necessary. I will always push you a little outside your comfort zone because i believe in you! Now it’s time to start believing in yourself!