Monday, August 17, 2009

Culture of excellence

I was reading this article, and I noticed the following quote from Shane Sutton, the British Cycling Head Coach:

"Dave [Performance Director for British Cycling] always said if we’re not in the top three in our field we shouldn’t be in the building.”

When looking for world-class results, it's not only up to the athletes to strive for excellence. The culture of excellence should be present from top to bottom and be a mission for every single member of the organization.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I sometimes hear the word "generous" to compliment this or that coach. Someone compliments this or that coach saying that he/she is generous with their knowledge.

And I always find this funny, because the best coaches I know are not generous with their knowledge. In fact, when talking to people that are not their athletes, they hardly talk about training or coaching. Of course, some of them are somewhat secretive. But most of them know that without in-depth knowledge about an athlete and his training background, it is very easy to just give out the wrong kind of advice. So it is better to just keep your mouth shut.

What most people don't realize is that those that offer unsolicited advice and are always eager to share their "knowledge", are either doing it in order to generate business for them or because they seek validation from these interactions with athletes. Or both. They are not doing it for you, they are doing it for them.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

And today's rant is on testing

"When there is some sort of test that improves performance, I will do it. Most of those tests only serve to either be another service that you can charge athletes, or a way of justifying pseudo-scientific work and/or jobs. If I thought lactate tests were helpful, I would do them myself. I STOPPED doing lactate tests back in 2003. VO2max tests are interesting, but with little value to the training process. Not to mention that there is research that found no correlation between lactate test results and performance. What happens is that everyone is SO happy to do that kind of testing, they feel good about the pseudo-scientific side that adds to training. My personal favorite is doing tests at the beginning of the season, so when you repeat the tests a few weeks later, there is so much improvement, you feel so good about yourself! So it's not that I am old-school, or ignorant about these matters, it's just that when it comes to training I am only interested in performance".

Monday, August 3, 2009

My coaching philosophy...

From now on, every time someone asks me what is my coaching philosophy, I will express myself using this poster...