I coached Callum’s Mum, Nicole, to her first Olympic Distance Triathlon at Noosa in November this year. Nicole lives in Melbourne but we chatted weekly for at least 30-40 mins over a period of 12 weeks. We often caught up between our weekly chats too when Nicole needed some extra support. It was during one of our regular chats that Nicole mentioned that her son, a mountain biker of some repute having already been selected for a course with the Victorian Institute of Sport, needed a bit of guidance. She felt that his training was unstructured at best and likely did not build upon his strengths or work on his weaknesses.
I have since been coaching Callum for 6 weeks. We talk weekly after school finishes for Callum and before he goes out training. We also communicate via Training Peaks, our weekly online training diary. Callum often asks questions via the diary or posts results from a set so I can drill deeper into his performances.
His main goal for the 2017/8 Mountain Bike season was to win the U17 Victorian Mountain Bike Series (best 4 of 8 races). But as we progressed we also added participating in his first National races as well. Callum is also a talented road cyclist too so we also juggle his school and club road racing commitments on a weekly basis. This is a big value add for Callum because he is asked to do so much. Without a coach to chat with, priorities can tend to get mixed and goals forgotten.
In the first 2 rounds of the series Callum had several technical issues and seemed to ride most of both races on a flat tyre! His resilience, commitment and training won the day for him however and he was victorious in both races by some margin.
We are still identifying his weaknesses (areas he wants to work on) and his schedule changes weekly to balance the road and mountain bike races as well as school work. My help has also pushed him to review his race nutrition strategy, the amount of protein he consumes daily to meet his growth AND training needs, his bike fit and to incoporate all round body weights and flexibility into his schedule.
The season is looking good for this promising youngster and I enjoy the mental challenge that coaching someone at this level provides me. I wish my parents had been able to look at this option for me when I was growing up and dreaming of National Honours!