Triathlon is me mostly self-coaching via the Internet and trial and error. Swimming technique I certainly can’t do alone. I do have a running background and have a pretty good idea about what I should be doing there. I’ve spent the last three years biking 5 days/week and since the end of January have included one longish 4-5hr Zone 2 ride/week – actually a 4-5hr indoor bike ride is very long!! But swimming is mostly technique, and for that I need outside help.
It does make me think about flycasting coaching, from both an athlete’s and a coach’s perspective, because flycasting is predominantly technique too. I’m not a full-time flycasting coach but I am very busy. I’ll teach 50 flycasting “athletes” this year, over about 600 1-1 coaching hours. I certainly don’t want more than this, because if I think I’m busy now, I have 7-10 days guiding booked every month until the end of the year, starting this month. It’s a nice balance however and I’m very happy with it.
There are two issues to resolve if you go down the self-coaching route. One is what to train/practise, when and how? Ie how to structure your training programme. And the other, which I think is incredibly difficult, is how to analyse your movement/technique and determine what and how to change. Ie how to develop technique. And that is obviously is where the benefits of having a successful and experienced coach comes in.
I think trying to do that on your own, to a high level, is incredibly difficult. Even coaches don’t coach themselves. But you can certainly make headway on your own. YouTube videos (Sexyloops YouTube videos anyway) do help. I see that all the time. The recent ones with Nick Moore have helped a lot of people. A week doesn’t go past without someone writing to me to thank us. And many of them have gained 20 or more feet on their distance cast. So it is certainly possible.
But there will still be a wall where you find that you need a coach. I liked Nick Winkelman’s comment, when he said that humans are very good at getting “good enough”, or competent, but to reach a more advanced level, in whatever movement we are trying to learn, then we need coaching.
There is something that I think is hard to teach/learn and that is the “coach’s eye”. Talking of which, Nick Winkelman's 3Ps (Position, Pattern and Power) I think is an excellent tool for developing this. Although I would certainly change Power to Force Application. My advice to any coach, would be to really look closely at what someone is doing. Become a student of studying movement. Ultimately that’s really what it’s all about.
Anyway just some thoughts I was having while travelling up the lake. On Tuesday’s page I plan to talk about flylines and specifically head lengths, and (finally) upload the evening chat I had with Bruce Richards quite recently ago, which should tie in nicely.
Really good times at the moment. I’ve always said that we’re coming into our prime. I hope that’s still the case :D Two things: I’m planning the Sexyloops 25 Meet in November now. It’s a better time of year to fish and I’m looking at houseboats for us. And remember: buy one of the next 666 Hot Torpedos and you have a chance to win an all-expenses paid, 2-week Saltwater FFing trip, on the Sexyloops pirate ship. The top end of Australia must be amazing. And if you are really lucky we might even get shipwrecked and have a couple of years of fishing together!
(Incidentally I was asked if blanks count? Yes, but it's two HT blanks for one entry!)
Have a great weekend!