Dear Coaches

Dear coaches, I have something deep for you, when an athlete refuses or struggles to do something, try to understand the reasons for his or her refusal or struggle. You must win over their mind and to do so you must first understand the athlete.

Try also being holistic with your method of coaching because an athlete’s performance is not only influenced by their physical condition or skills but also other aspects of their lives.
Always try to find out how the athletes are faring back at home. It may be that an athlete is experiencing family problems or lack of good diet or struggling with eating disorder, which is affecting their performance. When this is the case, it is your duty to advise them on the way forward with patience and empathy so they can navigate through and out of their struggle and rise to be the athlete they dream to be.

Acknowledge and be aware also that your training methods do not always go down well with some athletes who feel like you’re pushing them too close to the edge. However, be philosophical as in making them understand your side of view and purpose that your method is borne out of deep belief and determination for positive results for your athletes at the international stage.

Know also not all bodies are created equal, some athletes need more miles and some require less. Some need you to be there during workouts and some are OK with you not being there.

When it comes to female athletes, try to have an open communication, or even better, have a female assistant coach who they can be truly open to because in Africa man and woman do not speak often about the menstrual cycle fornits still considered a taboo. Some women get hit hard by it and some need to have their training adjusted during this time of the month. If someone is in pain or feeling drained to their soul because of it, they should be able to talk to you so you can change their training and you don’t up sending them into kaput or injury.

Your athletes should always be in the light, try not to create an environment that pulls them into a dark place.

About the purpose of your methods.
Paint a picture of your view to them. Like this; When my athletes in the camp have run 1:45 in the 800meters and yet there is an international opponent who has run 1:43, I cannot sleep. It becomes necessary to push the limits in training so that these athletes can reach or even surpass the running times of their opponents. This is how you make the magic of awakening their inner warrior who they rise as to become the champion you both dream and believe is there.

And finally the important part.
The thing as a Coach that you must always emphasise and rooting to your athletes hearts and minds is that we are going to war and we have to be in a better shape than our opponents. So when we start training, there’s no reason for negative energy. We are not going there to be spectators but to be contenders. We must run the bravest race of our life, take what we suffer in training for and that is nothing else but victory and never forgetting that pain is the gate to success.

But remember to be a forward thinker, to be there for them in struggle and in failure, and in injury and in defeat, they need you there for them more than ever, and you better not be tangled in knots of not knowing what to do.

Train yourself as a coach to be great at caring, for your job is to lifting your athletes up.
And as always, remind them to not squander their strength wandering through negative feelings or licking the wounds of races that didn’t go their way, nor looking back wishing if given a chance to change the past they’ll flood it with wisdom, courage that even now they’re yet to embrace.
We cant change the past no matter how much we pray, we can only change the future.

Teach them to learn from their shortcomings, together, for soon they’ll age and the energy, mobility and will to move their body like they can now will not be fluent as it is now.

Teach them resilience and to always be hungry, to work on their mental wellness and physical well-being, to take time to stretch and recover, to evolve but never let victory get into their head, avoid making enemies, belittling, bullying, abusing their spouses nor taking part in gossips or spending nights in night clubs and wasting money in alcohol and gambling or extra marital affairs, to never make it habit of giving up dropping out of races and training, nor taking shortcuts, and to religiously respect the sport and fellow trainingmates and competitors and themselves, to staying clean, humble and disciplined.

Remind them comparison is the thief of joy. To be gratitude, willing and understanding.

Teach them communication will shine their life beyond places they’ve never been, and if your athlete doesn’t speak English well try to have their manager bring in a translator, the athlete shouldn’t be ashamed or shy of speaking the language they’re fluent at.

About gratitude again, Teach them to thank their physios, partners, coach, trainingmate, sponsors, race director for the invite, volunteers and to tell a little story that invites and attracts foreign athletes and tourists to your village, town and country.

Athletes are ambassadors, they should never be arrogant or have nothing to say. Seriously, this is very important.

Also teach them to be role models and to never forget to invest and where they came from. And tp be kind to sharing if they have many shoes or clothing.
Kindness is everything, what we’ve become wouldn’t have happened without someone showing us their kindness. We must pass it along, for those around us with torn shoes or clothing could have been us.

Be A Great Teacher, and a Gift will always be there to shine your life.

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