cycling coach?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Sub, May 8, 2007.

  1. Sub

    Sub New Member

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    How many of you currently pay for coaching, and if you don't mind how much do you pay on a monthly/yearly basis? What do you look for in a coach...is personal experience as a racer important or how about other qualifications? Does being a Doctor like Floyd Landis' coach give him more credibility? I'm considering becoming a trainer and wanted to know what exactly people are looking for and what they are willing to pay. Good feedback would really help me in my decision. Thanks.
     
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  2. iliveonnitro

    iliveonnitro New Member

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    Order the level 3 coaching manual for USAC, and upgrade to level 2 as soon as possible. There is a 5yr wait as a level 2 before you can become level 1. You'll have plenty of time to decide if you should race cat1, major in exercise physiology, become a doctor, fly to the moon, etc. Most people would expect your to have some certification, though.
     
  3. Sub

    Sub New Member

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    Glad someone finaly responded, Thanks. I left that out, yes I already have the book and plan on doing exactly that. I also race, currently ranked #1 in the country in Cat 4 RR and already have my upgrade to a 3. I am a Doctor also. Plan on getting up to atleast a Cat 2 by the end of next year. I started riding/racing in my late 20's so I got a late start. I was more looking for what type of race credentials are important.. seems to me that matters but isn't the end all be all, otherwise who would coach Lance if the coach always had to be more qualified than the client?
     
  4. iliveonnitro

    iliveonnitro New Member

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    A good idea is to have at least cat2 experience. I'm not sure I could trust anyone who only made it up to cat3. Just as you wouldn't see a 300lb dietitian, you wouldn't want to see a coach who was mediocre rider. If you are getting a little old, strive to be cat2 over a cat3 champ..eventually people stop looking at your results and just ask what cat your are/were.

    FWIW, cat4 RR isn't anything too special. I'd take my cat2 LBS owner over a cat4 RR champion anyday...wouldn't you? Also, Carmichael (Lance's coach) was one of the first US riders in the TdF. Ferrari is also the top rated doctor/coach in the world, too. Landis' coach was Robbie Ventura, a Disco rider for Lance.

    Being a doctor will help, but be prepared for the EPO questions and ethics. What kind of doctor are you? Any specialties?
     
  5. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    My coach is a physical therapist, a certified level 2 coach and a teammate. She is stronger than I am - at times at least, definitely TT's and sprints, but I have been doing better at long climbs this year. We are both cat 4's on the road, (we will both be upgrading soon as well) but I actually find this to be nice as it means she definitely sees me ride. As I am not looking to make cycling a career - I'm 35 and I just started last year, so I have little aspiration to do this other than as an amateur, I don't feel the need to have a coach who has been a proven racer. She also does have very reasonable rates since I and the others she coaches are her first coaching clients.
     
  6. iliveonnitro

    iliveonnitro New Member

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    Physical therapists don't know as much about training as say, an exercise physiologist or kinesiologist. But at least they have some bodily-function background. I'm an engineering major, so I'd like to think an engineer's attention to details, precision, general OCD, understanding of power [training], and quest for knowledge would be great in a coach...not that I'm trying to sell myself. Although you may not feel that they coach needs to have qualifications, many do, including myself. To me, it's like a wall-street investor who outsources his own money to another investor, or a lexus salesman who drives a BMW...

    I did forget to tell you about payment options. Your best bet is to search around on websites. A friend of mine is http://www.fifthelementcoaching.com (former almost-pro), I will be interning at http://www.visionquestcoaching.com/ (Floyd Landis' coach), and I almost took an internship at http://targetraining.com/ (have a pro cycling team). Fifth Element is smaller so thats a good place to start, VQ is the next size up, and TT is the most well-known/biggest of the 3. Look around at some other places to get more ideas of pricing.
     
  7. Sub

    Sub New Member

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    I didn't get notified of new posts, sorry for the late response. I guess I was wondering which matters more, experience or knowledge? I do plan to get to a cat 2 atleast..getting to cat 3 was pretty easy. I started cycling in my late 20's and i'm 33 now..this is the first year I made a good commitment to racing due to work/health (hit by car while training) and family. I'll keep to myself what type of doctor I am as I've learned that only opens up another can of worms I don't want to get into. This is something I would really like to do and feel I would be very good at so i'm looking into it as best I can. I've used a paid coach in the past so I have a decent idea of what it's about, atleast from the athlete perspective.
     
  8. iliveonnitro

    iliveonnitro New Member

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    I'm really curious as to what doctor you are now...mind PM/emailing it to me?

    Knowledge is definately more important; however, experience is a big form of knowledge, also. If I was a cat2 client, I wouldn't choose a coach who only reached cat 3. Even a cat 2 coach would be iffy, but definately more plausible. Add in that you're a cat 2 doctor, I would probably give it consideration.

    In the end, as a cat 2 rider looking to do well, would you rather have:

    a) Chris Carmichael
    --no college degree, not USAC certified
    --but has raced in the ProTour/TdF, coached Armstrong, Hincapie, etc, and oversaw training of athletes who won a total of 33 medals at the Olympics, World Championships, and Pan American Games

    or

    b) local coach #1
    --raced cat 2 with success in cat 3
    --is a doctor, USAC level 2 certified

    c) local coach #2
    --only did OK as a cat 3, not really exceptional by any means, still cat3
    --is a doctor, USAC level 2 certified

    I don't know about you, but Carmichael did something right with Lance Armstrong (even if he didn't do most of it, he was involved). In some cases, experience outweighs certifications, education, etc. In the end, two coaches with the same qualifications will be judged on their success as a rider. Just become level 1 certified as fast as you can, as getting a part time job at a coaching company will pay a LOT more.
     
  9. Sub

    Sub New Member

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    Those are all good points and things I have thought about, and I agree. What if someone was to be trained by CTS through their internship program, would that give them more cred?

    Does anybody have an idea what the coaches make at some of these places, take CTS for example?

    I took a look at the demographics of my cycling association, the biggest in the country according to usacycling (most licenses) and added it all up. There are 3093 riders that are cat 2 and below, 95 cat 1 men, 32 cat 1 women. Even if I were to subtract the 600 cat 3's that still leaves a huge majority of people at the lower levels of cycling that could use a coach. Of course alot of them have no real aspirations, but neither did I when I was a cat 5 and I still hired a coach which I don't regret because it taught me alot on how to train properly.

    This isn't something I want to get into and make big money..just something that i'm passionate about and would like to get involved and make a decent income off of it if possible. appreciate the responses so far.

    My plan was to get to the level 1 coach, but that is a 5 year wait but I will get to the level 2 this year.
     
  10. iliveonnitro

    iliveonnitro New Member

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    It would give you more "cred" if it is the beginning of your resume. If you aren't certified and have little other experience, then don't count on it.

    Full-time coaches make ~$45k/yr...at least thats what TARGETRAINING was offering when I saw their advertisement on a job-placement website. Obviously, the better you are the more you make. I'm sure CTS coaches make more since they charge more, but I know many that need a full time job and resort to coaching on the side. I'm sure that if Coggan didn't have a tenured position at his university (and a good bit of money from his work), he would make a lot more than he currently does as a coach. He probably doesn't coach, but rather gives his name for online training plans or some side-pay for articles on websites...maybe he can pitch in more on this subject.

    You can go as far as you wish. Hell, become and MD and work like Ferrari to make the big bucks. You won't make much money in this field, but if you were to obtain a masters degree you are eligible to coach the US Olympic team...they probably make $80k/yr. Your primary job will still probably be a professor of some sort.
     
  11. Rocket^

    Rocket^ New Member

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    This is a good point, there are far greater numbers of Cat 4/5's. Most of these riders will put more emphasis on price and service. You could build experience as a coach with these riders, and who knows how far some of your clients may go. You may end up successfully coaching riders from Cat 5 to Cat 1 or beyond.

    Personally I look at a coaches track record more closely than at his personal racing experience. You could be the greatest racer in the world, but that doesn't necessarily make you a good coach. Have you ever heard the expression "Those that can't do, teach." I'm not knocking experience, certainly you need to have experience to draw upon, but I don't believe you have to be Cat 1/2 to be a credible coach.

    If I were you, I would target the lower Cat riders to start. Give each of them good quality coaching and analysis at a fair price. The credibility will take care of itself with the successes and feedback from your clients.
     
  12. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    i've only gotten to cat 1/2 level, but have coached at the very top of the sport. One of my tutors at university coached riders to being world champions and set world records - if i'm not mistaken Peter Keen has never raced since he was a schoolboy.

    ric
     
  13. Sub

    Sub New Member

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    Thanks Ric, that is encouraging! I'm gonna go for it either way as it is what I really want to do. If nothing else, it motivates me to start getting results as soon as I move to a cat 3 which from what I've seen from fellow races that have moved up this year is doable.
     
  14. iliveonnitro

    iliveonnitro New Member

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    Sub, I know we talked through email, but I wanted to make this public.

    I didn't reply to Rocket^ regarding "those who can't do, teach" is because it is often true, though not completely. Formal schooling, experience, and general knowledge will get you far as a coach...much further than just being a very experienced cyclist. Ric proved this point, despite falling into the category of being an exceptional cyclist himself. I never implied that the only way to make it to the top of the coaching world is to be at the top as an athlete.

    The reason I was so strongly advocating catting up is because it can do nothing but help you, and help your business. It's definitely a good way to say, through actions, that you are motivated enough to do well and you are motivated enough to help your clients. Since you are quitting your job, you will have lots of time to train. It will be much easier to upgrade now than it will be when you are back to a full, demanding schedule.
     
  15. Sub

    Sub New Member

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    I've had in my plans to Cat up because I do agree it can only help me coach and have more credibility. I'm very confident I can get to atleast cat 2 and yes I will have alot of time to train now. The fact I want to become a coach now gives me extra motivation. I've actually wanted to be a coach for about 3 years but family/personal matters put that on hold. Thanks for all the feedback.
     
  16. Urkiola

    Urkiola New Member

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    As an advice. Don't worry about the level of competiton you have raced in so much. I am writing from Europe and have worked for the last 10 years with 5 top world class Professional teams and believe me, most professionals are very lost in knowledge about training foundations and needless to say about basic physiological concepts. So their curriculums as pros should not impress you, believe me. If you know the sport and have a solid academic knowledge that is a big plus.
    I also have to recognize that in the US for many cyclists looking for coaches the most important thing is the wrapper and marketing surrounding it than what it is really in the enside. So with a good marketing campaign you can be on top very easy. Just put a few words that have met or heard how the best pros in the world work or that have exchanged emails with the best physiologists in the world or so and that would be pretty cool for your marketing...because for many cyslists looking for coaches that is what it is. They don't know what is out there and they fall very easily for the "wrapper" instead of for what is enside...
    If you look at the internet coaching pages most if not ALL of the "cybercoaches" work with world class cyclists...champions...etc. That is impresive!!, It happens to be that the majority of the Pro Tour Peloton works with these "cybercoaches"!...:eek:. How can that be possible if most of Pro Tour riders are Europeans and only a bunch are Americans?..:rolleyes:
     
  17. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    I'm not tenured, don't offer my services as coach, don't market/endorse any online training plans, don't get paid for anything that I write (with the exception of the $0.11/copy I make from our book), and don't make much more than an associate coach with TargetTraining (based on what was posted, anyway).
     
  18. Urkiola

    Urkiola New Member

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    Way to go Andy!. You love your profession as a researcher and have the passion for Science versus the passion for $$....that is an example for many, at least for me.

    Cheers.
     
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