I’ve been thinking about the relationship between the coach and athlete very much lately. The Open season is for some the end and the beginning for something new and a time for contemplation.
When I coached Malin Tittonen through 17.3 and she PRd her snatch after some queuing I got a sense of epiphany. It was like a deja vu. It happens to all of you but I beg you to remember and cherish the moments when it does. Fuck this is it. This is what it is all about. She would not have listened to the guidande during that stressful moment unless she completely trusted me or for that matter why would she listen when I said that she was capable of cutting over a minute in 17.1 or over 90s in 17.5.
That trust needs to be built over time and by going through some rough testing of it. I know I know this sounds stupid for a high level coach like me saying it right? I should know better it is very basic and simple. It is at the very bottom of coaching. I would dare to say foundational. So why do we coaches not just start there before we offer all our knowledge. Why do we not have this kind of talk with our clients/athletes more? Well the answer is that it is bloody sensitive stuff and to get below the surface of your athlete you really need to get to know eachother.
During the OL meet this weekend me and Angelica very briefly discussed the weights then we did not mention them anymore that day. It is normal procedure to confirm the next weight with your athlete before telling it to the administration. She just walked past me, another coach looked at me and asked ”is she pissed at you?”. No not at all, we just do not need to talk, she is just focusing on the task and leaves all the fuss to me. Actually this kind of behaviour makes me less nervous.
I noticed Viktor during the heavy DT-ish during Roslagen Open. I yelled some instructions to him over the court. He looked very briefly at me, sucked it in, nodded and executed. This is something we have developed over the years. It does not come easy. It has to be earned.
So do you have trust in your coach? Do you trust yourself? You have to start with yourself.