Ask Martin Vol. 20: Coaching While Training

Question: I have recently begun coaching a few local throwers that have come out to my training sessions. Do you have any tips on how to balance coaching and training together? – Rich

As I am still in the process of figuring this one out, I am hardly the one to ask for advice. But I know it is possible. Nearly every coach goes through this phase and many already achieve success before retiring as a thrower. Coach Bondarchuk, after all, guided Sedykh to a gold medal in 1976 while he was still training. I think that was his wake up call to focus all of his energy on coaching since he finished two steps down the podium with a bronze around his neck. While he has yet to give me advice on this, I can offer three recommendations from a few years of experience in this area.


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4 replies
  1. James F
    James F says:

    I have found that using video helps coaching/training. You can sit down and focus on you athletes technique in front of the computer/TV. You may miss a few things during the workout, and the video gives you specific things to look for and concentrate on in the next workout. Not a perfect solution, but it allows for some lack of vigilance in training sessions. That said I never liked the constant commentary, nitpicking style of coaching where ten faults are pointed out on each throw. Prioritise and work on one thing at a time. Teach them what to do, rather than tell them what to do, so they can train and compete on their own when required. IMHO.

    • Martin
      Martin says:

      I completely agree. I also try to keep it simple and this helps me with it. There are also some other benefits since sometimes the points I focus on with my athletes also help me. But it still has its shortcomings. I find I tend to watch throws from a different place when we are training together and I also do not watch as carefully even if I just want to give the same feedback.

  2. Bosko
    Bosko says:

    Despite all the controversy around Charlie and Ben, Speed Trap is an excellent book on coaching and sprinting. I read it many times. He was a great coach and he died too soon.


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