Skip to content

My Job as a Coach

Let’s play some Jeopardy.

Job descriptions for $100

Here’s the clue.

“Tells an athlete what to do.”

What does a running coach’s job?

Sorry, incorrect!


Most people that are not coaches may assume that the main job of a coach is to tell their athletes what to do, however this can not be farther from the truth.

Through my years as both a paid coach, a mentor, or just a student of the sport, I have realized that the duties of a coach span far greater importance than just telling someone what to do.

We provide suggestions
I would go as far as to say that we never tell an athlete what to do, only give them suggestions. When I upload a week of training the receiver always has the opportunity to discuss shuffling workouts around or changing workouts completely. Whatever we can do to make the training as comfortable and doable as possible, we’ll do.

We hold people back
During last night’s group run, a friend is taking the week off because of a little niggle. She has a destination run approaching, so is playing it super safe. Her PT recommended she take the week fully off. It came up that if she had not been told by someone she’s paying to give her advice, it would be very very difficult for her to take time off from running, even if she knows it is the best thing for her.

We push people forward
This is sometime I’ve noticed for myself in the winter. Having a coach there to motivate me helps a great deal to get me out and running when the weather is far from ideal.

We provide accountability
During hard workouts I can’t help but think that I’m doing this for my coach, the person that knows what I’m supposed to do and expects me to do it. If that’s not helping me become accountable for each goal lap, I don’t know what is.

We Think of things the athletes may not
Such as when an athlete and I discuss what needs to be done during the couple days before a race or when I talk to someone about which days of the week work best for certain types of workouts due to their schedule.