I am afraid of heights but I liked to climb as a child so I started indoor sport climbing a few months ago to try something new after more than 15 years of being a triathlete.
I have no illusions that I'll become the next Chris Sharma, but I'd still like to become a "decent" climber (and quickly), so I've been taking classes every week. In other words, I hired a coach at a local rock climbing gym.
Hiring a coach, whether it's for rock climbing or triathlon, helps with four things:
- It accelerates the learning curve, helping you to learn good technique and proper training practices from the beginning.
- It saves money. This may seem counterintuitive to save money by spending money, but learning to do something more quickly and effectively ultimately saves time and money.
- It provides objective feedback. No more second guessing yourself as to whether you're doing too much or too little. You'll also have the benefit of a sounding board for questions.
- It provides accountability. It's difficult to slack off or procrastinate when a third party is involved.
The good new is that you can find excellent coaches for almost anything that you need help with such as getting organized, changing careers, setting goals and, of course, triathlon!
Spending money each month on a triathlon coach may seem excessive in a sport that already has expensive gear, but if you consider that you'll likely be training a minimum of six months for between 10 and 20 hours per week (or more), that's a lot of time wasted doing things incorrectly if you don't know what you're doing. Plus, if you are racing long distance, it's difficult to race more than one or two a year, so you will want to have your best possible performance at every race.
My advice for whatever you're doing, especially for sports like climbing and triathlon, is to hire a coach. Quicken the learning curve, learn how to do things correctly the first time and save both time and money. Just be sure to do your research to find a coach who has the education, experience and skills to help you achieve your goals.
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