Coaching: It's About Bringing Out What You Hide Within

Coaching: It's About Bringing Out What You Hide Within

Grant Giles redefines coaching as a transformative journey, guiding athletes to unearth their inner strengths and innovate through self-discovery

Unveiling the Athlete's Inner Strength

In the realm of high-performance sports, especially in the demanding field of triathlon, the traditional coaching narrative often revolves around structured programs, data analytics, and physical endurance. However, as a coach with over two decades of experience and a background in clinical hypnotherapy and strategic psychotherapy, I believe the true essence of coaching transcends these conventional boundaries. It's about a journey inward, an exploration of the self that reveals hidden strengths and untapped potential.

The Coach's Role: A Guide, Not a Preacher

In my recent talk, I emphasised that a good coach's role is not to impose their methods or experiences onto their athletes. Instead, it's about setting the stage for self-discovery. This approach steers clear of the usual didactic nature of coaching, where instructions are given and followed. It's more about urging the athlete to explore and understand their own unique experiences within the framework of the sport.

Innovation and Self-Discovery in Sports

The journey to self-discovery in sports is a path to innovation. Each athlete's individuality, their unique perspective, and personal experiences shape their path to innovation. As a coach, my aim is to direct athletes towards this path, helping them remove biases and discover what truly works for them. This process is not just about following a program; it's about engaging with it, questioning it, and ultimately learning about oneself through it.

The Transformational Power of Challenges

Adversity and challenges are often seen as obstacles in an athlete's journey. However, I believe that these are the moments where true transformation occurs. When an athlete faces a challenge, they're not just confronting a physical barrier but also engaging with their internal resistances and coping mechanisms. This confrontation is where profound personal growth and transformation occur.


Listening to the Internal Whisper

In my coaching philosophy, I stress the importance of listening to one's internal whispers. This process is akin to listening to the wind - it's intangible, often overlooked, but it holds immense power. This internal whisper carries an athlete's self-belief, trust, and innovative spirit. By tuning into this, athletes can unlock a level of performance and understanding that goes beyond physical capabilities.

The Role of Intuition in Sports

Racing instincts and the ability to perform under pressure are not just the results of physical training. They stem from a deeper, more instinctual place. The more an athlete practices listening to their inner narrative, the clearer it becomes. This clarity transforms their approach to the sport, turning them from mere participants into intuitive, instinct-driven performers.

The Human Aspect of Coaching

While data and analytics play a role in modern sports coaching, they only offer a surface-level understanding of an athlete's performance. As a coach, my focus is on the human aspect - the moving laboratory that is the athlete. Self-awareness is a critical component of my coaching strategy. It's about helping athletes to not just study their performance but to understand their reactions, feelings, and discoveries during training and competition.

Empowering Athletes with Responsibility

A key aspect of my coaching philosophy is empowering athletes with the responsibility for their own journey. While I, as a coach, can guide and point in certain directions, the actual journey is deeply personal and unique to each athlete. It's about them, their discoveries, their challenges, and their triumphs.

Coaching, as I perceive and practice it, is an art form that goes beyond physical training and data analysis. It's about guiding athletes on a transformative journey of self-discovery, where they unearth their hidden strengths and learn to trust their internal guidance. This approach not only enhances their performance but also enriches their lives beyond the realm of sports.