When you are pursuing a craft, to be elite at what you do you should research and implement new things that will make you better at it. Mentorship and having people who can offer you advice is paramount to success. Having a good network and healthy relationships can help remove locks off of many doors to success that would’ve been rather difficult otherwise. Just being open about the goal you want to achieve with someone of merit can potentially take you leaps and bounds. The best thing I’ve ever done was take good advice from people. An idea to shadow coaches during my trip to Belize turned into a great opportunity to train athletes and I’ll explain how what I said above helped obtain it. This is one example of how my network helped me do this.
In my efforts to find mentors and people who I can look up to in various aspects of life, finding a coach that owns their own training business was (and is) a priority of mine. Well this past fall I connected with a coach who owns his own business and he offered me some strong advice that was directed toward me trying to find coaches to shadow abroad after telling him I was going to Belize and largely the birth of this website, in that I should journal it. In taking his advice, after my hellish first semester of grad school I decided to research what coaches I could see in Belize. I ended up finding a speed camp website that was recently held and contacted the coach who headed it, a college track coach from the US, asking him if he could pass along some contact information for track coaches in Belize. He gave me info for some important people and I in turn sent them all emails with my resume asking if i could shadow them. What happens next was bewildering.
While at brunch with a friend enjoying some pancakes, I receive an email replies that stated that they’d be more than happy to have me work with their athletes. That pancake tasted even better! I felt so honored to be offered the opportunity to train athletes in another country. Although this is what I want to do, I was rather surprised to see it happen in such a fashion. I spent time prior to leaving reviewing items about speed development and speed endurance along with hurdling which is my specialty. Most of the athletes were under 21 and were from the Belize City area. The coach really wanted me to lead practice during the week I was there, teaching them new techniques as well as rehash to them about their running form. It was an amazing experience working with them and aiming to decipher Creol which truly is a separate dialect of English. I hosted what I identified as a sprint performance showcase, conducting various training sessions each day that worked on various elements of a sprint race. A separate article will address what exactly I did during that week. As of now I am still involved with the coach on the periodization of some of the athletes training.
So that’s the story of my first training experience abroad, and it happened largely because of my network and willingness to take good advice. Have you ever had a great opportunity that occurred just because you talked to the right people? Share below!