On Coaching, by Kirsten Sweetland

Before Rio Olympian and former ITU Elite athlete Kirsten Sweetland joined the X3 coaching staff earlier this month, I wanted to get a sense of her coaching philosophy and approach to the sport. So I shot her an email with that question. Here’s her response.

 

I fell in love with the sport of triathlon shortly after I learned to tie my shoes. The sport has been such a huge part of my life! You might even go as far as to say that it was my life for the majority of my time here.  I was lucky enough to find my passion and though I’m not able to compete at the level I once did, it’s still my passion and I want to share that with others. I aspire to guide those who have goals in the sport. Whether the goal is to have fun or to become professional or anything in between.

I have always enjoyed helping friends and family with programs to get them started on fitness and nutrition goals and I found it to be both fun in the process of writing the plans and rewarding watching the outcome! 

It would be such an honour to pass on 20 years worth of things I’ve learned through trial and error and absorbing tricks and traits from the best in the world. Beyond training styles, loading and physiological based techniques, I learned how to read the body and know when to pull back and when to push on. My greatest coach made it his goal to eventually not be needed.  The day I no longer needed him is how he knew he’d done his job. That said,  I believe there is great value in having a coach to guide you through. It’s important to have someone with an outside perspective. Sometimes when you are too close to your own goals you can’t see the big picture and you need that voice of reason! It also helps to have someone who knows how you are going to feel or why a workout is being prescribed and how it all fits together to bring about the desired result. 

Most of all, I aspire to connect with people. I know the joy of helping someone reach their dreams and to help them with perspective and attitude along the way. I have a lot of knowledge when it comes to the physical training but I also look forward to the challenge of helping to coach the mental side of training and racing which is where I think I can set myself apart. Relating to the physical and mental feelings in training and racing is something I’m looking forward to and experiencing the ride vicariously through you, the athletes! 

 

And this is why I’m so excited to have her on board!

Interested in learning more about working with Kirsten? Get in touch!

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