It’s Not You, It’s Me: Are you Coachable?

miranda bush triathlon coaching Oct 01, 2021

We all know the classic "it's not you, it's me" line that come at the end of relationships, even when it's a coach/athlete professional relationship. However, in the case of coach/athlete, sometimes we have to take a cold, hard look at ourselves and realize that we may need to improve our ability to be coached. In other words, we need to be more coachable. Feisty Team Head Coach Miranda Bush tells us how. Inspired by Prep Talk #3: Coach vs Training Plan- you can watch the replay in the Feisty Triathlon Community Group


Text by: Miranda Bush


I recently discussed all topics coach vs training plan with my fellow Feisty coach Jamila. I look forward to our weekly discussions and learn so much from her individual and unique perspective. Amongst many logistical topics we talked about the barriers to coaching. Jamila not only referenced the obvious barrier of cost, but also brought up another worthy obstacle—finding the right coach for you.


I fully agree with Jamila that this hurdle can derail an experience. We discussed the importance of the interview process for connection over philosophy, style, delivery, and vibe. Not all coaches work well with every athlete and I fully believe in “breaking up” with a coach that does not follow through on expectations. But, if you are an athlete with a celebrity status history of coach break-ups I urge you to consider if the issue could be you and not them.


Do you know what you really want?


Self awareness is part of a solid athletic foundation. If you can be connected to yourself you can trust that you are setting the goals that work best to honor your values and life priorities. You can then move forward in finding a plan or coach that works well in these established goals. You will be more able to communicate clearly and effectively in the interview, hiring, and training process. If a break-up is needed you will learn and grow from the experience and be able to take accountability for the decision. You will be more coachable.


To be coachable is to be capable of being easily taught and trained to do something better. 


Could it be that your barrier to finding a good coach is not that you haven’t found the “best” coach for you, but that you tend toward being uncoachable?


Signs of being uncoachable may include:


  • Taking things personally when you shouldn’t. Acting powerless. Reading into things more deeply than you should. Generally lacking emotional intelligence.


  • Seeming ungrateful even to those who help you most.


  • Always believing you are right. Believing everything is about you, even on someone else’s bad day.


  • Not following through or communicating needed changes on agreed upon programming. An unwillingness to come out of your comfort zone.


Being coachable requires a large amount of trust and vulnerability. This is a responsibility of the athlete and cannot be accomplished by the coach doing more. There are many ways for athletes  to learn to be more coachable. These may include:


  • Cultivate a higher emotional intelligence by seeking out mentors, therapists, or sports psychologists.


  • Be willing to learn from others who have more experience than you. Intentionally practice this.


  • Be respectful to your coach and mentor. Check in with yourself and then communicate effectively. Ask questions.


  • Change your attitude about feedback. Don’t look at it as an attack or take it personally. Resist the temptation to react to feedback with justifications and excuses. Seek out feedback and then take the time to consider it and apply it, giving it a chance to work.


Of course it is not always the fault of the athlete when a coaching relationship goes awry. It is important that as coaches we give an honest and consistent outward appearance of our brand. We will attract client interviews that can be productive and not misleading. We can have more meaningful athlete/coach relationships and lead more individuals to owning and crushing their experiences. There can be less focus on sales and more focus on the greater good of humanity and the sport.


If you choose to invest your time and energy into a goal and a coach, be honest with yourself first. Be real and open to learning.


You and your goals are worth it.


Miranda Bush is the Feisty Team Head Coach and Educator. She is also a USAT Level I and Training Peaks Level 2 certified coach and an ACE certified Health Coach. She is the owner and head coach of MB Coaching and the Zone Racing Team. Her passion lies in using lessons from training and racing to improve all of life and ultimately make you a more content, well-rounded athlete and person.







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