IS - BJ van der walt

As athletes it is our goal to get the best out of our bodies. We spend hours and hours in our running shoes. But sometimes, and I have learnt the hard way, this is simply not enough.

It is critical to have a clear plan. Becoming the best in your event is a process that takes years of hard work. Just doing as many hard training sessions as you can without knowing where it fits into the process is a recipe for disaster. It is important to know when to go hard and when to take it easy. We have to remember that we will encounter obstacles like injuries and illness, it is part of any athletics career. Therefore our plan needs to be adaptable. Because we as athletes invest so much emotion into our goals and dreams we sometimes struggle to look at our plan rationally. I have found that having a coach helps a lot in guiding the athlete to make the right decisions in this regard.

A coach can objectively look at what we are doing and apart from looking after us physiologically, provide important encouragement in our hard sessions and assurance when we need, but do not want to take it easy in our next session. Thus finding a coach that you trust is one of the most important things that you will do in your athletics career.

BJ van der Walt