Beginner Vs. Expert: How much do you think you know?

Before going any further write down or have a think about how much you think you know about your sport, training and racing.

This is a short one but gives you a chance to think a bit about yourself from another point other than athletic performance. Some of the most valuable approaches to training and sport in relation to performance are actually done when you aren’t training. Just because you are a good or fast athlete doesn’t mean you’ll fall under the advanced bracket.  


I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know everything and I make mistakes, but I’m aware that I am always learning and know I will never stop learning. I know a lot about a small percentage of what is possible to know, the more you learn the more you realise how much you still need to learn. I look back a few years ago now and think… “why did I even do that?” And I’m sure in 5, 10 maybe even 15 years time I’ll look back now and ask the same question. That is reality, as we learn how to approach different situations changes, hopefully for the better. It doesn’t mean what you are doing now is wrong though, you always make the best decision for yourself with the given the current thought process you are using or paradigm.


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The worst thing I ever did was with nutrition and I now know you can do a lot more wrong with nutrition than you can do right. Secondly, I thought resistance training was a waste of my time and I was so convinced at the time that I knew best and my decision was the right one. Finally, I thought more and harder is always better, when in reality there is a too hard and too much but there is never a too easy. For sure I was sitting somewhere in the beginners-young curve. You see this everywhere, especially in coaches and athletes on social media who criticise other peoples plans or sessions, when they know nothing behind the decision making process and it just makes them look stupid. If your coach plans you a session it might not be the most scientifically optimal prescription but they have a reason and it sits in their plan somewhere. I’ve never met a coach who doesn’t want their athletes to do well, you can definitely rely on your coach always make the best decision for you from their perspective you only have to worry if you ask a question and they don’t have a good reply for you and if they shrug you might want to question if you have outgrown that coach and need someone who can answer the questions you have. I think I’ve said this before, writing a plan is easy, there is load on training peaks but you pay a coach for their time to answer your questions and work around you, if you aren't asking questions you should think more about your training. Don’t ask stupid question that google can tell you the answer to for the sake of it as your coach will get frustrated. Come to them with a bit of information and have a meaningful discussion, surprise your coach and you’ll get a more detailed reply in return.

Go back to what you wrote down or thought about at the start and see where you think you are on the scale now?

Douglas Shaw1 Comment