The internet era has brought us many wonders, and social networks can either bring us closer or isolate us depending on how we learn to handle them.
And it’s as if suddenly, we believe everything we read on the web, just because it’s there.
I’ll show you a typical example, if we feel sick, and look in our computer for a remedy, just by googling a few symptoms we will find, cures, remedies, the name of the medicine we need to buy, and we can spare the visit to the physician.
But the truth is, nothing can replace the years of studying what it takes to become a physician, from the five years of med school, the specialty, internships and the practice.
Still, sometimes we trust even more in what the internet has to say, and when we go to the doctor’s office we bring out the classic “I just read online that…”
And right now, the same is happening with the HEALTH COACHES, LIFE COACHES, RUNNING COACHES, Physiotherapist, and so on.
When did the fact of being passionate about something or practicing it regularly because it goes with your lifestyle, and having an opinion to share, became something that could make you an “expert” in the subject, without really studying, or getting certified and prepared to give recommendations and charge for it?
An online health coach course that lasts for six months DOES NOT make you a nutrition expert, a nutritionist that spent five years in college IS, and nutrition as medicine is something to be taken RESPONSIBLY.
Especially, if you have been trying to lose weight for years, without making it or if you are overweight. What’s at stake is your health.
A Life Coach that took an intensive 1-week course, or even a 6-months one, could NEVER be compared with a psychiatrist or a psychologist that studied for over eight years to get his degree. And it’s very delicate because you could have serious problems without even knowing, like a depression, which could come and go without you being aware of it.
If you are going through a grieving period or a difficult time, meaning a divorce, the death of a relative, a layoff, an accident, robbery, rape, or even insomnia which is something that might seem simple and go unnoticed and is a symptom of depression, if it lasts for more than 8 weeks, you should seek the advice of an expert. Not a life coach. Not anything with a holistic name or something like that.
Every Coaching theory (Life, business, sports, health) is based in one way or another in ontological Coaching and NLP; neuro-linguistic programming. And it’s an action coaching. Meaning, they will help you find solutions and change your paradigms, helping you realize for yourself where it is you are stuck in if you have to limit thoughts or beliefs.
In my opinion, that methodology, IS MAGNIFICENT for short-term or mid-term goals, to reflect about your attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs, and helping you establish goals with defined steps and deadlines and making you responsible for them.
However, if there is something more profound, it requires much more than just a 6-month “Coaching” to detect it.
Many psychologists have specialized in ontological Coaching, and it is my advice always to go that way and not with the friend that just took it because it’s trendy.
Take your mental health just as seriously as your physical health and they go hand in hand.
And here is where I walk into the GRAY subject of sports coaches. While recreationally doing exercise too, let’s say, finish a big challenge such as a marathon, doesn’t require of a master’s degree to set up a training plan, it does require of someone who knows what she is doing.
And you don’t achieve that with a 3-day running coach certificate, the same way that being chosen by the trending brand just because you are passionate about running and you give it all, DOES NOT make you a “Pacer” or “Coach”.
And I blame it on the brands directly for hiring amateur runners, instead of licensed sports professionals, or athletes with a proven career as coaches; not just for being famous bloggers, fast or pretty and friendly.
A successful training method for someone is not necessarily right for someone else. A passionate runner may be speedy, and profit from a particular process, but if he only trains in that way and has not studied or is not familiar with different training methods, if he doesn’t know about physiology, etc., he will replicate whatever works for him without seeing beyond his personal experience.
Not everyone was born to be fast, or for running marathons, and yet you could have a fast marathonist running 300 Km a month, and another one running 600 Km a month with the same time. It depends a lot on your innate abilities, and how your body recovers.
Getting certified as a Running Coach is different in every country, but, if you didn’t study a sports major, your alternative is to get certified as sports technician by your country’s Athletic Federation, and from there with practice and studies, gaining the much-needed knowledge.
I have 3 certifications from different recognize, well-known sports institutions with excellent reputation in Mexico and USA and what I can share with you is, all of them vary from 3 days to 6-month courses, I add to this the constant Running-specific book reading, over 18 years of practice and I’m still surprised with everything I still have to know and learn.
Because everyone responds differently to the same training plan, and not all training methods work for everyone. Even some -methods- collide with each other.
And I CAPTION “18 CONTINOUS YEARS” running because experience as a runner DOES NOT accumulate with years, it grows with the Km or miles you run along those years, with the km or miles your legs accumulate, not with the inevitable passage of time.
Just like age notices in wrinkles, years running notices in your legs’ muscles…
I write this, so it becomes a reflection about those who read of their sport, about who they take advice from, and who they hire as a coach.
I love Reading bloggers that share their EXPERIENCE running but from the moment they feel as EXPERTS, and start giving advice and recommendations as if their words are the LAW and not only their experience or what worked for them, they lose all credibility to me.
The clearest example I can give you is the following:
To the new generation of runners, yes, those who have been running for less than 15 years, you have been schooled that you HAVE to drink Gatorade or gels, be it GU or any other brand, to have a better performance.
But what few think about is that the most ancient marathon, BOSTON, will celebrate 121 years in 2017… and I ask you, what do you think athletes did before those products even existed?… THEY JUST DRANK WATER and with some reservations… and NOTHING happened to them.
Only 15 years ago, there was ONLY a maximum of 3 water stations in marathons; nowadays there is a general claim when there is no plenty of water for 5k or 10K. Seriously?
Why do we believe everything that publicity or the neighbor tells us without thinking about it? That would save us a lot of money and injuries.
Running is a SUPER SPORT, but also a SUPER BUSINESS, the love for running didn’t start ten years ago, marketing has made it more complicated than it is.
Think about this and take special care when looking for professionals.
In running, nutrition, in life, there are no magical formulas, marvelous products or shortcuts.
Good things in life take effort, dedication, patience and are accomplished step by step, NOT in 1 week or 12 weeks of training plan, it all takes time, our body and our mind take time to evolve and refresh, and it’s so much better if you do it by the hand of professionals.
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