Charles von Commenee, head coach of British Athletics offers up a very interesting viewpoint on innovation in coaching:
I see coaching as the greatest innovation. Today is different than yesterday. The athletes that you work with are different than yesterday so I have to make unique decisions every day; I have to improvise, adjust and be creative. That is the biggest innovation- it’s not a new spike, or tighter pants, or attaching the bib number to the body with less aerodynamic resistance. That’s why in the future the coach will never be replaced by a robot.
Van Commenee sits back and considers the statement. Coaching, he concludes, is cutting edge in itself.
At the end of the day it is how well you know your athlete, listen to that athlete and adjust training accordingly. One of my mentors once said to me that coaching is not high tech it is high touch. I add that it is labor intensive. We can use tools like TrainTrak to help us get insights into the adaptation process, but they are only as good as the good interpreting the data. I agree 100% with Charles. Invest in the human resource of coaching development and you will improve performance. Supplement with technology where and when necessary.