The meaning of being a coach


I was at the European Sprints and Hurdles conference this weekend and learned two things that I thought might be worth sharing. I only went to the conference because Loren Seagrave and Tom Tellez were presenting and I decided it was an opportunity not to miss. What a great decision that was and those two coaches are legends, both for waht they’ve done and how generous in imparting knowledge that they are now.

However, that isn’t the reason for this blog post.

On day one I was asked by a peer if I’d considered becoming a ‘professional’ coach – in other words giving up my day job and becoming a paid coach.This has fleetingly crossed my mind but not something Ive ever pursued but my answer this time actually summed up why (and enlightned me a little). I don’t want to be paid because I don’t want caoching to become my job, to become work. I want to do it for no other reason than I want to and I enjoy it. If there comes a time when I don’t, then I won’t. It’s that simple for me. I was quite pleased that I’d managed to bring to the fore for myself the reasons!

Maybe I was a little content with myself but then Tom Tellez humbled everyone with pretty much the last statement of the whole conference. He was closing the conference by trying to get across his passion for coaching (unnecessary for anyone that had listened to him speak over the previous 2 days) but then stated that because of his passion, he had never taken a dime from the athletes he coached. Not from Carl Lewis, not Leroy Burrell or any others.

What a legend. Absolutely inspirational.If you get a chance to hear him, take it.

Lee Ness

Lee Ness

Sprint Coach and Coaching Coordinator at City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club
Lee Ness is a coach in the UK. He has a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Engineering. He is the Sprint Coach and Coaching Coordinator for City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club. He is also Coaching Coordinator and Team Manager for Wiltshire Athletics Association. He has a Level 2 UKA coaching license and a level 1 FA badge. He has written for Athletics Weekly and contributes to a few websites.
Lee Ness

Latest posts by Lee Ness (see all)