I am a passionate and caring coach and I back this up with knowledge and understanding. I am now qualified in 3 countries by the national triathlon governing bodies (Triathlon New Zealand, DTU Triathlon Germany and Swiss Triathlon). I have a goal that next year I will have my Level 3 coaching or A licence in these 3 countries, plus a degree in sport and exercise. I am also a qualified personal trainer and am very close to having my B licence in Cycling in Germany. I have worked very hard to be able to call myself a coach and I am constantly reading to expand my ideas and test what I believe. All in the aid of trying to do my job better, and it has taken years of learning to get to this point. When I look back at the knowledge I had just 2 years ago I am amazed at how little I knew, and I hope when I look back in 2 more years I have the same feeling.
I am increasingly worried and concerned about the state and level of coaching in the sport of Triathlon. I believe currently there are more and more coaches that are under qualified, but for the athlete it is getting incredibly hard to tell who is qualified and how is not. And these already muddy waters are sadly getting worse.
One of the worst candidate state of affairs for this is Ironman. They have now built a for profit triathlon coach training scheme. This is all built around their Ironman University, which sounds really impressive, and they even have national federation's support for their scheme. But if you look at the fine print stuff gets scary to me with Ironman U.
I am going to use the information compared to the DTU (Triathlon Germany) because I have been though this system and currently in the process of getting my A licence. Ironman say with their course you can have 15 credits towards a trainers licence in Germany. Wow that sounds great, till you realise that it takes 120 credits to get the basic C licence in Germany. I know what is required for a C licence in Germany and it is what I believe the very basic information.
What that means is the Ironman U coaching qualification gives you under 20% of what is required for a basic trainer's licence. And for this they charge you $699 USD for the Online course, plus a membership fee of $39.99 USD per month ($479.88 USD per year). To me that is a lot for not much, and in no way can this be seen as anything other then another way to make money!
I was told by the DTU that the online coaches' course from Ironman U takes about 15 hours at most to do. Which means that you can be qualified as a coach faster then a lot of people can complete an Ironman. Let that sink in for a moment.
Do you think that this course can do anything other then make money for Ironman? I personally do not. I hope that now that Ironman corporation is owned by the Chinese there will be some changes, but I am worried this will not happen. The Pro athletes need more prize money, this will attract more and better sports people. It is time that Ironman saw the athletes as more then cash machines ready to hand over their hard earned dollars to a industrial machine selling us what ever they can turn out.
Please to not be fooled by flash names, get a coach that is properly qualified!
My current qualifications and what I am working towards:
B Licence (DTU)
Level 2 accredited coach (Tri NZ)
C Licence (Radsport – Cycling Germany)
C Licence (Swiss Triathlon)
C Licence (DTU)
Level 1 accredited coach (Tri NZ)
Currently working on: These will be completed 2016.
BA Sport and Exercise (Massey University New Zealand)
A Licence (DTU)
Level 3 accredited coach (Tri Nz)
A licence (Swiss Triathlon)
B licence (Swiss Triathlon)
B Licence (Radsport – Cycling Germany)