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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

1 Post tagged with the istvan tag

One of the athletes I’m currently coaching was expressing discouragement due to her seemingly slow progress as a swimmer. She was being very self-critical and I told her that though she’s been swimming for about 1.5 years training for triathlon, she is still a beginner - maybe an early intermediate swimmer.


She had done some swimming as a child, but that was around 20 years ago and she hadn’t done much swimming since childhood.


I told her that to reach the top of her triathlon game – in terms of personal potential – it would take some 10,000 hours of training or roughly 10 years. She was surprised.


The first time I heard the 10,000 hour number was at a presentation given by Istvan Balyi during the USA Triathlon Art and Science Conference for coaches about 7 years ago. In Balyi’s presentation he was referring to sport development in young athletes seeking to reach the elite level of sport.


Though my athlete isn't looking to reach the elite level of triathlon, she does need to be patient with her sport development. You may not be aiming to reach the elite level of sport, but perhaps you want to ahieve high levels of personal success. If you're feeling frustrated by your progress, be patient with your development as an athlete.


Champions - and achieving your personal sport potential - isn't achieved in a year or two.


You can find a paper written by Istvan Balyi here.





Detailed off-season plans for triathlon and cycling, along with event-specific running, cycling and more triathlon plans found here.


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