Jason Bailey has an interview with triathlon coach Brett Sutton, which explores Sutton's philosophy of coaching:

“Most definitely” says Sutton when asked if he feels that he has evolved as a coach over the years. “For some people I'm better and for others I'm worse – it depends on the athlete. Every individual is different though, and it takes great courage on the part of the athlete to give their complete trust to the person coaching them. For example, if somebody is under performing during training, I'll put my arm around one person and say that it is OK and be sympathetic whilst I'll stamp my feet at another ranting that this sort of behavior is totally unacceptable. While you can explain those differing responses to them while it is being delivered, it is very hard for them to process. It is a very fine line between being totally authoritarian or empathetic.”

This quote highlights that the 'soft skills', or people skills essentially, are the differences between the great coaches (or leaders in general) vs the more highly lauded 'technical' coaching skills. 

A few other points in the interview may be debatable including Sutton's assessment of current ITU performers, however there are a number of reflections on his coaching process that make this worth reading. 

AuthorJoel Filliol