While in London, I had an interesting conversation with a drama teacher about the differences between her approach to teaching drama and my approach to running coaching.
While we both aim to achieve a specific outcome, the ways we go about it is quite different.
This is probably obvious for many people, but for me, it was a chance to reflect and articulate what I've intuitively felt and practiced.
Teaching tends to focus on imparting knowledge and skills to a group of students. On the other hand, coaching is more focused on individual needs and personal growth.
In her role as a drama teacher, my friend primary goal is to ensure that each student understands the content and techniques being taught.
My role as a running coach is to tailor my approach to each runner's specific goals and abilities, providing them with the support and guidance they need to succeed.
Teaching is primarily content-based, while coaching is relationship-based. This is why open communication and trust is key in my role as coach, so I can better understand runners' needs, offer feedback, and help overcome challenges.
We both agreed on the importance of emphasizing the process over the outcome (aka growing mindset https://www.amazon.com.au/Mindset-Carol-S-Dweck/dp/0345472322). Embracing the journey of learning and growth, rather than obsessing over the final performance.
In running especially, by emphasizing improvement, learning, self-discovery, and the sheer joy and connection with the art of human movement, I believe runners can appreciate the value of their efforts, irrespective of race times or personal records. In my view, this mindset is key to long-term engagement in the sport and adaptability to life's changing seasons.