OK, all you narrow minded coaches out there, here is my warning to you. You better watch out. I am going to start a revolution in training, and we athletes are going to school your ass. I am really sick of you people telling us athletes what we can and can not do, and I am on a mission to tell all of your athletes that they don't have to listen to all that you are telling us. (We have to listen to some, since you are the coach, but not all, pay attention). We do not have to listen to you when you tell us stuff like, "You should be happy with the progress you have made." - even if you say it just to be nice. I am sorry, I am not happy with the fact that in my first Triathlon I was 30th in my age group, just ahead of the guy who was DQ'd. I am happy that you helped me get across the finish line, but that is not enough! I am not satisfied. We do not have to listen when you say, "You really run funny, you have very slow feet." No shit, Sherlock! I actually had a basketball coach tell me this then walk off. I did not know better then, but I do now, that bastard needed to not critisize me, but needed to teach me how to friggin RUN! Now I am 35 years old and have to learn to run all over again. I played college basketball, and did not run correctly. I know now that I was putting the brakes on the entire time!
We do not have to listen to you when you tell us that we will likely not be an elite athlete, or will never play college basketball, or have set a goal that is too fast, or to far. I am sorry, but you have no say in that. That is MY decision. Life is so full of exceptions, and the only difference between an average person and an exception is that the exception believes they can do better, despite what other people say.
As a coach, it is your job to push athletes hard enough to make them better, while at the same time, balancing the risk of injury. Not eliminating the risk of injury, but balancing. The second I step on the course, I know there is a risk of injury. As a coach, you need to help athletes get to and exceed their potentials in a relatively safe environment. Relative to their desire and what they are doing. As workouts enter the riskiest areas, you need to determine where the risks are, and mitigate them while still allowing the athlete to succeed.
Teach me how to get better, don't tell me what I can not do, or that I have to deal with the cards I was dealt.
I am happy with my choice in coaches, because they understand my desire to get better, and to meet and exceed my goals. They have my safety in mind, and work with me to get better and better. For all you other narrow minded coaches out there, I will write something on the seat of my pants for you to read as I pass you.