Hawaii - History, Feelings, Respect
The history of Hawaii is interesting. After King Kamehameha the Great conquered and united the islands in 1810, the kingdom was overthrown when a group of American businessmen forced Queen Liluokalani to abdicate while U.S. Marines came ashore in 1893. Hawaii was considered a republic until it became a U.S. territory in 1898. "This newfangled idea of celebrating statehood shows that people don't understand Hawaii's history, or if they do understand, then they're celebrating a lie, a theft, that essentially stole a people's right to self-determination," said Poka Laenui, a Hawaiian and attorney who has worked for independence for 30 years. **Chicago Tribune, 8/21/09, Mark Niesse
I have several native Hawaiian friends who call me 'ohana' (family.) This I consider a deep honor. We became friends because I took the time to show respect to several Hawaiian cultural traditions and halted an ignorant tourist from doing some disrespectful things. Getting stopped by a very large Hawaiian group can be intimidating - until they start high fiving you and shaking your hand or hugging you. I visit these friends every time I am fortunate enough to be "on island". Hawaii just feels like home to me. I have always felt comfortable there. Giving my business a Hawaiian "flavor" is an attempt to say "Mahalo" (thank you) to my friends in Hawaii as well as those in triathlon who helped me with no reason to help me. I have tried to pass that on to my clients in the past, as I have been coaching since 2001. It is about the experience. Your individual journey.
This respect for Hawaiian culture and the kokua I have received from my ohana is the reason behind the name of my organization. Kokua means "help" in Hawaiian. Kokua Multisports means "help multisports" or "multisports help" - translated literally. This is the premise of what I do in relation to training athletes; anyone can put together a training plan - but does it PREPARE you for your EXPERIENCE? These are the difference makers in coaching: service, contact, growth (in all aspects of life and not just physical), and insightful knowledge - not necessarily all about power, splits and heart rate.
Philosophy & Adult Learning Theory
My philosophy is to work with each athlete as an individual. I am a student of John Wooden (legendary UCLA Men's Basketball coach) and Anthony Robbins. My expectations of each person are individualized based on their abilities and dreams. If an athlete of mine "loses" but has significant learning and growth experience - that is a win. If they win, but fail to perform at their best - that is a "loss" or more aptly a lost opportunity for growth.
What differentiates me is my certification in adult learning theory and experience teaching adults in complex technology projects as well as various technologies. I have taught for several years, and about 1,000 "adults". I'm not saying I know it all, but I have seen a lot and have worked with many personalities.
Coaching Experience, Rules and Anti-Doping
I have coached the Northwestern University Cycling Team (before they had a triathlon team) and helped several racers (both male and female) achieve CAT 2 status. I have coached several (four) of the national champion U.S. Naval Academy Triathlon Team, including Tommy Brown who raced pro for a year (and will again) after his commitment to the U.S. Navy is complete.
100% of the athletes following my plans have finished their Ironman races. 100% of my athletes who have competed in Kona have PR'd in Hawaii. I admit the sample is small - four athletes - but you have to start somewhere and 4 of 4 is pretty darn good.
One of my athletes won the Duathlon National Championship in his age group - Matt Armstrong. (I rode with Matt last night.)
I am a USAT Certified Marshal. I know the rules and will teach them to my athletes for sportsmanship, safety and performance. My athletes will sign an "Ethics in Racing" contract which will cover the rules and an anti-doping pledge. I will be the first multisport coach publically insisting my athletes follow the rules and pledge not to dope. Lastly... I know I don't know everything. Not even a sliver of everything. I will continue to seek out more experience, classes and education and apply it daily in my work.
"On staff" are friends, colleagues and other professionals who we can consult about specific needs. From Bobby McGee to Bob Seebohar and Heather Fink (formerly Hedrick) to Mark Schubert and Alelee Osborne or Dr. Flood and Dr. Bartoli: We'll get you on the right track.
I believe that triathlon is too young to be cost prohibitive. You'll see in the service and fees that value is where the future is at in the business of advising clients and is a differentiator between my service and others.
As an athlete, I have finished five of five Ironman races (Kona, Canada, Great Floridian, Lake Placid, Wisconsin). I've raced in Clearwater. Swam in top meets. Ran large marathons - 11 marathons. All of my experience means that your coach can relate to your athletic experience and tell you things that give you an advantage. (Like not lining up on the left in Lake Placid unless you are as fast as Michael Phelps, have legs like Terry Schroeder (US water polo legend) and can intimidate others like Mike Tyson.)
I'm looking for athletes to join my ranks. I'm capping at a certain number - where hours available are full and elite service cannot be given.
Mahalo, nui loa for your kokua. (Thank you very much for your help/consideration.)