Athlete Empowerment


I’m sitting in my Mrs relations house down in Clare writing this blog.

Her aunt kindly left out a laptop for me to use as I unsurprisingly left mine in Dublin.

Although it was a good deed all I’m short of doing is winding the laptop up with a handle to get it going.

The view from the house is a spectacular one- green fields, mountains and lakes everywhere.

The aim was to be as far away from civilisation as possible to build a home they wanted while also being able to send their kids to a nearby Steiner school.

I won’t get into the ins and outs of a Steiner school – but look it up.

Personally not a fan of the whole private schooling thing but Steiner sounds like a excellent alternative to mainstream education – which I also have a personal beef with.

You don’t judge a sprinter by his ability to climb a mountain!

That’s how I feel I was schooled anyway – I’m not sure about you guys.

Essentially – From speaking to a few people who’ve attended this is what I was told..

When you’re brain is at its most absorptive, why fill it full of irrelative rote learning junk?

Instead creative learning and practicality – essentially learning by doing.

The internet is bloody shite out here though –it’s easily the most rural secluded house I’ve ever been in.

I reckon I’d go potty out here pretty rapid as beautiful as it is.

Tangent over!


Athlete empowerment

Firstly I want to point out not all clients are the same and there is a stark difference between coaching a 22 year old full time want to be pro and a 55 year old sportive rider.

You see you simply can’t or shouldn’t expose the 55 year old to half of the stuff you do with the younger rider from physical aspects to psychological ones too.

There’s just too much at play, they don’t have the time and instead of focusing on the factors that illicit the biggest benefits in a short period of time you waste a tonne of time trying to work on everything.

First of all, if after a month- six weeks of working one to one with someone if I don’t feel like we can progress each other further I will make the athlete aware and try and change things or suggest another coach.

I don’t believe in wasting mine or your time.

You see I believe heavily in athlete empowerment.

Contrary to popular belief coaching is not something you do or give to an athlete; it is something you do with the athlete.

You want the athlete to be a partner in the process and I believe the methods of coaching from a cycling perspective have and will continue to change over time.

A1Members gives you access to plans and abundance of material that you as the athlete choose from and implement.

You can then contact coaches as you need them but it is a very athlete driven process.

This in my opinion has a large amount to do with the success of A1Members – it’s not the hocus pocus special sauce training – it’s the autonomy created by playing a big part in your own journey.

You being a major partner in the coaching process contributes to your growth as an athlete and person in more ways than you think.


New year new me

Bullshit, bullshit – bullshit.

Now that the new year is approaching I’m going to ask you to do one thing.

Take a quiet seat and do a self assessment of where you’re at in your life – whole life not just cycling related.

Be honest and rank your priorities.

Priorities need to be made as it can derail a process when one part of your life consumes everything else – but if it’s a top priority it’s easier to accept.

Then you can start the goal setting process.



 Goal setting is something I will cover in more detail in a subsequent blog but its process is a challenging one.

Mental skills take just as long to master as physical ones – for example I started mindfulness meditation last year – I find it great by the way.

Particularly when manic busy as it brings me back into the room – but when I started i couldn’t stop my mind wandering and racing away.

It happens though with training – you wouldn’t head out and expect yourself to 6 x 10 minute threshold efforts off the bat without any training would you?

It is not just writing words on paper and occasionally looking at them to keep you grounded.

Your goals must be actionionable, they must continually assess their progress toward goals i.e. is the training moving me closer to my goal?

Try set realistic performance goals based on objective measures such as metrics or times- something that you can physically measure and test.

The goals need to be challenging lads but also ones you can achieve.

Forget everyone else and measure yourself against your own high standards- nobody else’s FTP matters at all.

Identify what your strengths and weaknesses are and watch to see their improvements.

We at A1 members believe this is a process that coaches and athletes learn and grow together.

Happy New Year!

Aaron Buggle


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