Michael Somsan - Blind Ironman
world champion, physically challenged division - Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI
Michael on his experience with Foundation Physical Therapy and Endurance Coaching
(1) Personalization and genuine sincere interest from a Coach to make you the best athlete you can be. Renee is passionate about helping others to be the very best they can be and is realistic and practical in her approach in developing a comprehensive plan for a particular athlete and his or her goals.
(2) Good communication and feedback, honest, not afraid to call you on your lack of taking any responsibility for your own training and can be tough in making sure that you take that responsibility seriously. She stays positive in her focus and is always seeking to improve that relationship between her and her athletes. She cares and values that relationship, and in return, her athletes also values that relationship and tries harder. Her athletes do not want to let her down. She provides an athlete with good feedback and is prompt and always on point.
(3) She is willing to come out and provide a hands on approach to her athletes. When a coach can ride with an athlete, they are able to observe first hand what needs to be corrected in the biking...same with nutrition, hydration, and the tweaking of such plans. She is then able to come back to see what worked or what didn't work, paying attention to the details with athletes makes us feel that this relationship is more than just creating our training plans. Observing an athlete working out first hand and seeing how we are doing takes time...especially with so many athletes, this becomes infeasible, but this hands on approach is necessary and makes all the difference in establishing a strong bond between the athlete and coach.
Dominic on his experience with Foundation Physical Therapy and Endurance Coaching
I've never been coached before and given our setup where the plan was being written for Michael (in which I followed) it became very apparent to me that I was benefiting from it as well. Coach Renee's goal, as well as mine as a guide, was to see that Michael crossed the finish line. This complexity was important to ensure that, while she looked at our data separately, her coaching experience had to ensure it was evaluated and critiqued collectively...particularly when many of our training days were separate. Two athletes training as a team in a triathlon isn't an every day occurrence. I personally feel this speaks volumes to her awareness to get two athletes in prime shape and peaking at the right time. Not just any type of triathlon but an IRONMAN and the most infamous and pinnacle event at that, the Kona IRONMAN World Championships.
Simply put, Coach Renee is truly dedicated to the success of her athletes. This is displayed by her patience, hands on approach and sacrifice to be at an arm's reach at the most crucial times. I found her accommodating when needed and supportive in finding ways to remain positive even when things might look bleak or when having cause for concern.
My personal results and consistent progress speak for themselves. While many coaches can probably help lead you to your potential, her focus on the little things and details are what separates her from the crowd. Despite being from afar she kept up to speed on race day and relayed messages through family. Even going as far as witnessing the finish at 2AM given the time difference and recording the video and images because she truly cares. She creates a community within her other athletes to make you feel special and celebrates your success in numerous avenues which has a way to not only inspire but make everyone better!
For more information on Foundation Athletes, Michael & Dominic's, journey to Kona visit: https://www.facebook.com/blindironman