Elite running coach, Addy Ruiter has been fascinated with coaching from a young age. He is the brain behind the coaching programmes and subsequence success of athletes at the NN Running Team/ Global Sports Communication Training Camp in Kapchorwa, Uganda. Addy is the coach to 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder, Joshua Cheptegei, and guided Roy Hoornweg to the 2015 Dutch 10,000m title. A former 10km athlete himself, Addy was also a top five finisher at the Dutch Triathlon Championships. He splits his time between Uganda and the Netherlands.
How would you define success?
Building a good relationship with an athlete and going through a long learning process. Good performances will come naturally then.
What are the two essential qualities that coaches require?
Observation ability is the most important point. I also want to pass that on to the new generation of coaches. They often have a scientific approach, but I think that the feelings of an athlete is really what they should be paying attention to.
Do you find it more challenging to coach junior or senior athletes?
I like coaching juniors a lot more. The reason is that they still need to be formed and educated. It is very different for seniors, a senior athlete is already an adult. You only have to act as a sounding board for them.
How do you use technology to improve your coaching strategies?
We do not use technologies at all. There are all kinds of technologies on the market such as lactate measurements, heart rate monitors, GPS watches and much more. For me these technologies have no added value compared to what I see before, during and after a training session. We use a stopwatch and nothing more.
What do you feel contributes to the lack of female coaches at a professional level?
Perhaps it has to do with the fact that during races the women’s field is much smaller than the men’s field. So the chance that many good coaches will come from the women’s field is not that high.
(Image credits: NN Running Team)