CEO Your 2017 … And Beyond


Posted by Coach Mark Turner

It is that time of year again where many begin to consider making resolutions for the upcoming year. I have never personally found them to be terribly effective and have opted instead to have a plan for the upcoming year in lieu of a resolution. A resolution is often just an idea or worse yet, wishful thinking. A plan points to establishing a goal and developing a strategy for achieving that goal.

My plan for this upcoming year is all about my personal goal of becoming a better coach, but I think that athletes can benefit from their own focus on the three main components of this plan as well. Instead of a a resolution, my plan is to CEO my 2017! My plan for 2017 and beyond to grow as a coach and athlete is to focus on 3 main areas: Continued education, Experience, and Organization.

Anyone who wants to improve as a coach, an athlete, or individual must have a commitment to pursue continued education in their sport and/or profession. Always looking for ways to expand your knowledge in your career is the hallmark of an individual who not only wants to improve but more importantly cares about their calling and passion. Whether it is adding certifications, reading relevant books and articles, attending webinars and listening to podcasts, or pursuing an additional degree, a coach is always at their best when they are challenging themselves through continued education.

To optimize your chances of growing as a coach or athlete it is vital to always be seeking ways to gain and expand your experience. There are many ways you can do this. Find a mentor coach not only in triathlon, but in the individual disciplines as well. And don't just seek mentors; be a mentor as well. Nothing has reinforced my own coaching practices more than sharing my knowledge with the coaches and athletes I have the privilege to mentor.  Seek out opportunities to speak in public. Get in front of people! Volunteer to help at a camp or with a local Master's swim group to gain experience on deck. Through mentoring and being mentored, pursuing opportunities to stand in front of a gathering and speak, and volunteerism, you will expand your range and depth of experience, and your coaching will benefit greatly.

The final and most important area of growth focuses for coaches and athletes is to constantly work to get better at organization. Absolutely nothing will make you a better coach and athlete than improving your organizational abilities. Look for tools that can aid in organizing your workouts and schedules. Explore apps that help you create and stay on schedule. But most important, commit to being more focused and organized as a coach and an athlete. Set aside time for planning. Experiment with what times of day work best to review athlete plans and for developing new workouts. Spend more time reviewing athlete data and get better at providing more comprehensive feedback. Whether it is finding the right tools to help you or your own simple commitment to get better at being organized, the habits you build in this area will yield great rewards in 2017 and beyond.

If you want to kick start the pursuit of your life passions and career, don't just have a resolution in some narrow area of life. Instead, CEO your own 2017. Have a plan for success, commit to that plan, and live out that plan in 2017 and beyond.


Coach Mark Turner, who is based in the Seabrook, Texas area, is an IRONMAN Certified Coach, USAT Level I Certified Coach, USMS Level I & II Certified Coach, USAT Cat 3 Official, USAT Elite Rules Official, and serves on the coaching staff of Team RWB Austin Triathlon Camp as well as local youth triathlon camps. He is an Assistant RD for the Sylvan Beach Triathlon and Assistant Coach for the Next Gen Kids Triathlon Club. MarkT is a regular contributo to the USAT Multi-Sport Lab Newsletter, and host of Energy Bit Tweet Chats (#poweredbybits). He blogs at MarkT is a multiple IRONMAN, IRONMAN 70.3, and marathon finisher. Mark is a US Veteran who served with the United States Marine Corps. He joined the Team MPI Coaching Staff in 2015 and can be reached via email at

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