Recently, I've heard a lot of chatter about where the world of coaching is going and whether many coaches will be replaced with AI coaching. We can never know the future, and I really don't know the answer to this question. However, one significant aspect of having a human coach that will never be replaced by any robot or algorithm is "Support for the Athlete."
The question is not whether an AI robot can possibly have the knowledge and capability to create workouts that can prepare athletes for a specific event. The answer to this question is definitely yes. With all the data that devices can collect these days and what we know about this data, the AI bot can undoubtedly do a reasonably good job of creating an adequate program.
What the AI bot can not do and will never be able to do is "Support The Athlete." Unfortunately for the AI bot, this is the most critical skill a coach can provide.
No matter who we are or what we do in life, we want--and need--to feel supported. When we feel supported, we will work harder, be more confident, listen better, trust the process, and, in turn, have better results.
The AI Bot does not understand feelings or emotional ups and downs that naturally come about because of life. The AI bot also doesn't understand having three small kids, work deadlines, and little nagging injury pains.
The AI bot doesn't know how to motivate you or calm you down when you have a bad workout or race. The AI Bot doesn't know how to adjust your training for the above situations either. The AI Bot doesn't have or understand feelings; it only knows numbers and formulas.
For the above reasons, there will always be a benefit of having a human coach. There may be a trendy swing toward the AI bot for a while, but human nature will kick in, and those that go to AI will probably realize, "The grass isn't always greener on the other side."
Aaron Scheidies is a USAT Level 1 Certified Coach and licensed Physical Therapist. A graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Exercise Physiology, Aaron has coached World Champion Paratriathletes as well as Ironman World Championship qualifiers. Aaron is an 11 time World Paratriatlhon Champion and has set the World’s fastest time for anyone with a disability at both the Olympic (1:57:24) and Ironman 70.3 distances. (4:09:54).