Matt Smithson is Trek52, been around the sport since 1989. Have had personal success in cycling, triathlon and running and now coaching under the “Rant” coaching banner.
In North Western Sydney
I grew up with a few guys whose families raced and they convinced me to ride my bike around Parramatta Park with them, one of these kids was Brad McGee
I realised there is a massive gap in cycling and triathlon in the skills, tactics and personal side of the sport. Seems everyone wants to give physiological improvement programs but no one wants to actually advise the athlete how to best use their own skills. A very close female friend went through the AIS programs and didn’t realise she could change gear whilst riding out of the seat!!!
Face to face, in race and internet. I like to get to know the people I work with.
I prefer to coach newcomers to cycling or Triathlon and experienced athletes looking for improvement outside of a training program.
That I offer experience of wining 100s of bike races based on positioning and knowing what to do when. Not ever in those races was I the fittest, fastest or most talented. So I offer ways for people to obtain results with what they already have
Yes and no, can I make someone faster at ironman yes, but can I offer them nutrition advice no as I haven’t done one but I can help anyone in Tri or Cycling become better at sport, not just fitter.
At the moment only 6 athletes, I don’t work with everyone, they have to know where I am coming from and vice versa.
I have an applied science degree and have cycled and Tri’d across the world in everything from a club race to a world title.
For anyone I work with to come away understanding and respecting the sport more.
Relaxed and discussion, need to come on the journey with me. I am open and expect the athlete to me. I am more of a “man” manager.
I have worked with Col Stewart and Ron Bonham and others over the years and have learnt what works and doesn’t work in relation to the person, each athlete is different
Phone, email and face to face as often as is required by them.
Power meters for fitness and results. If you can’t win B grade then you can’t win A grade.
Yes I love power meters to show improvement and set sessions that people won’t overdo, but I also believe they are over used in cycle racing, follow the wheel is the key, not the power numbers
I can but prefer to track them on Trainer Road
I tailor to the times they can train, my athletes do less training than most others. They just do it correctly.
How individually tailored are your programs?
Very, I believe the key is knowing your weaknesses and strengths and how and when to use them. A program that is generic will not work with the type of coaching I provide
I offer an attitude and belief approach
That they are doing it for themselves not for others, they need to want to do it, they also must believe 100% in what we are doing together.
I prefer novice and athletes that are fit as hell and are just not getting results.
Yes 100% if you don’t have the ability, physically or mentally I will tell you. Will offer ideas at what will suit you but will never take money by leading someone on.
Yes a number of times
I work with a number of masters cyclists, need to contain their enthusiasm and realise that rest is important.
Yes very much, I like to work a 3 day on, one day off program.
All of them.
Not always, I take shortcuts
I am an intensity guy, most people over train volumes.
I have had success in building confidence in getting people to back their abilities. Sarah Roy won a national crit title after working through the positioning and tactical side of racing with me, whilst I did not write her program the work we did allowed her to back her ability. This is the same with everyone I have coached, they understand what it takes for the result.
I took a young u/17 cyclist from 500km a week and no results to 200km a week and state medals and making the NSW team, it was about belief not training with him.
Success as a coach comes from seeing the person improve through my advice and for them to enjoy the sport more. There is so much more to it that a training program.
I come from a background of no money and no support so I coach juniors from let’s say a low socio economic background for free, but generally charge $20 a week. I keep this low as my results come through understand and guidance not from spending hours on programs. Programs come with my coaching but I believe most people can reach 70% of their potential through consistent training of any sort. I get them the lost 20% of understanding the sport and the last 10% I will leave to the pro coaches. I someone reaches that 90% with me then I will hand them over to someone that can take them to that level.