Consistency is key to everything you do, especially when you first start out. If you're starting a new sport, new training regime, or with a new coach you need to be consistent from the get go. Being consistent will affirm you are doing the right thing, and you are with the right coach.
If there is consistency from the start, you are much more likely to have consistency at the end. Consistency makes coaches very happy - it shows an athlete is dedicated to what they are doing. I would always choose to coach the less talented but more consistent athlete over the inconsistent achiever.
As a general rule anyone who starts to follow a consistent training plan will find improvement.
Commitment goes hand in hand with being consistent. Consistently show up to the sessions that you are committed to. Not only this, but bring a good attitude with you every time.
Commit to giving 100% in every session. In the end you are there to get your own athletic gains, the coach can only guide you – you have to commit to doing the hard work.
Commit to your coach. They are the professional. Listen to what they say and follow their instructions. Remember, you need to give them time, good gains often take months not days. Agree with and understand what you are specifically working on and commit to working hard on it.
Commit to your team. Everyone around you is on your team, your family, friends, partner, and most of all your coach. Everyone in each training session you attend is on your team, you are all there for the same reason. Commit to pushing yourself and supporting the others around you.
Communication is key to a healthy coach athlete relationship, and it works both ways, the coach needs to communicate with the athlete and the athlete needs to do the same back. Build a vision of what you want with your coach and work with them to produce it.
If you're tired, communicate. If you don't understand the session, communicate. When you feel like things are going well, or you enjoy a session, communicate!
Some good tips for successful communication:
Keep it precise - especially if it is written.
Focus on the result of the conversation – a clear desired outcome will result in more clear conversation.
Stay positive – be constructive, not negative. Concerns can and should be communicated in a positive and encouraging way.
Listen – this is probably one of the hardest things to do. There are two types of listening, conscious and sub-conscious. Conscious listening is hearing and computing the sentence that we are receiving, and sub-conscious is deciphering the sub-text meaning of what is actually being said. Listen not just to the words, but to the body language and tone that is being used, and react accordingly.
Take your time – not all communication can be instant, nor has to be. If you need the time to build an effective reply then take it. In an in person conversation, never underestimate the value of a pause that will allow you to build a more clear and direct reply.