As the team I coach begins to grow, it is important to surround my crew with other advisors they can learn from. Initially, when an opportunity for growth presents itself, one needs to be careful not to focus that growth directly on the interest of the business. Having spent over a year with Endurance Corner, the first thing I learned was always add value to the team; a direct result of that is a value to the business through retention. Focus on them.
I see coaches add ancillary services, and wonder if that makes sense for NWT, but always come back to that rule before committing to a new service. How does this help them get better, and how does it develop me as a coach?
The best way to add value to the team, is to bring on advisors where I am weak. Another tip from Gordo is don’t be afraid of admitted weakness….this trait is actually a strength.
When it comes to swimming, it’s my belief that fitness rules, and if you don’t get in the pool and swim, no amount of technique instruction will help. With that said, as a coach, technique is part of the deal. Swim video analysis is often a big add on service for coaches, whether or not they know what to look for.
This was my next opportunity for growth, and I decided to bring on another advisor to help with the process, within the athlete’s current cost.
My plan was to bring on TJ Fry from the get go, as I respect him highly and he knows his stuff; but more importantly he helped me with my swim, and he was genuine about the process of helping others. I had success working with him, and knew if he agreed to help he would be a huge value to the team.
NWT is very excited to have TJ part of the crew, where he will interact with the coached athletes and help them develop their swim, and also be available for general triathlon discussion. This interaction will occur through NWTs user forum, video analysis, and swim discussion.
TJ and NWT is a partnership where everyone wins.
When seeking growth, put the team first and allow value to stimulate that growth.
About TJ Fry
TJ Fry began swimming competitively at the age of 6. He was a 12+ time high school All-American and went on to be a scholarship athlete at Clemson University where he was team captain and two time MVP.
In triathlons, he competed in his first triathlon at the age of 12. At 14, he was first overall at the Ironkids National Championship. The following year earned a spot on the junior national team to represent the United States as the youngest ever in the first ever Triathlon World Championships, and repeated the achievement the following year. Upon completing collegiate swimming career and obtaining a degree in Biological Sciences, he returned to triathlon as a professional.
As a pro, TJ used his swimming strength to lead out of the water, breaking some course records along the way (Wildflower, Buffalo Springs, etc). He was able to rack up victories and solid results all over the world, competing in a range of formats from ITU World Cup to sprint distance to the Hawaiian Ironman.
Injury ultimately sidelined his career prematurely, but TJ continued in both swimming and triathlon as a coach. In swimming, he coached a number of top-16 swimmers and All-Americans. In triathlon TJ coached professional and amateurs alike. He qualified athletes to Ironman World Championships as well as first timers crossing the finish line of their first race.
TJ currently races on a more recreational nature now, does limited one-on-one coaching, puts on a number of clinics and offers up any advice he can to help out. He’s also a 6 time Ironman finisher (3X Kona)
TJ is the owner of Swim Shops of the Southwest (swimshops.com), is married with two children, and resides in The Woodlands, Texas.