I was scrolling through my Facebook feed about a week ago when I came across an article in Triathlete Magazine (online) titled, “What Do Triathlon Coaching Credentials Mean?”
As the founder of a coaching certification company, I felt obligated to check it out.
As I read through the article and after positive testimonials about USAT and Ironman, I came across a mention of our certification. This was the specific text:
“Other similar triathlon certifications are offered by catch-all fitness organizations like United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy and the National Personal Training Association. The latter program promises that you can ‘earn your cert in 1–2 hours.’ Programs like these may offer some insights into managing a coaching business, but they don’t carry much weight within the sport.”
After nearly falling over in my seat, I sent the editor a nice, but firmly worded request for them to either delete the section about UESCA, and/or publish a retraction. I also noted that the writer must not have done any research into our company, as UESCA is the furthest thing from a “fitness diploma mill.”
To the credit of Triathlete Magazine, I heard back quickly from their editor-in-chief with a sincere apology as well as notation that UESCA was deleted from the article. The editor-in-chief also confirmed that the writer of the article did not do any research into UESCA to determine if our certification was “good” or “bad.”
I mention this not to hold a pity party, but rather to make it clear that one of the key reasons why our content is so heavily science-based, is to avoid just this sort of thing. When reading an article in a magazine, online or wherever – DO NOT take the information at face value and appreciate that there may likely be a large amount of personal bias.
So… be a skeptic:
- Do your own research
- Does the content make sense?
- Look for professional citations or quotes from credible sources and look them up.
- What organization is the writer from?
- Do they have a hidden agenda?
In closing, I hold no ill will toward Triathlete Magazine, in fact, I quite like their content. Additionally, I think that both USAT and Ironman have great quality products. However, I wanted to mention this situation as a prime example as to why you need to perform your own due diligence when reading training-based (or anything for that matter) content, as you never know if what you are reading is correct and factual.