Updated: Mar 26
Back in the day many athletes were intrigued about the docs coaching methods. However many unsuccessful coaches who felt threatened by me in Australia spread all sorts of rumours of workouts and crazy diets with athletes. What they left out is that most of these were performed on myself! As none of these coaches ever came to see what we did and in what context, it was doubly successful.
Why doubly successful? Because it worked as a filter for me. If people heard the horror stories and still insisted that they needed to train with the doc, then I knew one thing about them already - these people weren't frightened of hard work or discipline. These are much more important attributes than natural talent in a sport where a short course race lasts 2 hours.
Hence I did nothing to discredit the false allegations of a training gulag! We kept going to great training locations and the myth perpetuated itself. All good at my end. You see, I still remember my first advertisement when I started triathlon coaching. If you want to be the best you can be please contact me at ... show ponies need not apply! This sort of does show my attitude then.
The next option for the curious was to find a coach that works with Sutto training methods but isn't as hard. This became known in our squad as 'Sutto light'. I have mentored many coaches that went on to be world beaters. My first batch had amazing success, not because they blindly followed Sutto methodology, but because they learned the art of coaching. They broadened into a master class of understanding the unseen subtleties of the art of coaching. That's my gift to them, not Sutto training sessions.
Coaching the Coaches - Siri Lindley, Darren Smith, Ben Bright
Now, at the start some were 'Sutto light', and Siri was. But that's where my last words need not be overlooked - 'but they are not going to get that', come in...
They are going to get a world class hard arse, ladies and gentlemen. She is going to introduce them to Sergeant Major Lindley and for most this will be a shock to their system. The gushing "you're awesome" is just a cover to one of the deepest thinkers in the sport. Sorry Siri your secret is out - her intellect is a cut above most and equally rivals the best ITU coach in the world Darren Smith. He is also a very deep thinker on not just the sport but any subject you would like to debate. Both have IQ scores that look like cricket scoreboards.
Ben Bright running the mens British Tri program was my first athlete. There is not one bit of Sutto histrionics when you see him go about his work. He might not have been tested but at 15 this kid thought like a 40 year old. He too understands humans and their frailties, and he learnt like Darren and Siri the hard way, by trial and error.
I ragged on Darrens arse for ages that he won't make it as a coach! It was like proddin a fighting dog with a stick, as he just kept coming back and coming back better and better, until now he is the man in ITU. Siri is the woman in Ironman, and the doc can truthfully say, the best example of Sutto light is not with these people, but with the doc, as his grasshoppers have surpassed the teacher. I get great satisfaction as it makes me very proud, knowing I helped in some way to train the podium of current best coaches in the world.
Siri Lindley: Brett Sutton, my former coach, and mentor.... If it wasn't for my experiences with him as my coach, combined with the many, varying good and bad adventures in my life ( bad..being bad..but still appreciated by me, as it is in those times that we gain the most strength)...I wouldn't be who I am today. Thank you Brett, for all that I learned from you. You hit the nail on the head, with this comment: "understanding the unseen subtleties of the art of coaching"...it's not about the training...it's about coming up with the perfect recipe for each athlete. Thank you Brett, for your kind words..and for your everyday inspiration. I will never stop being grateful for the role you have played in my journey!