Episode 170

Paulo Sousa: Cutting out the bullsh*t

Paulo Sousa is a High Performance Coach who works with the likes of Paula Findlay, Taylor Spivey, Summer Rapperport and World Under 23 champion Kate Waugh. He has built his elite squad over the years, but his path into coaching is an unusual one. He studied mechanical engineering at University in Portugal, doing a Masters and then a PhD. And it was while he was at University that he got involved with the triathlon team. And that's how it all started...

You'll hear:

09.30 Paulo talks about how he decided to go into High Performance Coaching, rather than a career in academia. He mentions why Modern Pentathlon wasn't for him.

15:30 Did he always want to go into High Performance and the elite side of coaching?

18:00 Given Paulo's different path into Elite Coaching, what does he think makes a good coach?

20:00 The worst moment of the interview. Paulo picks me up on mentioning the N word within 10 minutes.

22:00 How do you you build an elite squad of athletes? "Bull sh*t can only go so far."

26:00 We talk about the age group World vs the elite world and the 'bullsh*t that comes with it.'

28:00 Keeping things simple Vs Keeping things fresh

32:00 We talk about time constraints for Age Groupers and why it requires a different approach to elite training, but a simple approach works.

33:00 Who's in Paulo's team? And what does a team approach mean within his squad?

36:00 Working for a federation Vs Going out on your own and having your own squad away from National Federations.

40:30 Paulo talks about Chelsea Sodaro becoming Ironman World Champion in 2022. Sodaro went to Paulo when she first moved to triathlon from running.

44:00 Paulo talks about his athlete scholarship programme and why is didn't work out. "Taking risks and not being afraid of failing is a big part of high performance."

46:00 We talk about elite athletes and making money Vs being an influencer and why prize money needs to be greater. 'This low prize money has pushed the sport into this niche where these athletes cannot make a living just from being incredible athletes. Winning races is not enough."

50:00 How does Paulo cope when he feels like he has failed his athletes?

Find out more about this week's guest:

Paulo Sousa Instagram

Paulo Sousa twitter

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About the Podcast

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Inside Tri Show
Helen Murray brings you awesome interviews from triathlon and beyond

About your host

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Helen Murray

Helen has been working in triathlon for a decade as an athlete, coach and broadcaster.

Helen hosts the Inside Tri Show podcast bringing you awesome interviews from triathlon and beyond