During my long bike rides and long runs, I spend time thinking about coaching, how much I love working with the people I train and ways to improve my coaching skills. At WOL, I have benefitted from all of the coaches and their amazing abilities to bring out the best in each athlete they work with. About a year ago, I asked Sami to be my personal coach to assist me with my personal goals and to discuss strategies and race plans. She is always there to discuss, explain and rein me in when I might over train. She is dedicated to training and an inspiration to all those around her.
I remember during the 2011 Beach to Battleship Triathlon, there was one athlete who was getting close to not finishing in the cutoff time and Sami ran with her and coached her over the finish line in time. She encourages her clients to dig deep and find that drive in themselves to reach their goals. When I was training for the 2010 Louisville Ironman, Sami and a few others went for a 100 mile bike ride late in July and she encouraged me to keep going in spite of the heat. The next weekend we did an 18 mile run in the heat. Come race day, it was brutally hot and thanks to Sami’s determination and push on those two workouts, I knew I could complete this Ironman. Sami is always going above and beyond for her athletes.
The biggest lesson I have learned from Coach Sami is: What the power of a coaches belief in an athlete can help an athlete achieve.
Sami works full time as a veterinarian, coaches for WOL, works on numerous committees and is, of course, an athlete herself who always has time for friends and family. She is very busy but always has time to encourage her athletes and enjoy their accomplishments. I want to take a few moments to say “thank you, Sami” for all her help and all she does. Below are few testimonials from other athletes who know or work with Sami.
Sami is a very knowledgeable and personable coach. She pays attention to each individual athlete under her care and takes great delight in witnessing the improvements and the accomplishments of reaching our goals. Her biggest asset is her positive and enthusiastic personality which rubs off on all of us. Also despite her hectic life as a vet, coach, and athlete she also finds time to volunteer for many different causes and provides a great example of how to live a full and productive life.
Sami Winter is an inspiration and fine example to all of us of someone who is able to balance a busy work schedule, social life, and healthy life style while at the same time being a steadfast and supportive friend. There are many examples of her dedication and kindness but I will give you my own personal experience.
Last year I decided I would attempt my first ½ Iron Man and after that decision was made, the training began. I was eager, overzealous and overtraining. One afternoon I received a phone call from Sami. She had been informed from a close friend/fellow athlete of my improper training habits and decided to come to my rescue. She had been for warned that I was heading in a direction that could potentially have me injured. She stepped in at the right time to “rein” me in. Sami took the time to sit down with me, hear my story, understand my training habits and from there began to coach me. Her goal was to set me on the right path to a healthy lifestyle. Sami began with writing out a plan that would fit not only the race I was training for, but also my personality. She also decided to go above and beyond and discuss my nutrition habits on a daily basis. She worked with me for over a month helping me understand what I need on a daily basis for fuel as well as what would keep me healthy throughout training. Weeks prior to the race Sami continuously checked in with me not only on how training was going but also how I was doing mentally and emotionally building up to the day. Race day came and she was there to help boost my confidence from start to finish.
Sami has remained my coach and throughout this past year has continued to be an inspiration in all she does as well as having become a trusted confidant. Sami helped me to see you can stay injury free and have great races without over training. She is a gifted coach who it is my pleasure and honor to know.
I can describe Sami in one word – dynamo! Sami’s enthusiasm is infectious, and her determination is unwavering. When I made the decision to train for an Ironman, I knew that I wanted her to be my coach. Through injury, she has kept my spirits up and encouraged me to keep going through some tough times. Sami has helped me do things that I never thought I would be able to do, and I couldn’t have made it this far without her. Someone asked me recently why I do these crazy hard races, and I replied, “It’s because of Coach Sami!”
I have had the pleasure of having Coach Sami as my triathlon coach for this season. Having her as my coach has been wonderful. There is not one thing about her coaching technique that I would complain about. Coach Sami personalizes each work-out on Training Peaks. She makes sure she knows my schedule each week and designs my workouts around this schedule. When I have to work overtime at the hospital, she will alter my workouts to make sure I am getting the necessary training in but also getting the necessary rest. There are times when I am out of town and unable to get my swimming and biking in. Coach Sami doesn’t worry about this or make me feel like I’m falling behind in my training. She simply develops a work-out that will work for the environment that I am in. She doesn’t let me stress over my training. She makes sure I remember that I am doing this sport because I love it. And if I’m not enjoying any part of it, she does her best to make the necessary changes that will allow me to enjoy it again.
While I am confidant that Coach Sami’s training is preparing me to reach all of my goals as a triathlete, this is not the main reason she is such an outstanding coach. What really makes her stand out is her true desire to be a coach. Coach Sami doesn’t coach because it is her job to coach. She coaches because she loves to coach. And you can see that as soon as you begin working with her. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to run your first 5K or on your way to Kona, Coach Sami is going to do everything she can to make sure you are getting what you want out of your training and make sure you are enjoying it. And if you can’t find someone to train with, you can be assured that Coach Sami will come out there and train with you. This could be for your first pool swim or for a century ride. She is there to help you achieve your goals and she does not mind getting out there with you in order to do that.
Without Limits is a wonderful organization that I have had the pleasure being a part of for almost 3 years now. The camaraderie that we experience is simply outstanding. In my opinion, it’s coaches like Sami Winter that make this organization so successful. And this can be said for all of the Without Limits coaches. It’s an honor to be a part of such a great organization. Hats off to Coach Winter and all of the Without Limits coaches.
Sami is a wonderful person with an amazing heart. I’ve known Sami for several years now and I love how things have grown every year. I admire how she gets involved with so much and continues to excel with it all. I believe one thing that really draws me to her is how giving she is. She manages to take care of everyone and let her friends know that she can find time to catch up and hang out. Even as a coach she listens and is able to adapt to situations allowing our athlete’s (and her’s) to as healthy adults and achieve their goals. Sami is one of kind and I am lucky to have her in my life.
My coach, your coach, our coach –
Sami wears many hats. She is a cheerleader when you doubt yourself. She is a therapist when you need advice. A mother goose leading her gosling to start line and more importantly the finish line. A social director that matches you up with faster soon to be friends. A sister, a friend, travel companion, riding partner, roommate, a vet, and a great coach. She is sometimes too kind and will sacrifice her needs for your wants!
Here are some things you need to know about our fearless leader:
She will chick you at some point in the season.
No tree or bush is safe from her miniature bladder!
When her voice transform to the “cute baby talk” walk away, she is about to rescue a dog or a cat!
If a road trip with her is in your future, bring your own music.
She is constantly playing a game of name that dog bread against herself.
She will stop talking if you accelerate to a 7 min / mile pace.
When in doubt get the pink one.
If Sami was not in my life I would probably be both smoking and overweight or with Endurance Nation. Similar results!
We started the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon back in 2010 and I needed a volunteer coordinator. I asked Sami if she would be willing to step up to the plate and she did. She has built a strong volunteer base for the race and keeps it very organized. Each year she wants to make improvements and that is what any company would want. The Quintiles Marathon has some of the best volunteers on the course and I thank Sami for organizing and recruiting that for us along with all of the other things she is involved in!
A big thanks to Coach Sami for all she does! Please add comments and your positive experiences with Coach Sami below.