I've often struggled with the idea of being an amateur triathlete and getting coached. Isn't coaching for pros and REALLY fast amateurs? Who would want to coach silly old me: 2 years into the sport and not nearly as fast as the speedsters out there, especially not on the bike.
What coach would pick a relatively slow newbie over a fast, experienced athlete? Am I "worth" being coached?
Well, it all comes down to perspective. Who needs the most coaching: the newbie or the professional? The answer is both. The professional requires someone other than him/herself making the training plan and keeping him/her guided. In this case, a coach helps the athlete fine tune his body and his mind so that he/she can race at peak strength and ability. The newbie, on the other hand, requires a coach just as much but perhaps for slightly different reasons. A newbie's coach guides the inexperienced athlete through the basics of proper training, and, if the coach's instructions are properly followed, the athlete is better for it. The athlete is fitter, yes, but he/she is also smarter. The athlete is more balanced mentally AND physically.
So, in the end, if you're hesitating about getting a coach... don't! It's well worth the money.
Then again, I had a coach for several months that did not jibe with me at all, was completely uncommunicative and far too pricey for the effort level they put into my coaching. After several months of frustration, I switched coaches and am 100 million times better for it. But that's another story. DO interview your coach and the company you are thinking of giving your well-earned money to. It's your right (and responsibility)!