When I was young, I embodied the Jumbo Elliot quote: “Act like a horse. Be dumb. Just run.” I feel it helped immensely to have coaches for the first eight or so years of my running 'career' to direct me and my training and racing. I did not have to spend time and energy poring through books and trying to decide between bunk and brilliance. I could just focus on the doing, the experience, the brotherhood. That established a fairly good foundation for adding independent study, becoming a student of the sport to have a feel based on real-world experience for what to accept and what to disregard. A kind of apprenticeship.
I love that and it's so true. Having coaching in those early years can be critical, as you gain an understanding of what works. Once you gain that understanding and do some studying, while coaching can still be valuable, it becomes less critical.