You’re not a coach!

Through a life of athletic adventures I’ve had good and bad coaches as well as non-coaches. To me being a coach is a badge of honor. It’s not the same as being a trainer – a coach is much more than that. A coach is a trainer, a role model and a mentor.

Instead of going on for hours on the finer aspects of what I consider good coaching, I’ve made a good coach/bad coach table.

A good coach:A bad "coach":
Rewards and encouragesPunishes
Uses his name and lets others decide if he's a coach or notCalls himself a coach
Wants his students to be as successfull as possible.Wants to be as successful as possible.
Inspires, motivates and is a good rolemodel.Doesn't, hasn't and isn't going to live what he teaches.
Uses loud music occassionally, but mostly uses his time with his athletes to coach them.Blasts the music out loud all the time, to "motivate".
Helps is athletes with individual and specific cuesis a cheerleader.
Connects with peopleKeeps distance to "maintain authority"
Tells the athlete what they *should* do.Tells the athlete what they *shouldn't* do
Is great at coaching the basic lifts.Has billions of weird exercises.

Some of these points will be touched upon in later posts, as they may be more complex than they seem. Others are pretty straightforward.

Basically, I’m of the opinion that as a coach, your primary responsibility is to inspire, motivate and better your athletes. Improving technique is a very important aspect, but in my perspective it belongs at the “trainer” level. That said – a great coach is not just a great coach, he’s also a great trainer.

It’s also quite obvious that I seriously dislike the “drill sergeant” type of coach, who wants authority and uses it to punish and scare the shit out of people. Not only is the athlete/client oftentimes technically the trainer/coach’s boss, but it’s also a safe way to lose respect. When training dogs, you use treats exclusively – why be any different with humans?

I’ve seen my share of bully-benchings and other nonsense (90 minutes doing nothing but shuttle runs because of a bad game?) and I’ve also seen what it does to the coach/team chemistry. You should always have a reason for the things you do with your athletes. More on this in another post.

This is not meant as an exhaustive checklist. Actually I could think of specific scenarios where some of the “don’ts” would be appropriate.

However!

If your trainer fit into a small handful (or more) of the “bad coach” points – I’d suggest that you find a different person to spend your money with. If you just realized that you’re “that guy” – better start working on getting better.

Thanks for reading this post to the bottom and thanks for the support. Have a great day. <3

Dress to impress

.Training people is a job.

A job where you’re presenting on a daily basis.

I used to dress as if I was gonna train (and/or train before/after) when I was working. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I make sure to shower and change now. Actually, this morning before heading out I said to my wife “I don’t need to shower, I’m just gonna….” and then it hit me.

While looks is everything and honestly shouldn’t really be anything at all – it often is. Why is that? Because of people like me. People that view the gym as a place you train and dress for that. They might even skip their morning shower and/or shave since everybody is sweaty anyways. I made sure to shower and shave this morning.

What other job where your primary function is direct contact with the customer would you show up looking like a bum?

navy-suit-with-brown-tie

Now I’m not suggesting you suit up like you would for a job interview at a bank – not at all. I would however suggest thinking about how you present yourself and how that corresponds with the message you’re selling.

Keys points to think about:

  • Showering and shaving. No explanation needed.
  • Clean clothes with no holes. Ideally I’d wear a poloshirt and a quiet pair of shorts/training pants. You need to be able to move if you have to demonstrate.
  • Be well-rested and prepared. Nothing kills the energy of a group like a yawning, weary-eyed instructor, who forgot the program.
  • Smiling and being nice to people.

It’s simple really.

If in doubt, do your best to look like this guy:

Dan-John-headshot

Writing this down is my way of writing a check. If you ever see me working while looking like a bum call me out! I’ve been guilty of this up until today, and it changes now.

See you outthere. 🙂