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.


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

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