A Few Things I Have Learned Coaching
Be honest but tactful
I have found that it is always best to be brutally honest but tactful at the same time. It is not necessary to yell, scream, act like a jerk and bad mouth those you do not agree with but be honest and support statements with facts not opinions.
Lead by example
Whether you are coaching high school athletes or general fitness clients lead by example. If you are a fat slob who never picks up after themselves, talks on your phone and texts your girlfriend during training, eats garbage and you look like you have not bumped into a barbell in about 10 years, guess what your trainees will emulate? Remember…the apples don’t fall far from the tree.
Try to make sure you are memorable
If your athletes or clients are talking to friends, what will they say about you? Training methodologies and the application of these methods must be sound and appropriate but injecting personality into the training sessions to get a little extra out of your athletes and clients is not a bad thing. I am not talking about yelling at anyone because I don’t think most people will respond to that, however, challenging statements such as “If it’s too hard, we can just modify your goals” and “Its called strength training, not weak training” can sometimes bring out a better effort.
Be skeptical of cool, new ideas
It is not necessary to dismiss every new idea that comes along, however investigate everything with a critical thought process. When I stumble upon something new, be it a “cool new” training tool or a “cool new” exercise, I try to ask myself what place it would have in the programs I write for people. If I already have a better option in my tool box to accomplish the same task, it is unlikely that I will scrap what I have used in the past with success for the new option. The basics became the basics because people used them for years on end and they actually got stronger and better conditioned. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
There are no secrets
The only secret is there are no secrets. Training is a process much like every subject in school. It is always best to view it as such and take your time and make progress consistently over a long period of time. Don’t be one of the lame “four weeks to a beach body”…be a lifer.
Use less to get more
It seems like the longer I coach people, the more I try to trim the fat off of the programs I write. Many of the athletes and clients I work with have homework, practices, games, jobs, kids, etc, etc, etc so time is of the essence. When it comes to their time in the gym, they need the most bang for their training buck. I allocate a designated amount of time for each portion of the training session and if a client is pressed for time, there are certain parts of the workout that are prioritized over others to allow for the greatest benefit in the least amount of time.
Simple explanations trump long winded scientific mumbo jumbo in most situations
Most athletes and clients do not care about the science mumbo jumbo nor do I care to stroke my own ego and try to let them know how smart I think I am. I would rather explain things simply in a language that they can understand.