Saturday, July 7, 2012

Who is Your Coach? Part #2

Be sure to read Part #1.
Is your "Coach" really interested in what you're doing?
But what about the qualities you want to see demonstrated by your coach?  I often recognized them when I observed friends/colleagues training their clients, though I never put the characteristics down in words.  I just knew someone had what it takes from watching the way they worked with/talked to their clients or from what they did for their own training. These trainers weren't just avoiding the poor characteristics, they were active, interested partners in their clients' success and enjoyment. 

I’ve had a several instances in my career through clinics or with one-on-one training where I’ve realized during the session, though most often after, what great coaching I just enjoyed.  The colleagues/friends who demonstrated these qualities were always living examples of how I wanted to conduct myself as a coach.  The new breakthroughs, concepts grasped and overall experiences created for me were exactly what I wanted to share with my clients.
Elements to Look For (Green Light):
-          Has a sincere interest in your goals, success, results and overall well-being
-          The Coach demonstrates a continued passion for training by striving toward their own goals and PR’s
-          Trainer participates regularly in competitive endeavors (shares competitive experience – has ‘been there’ and can show you how to get there and beyond)
-          Actually coaches you (helps you learn without it being a lecture)
-          Uses video analysis (and other appropriate technology)
-          Coach actively seeks out educational opportunities to continue improving their training knowledge and experience base
-          Strives to improve with you (maybe works out with you, accepts a challenge with you, etc.)
         -      Is fun!
Does your Coach compete with you?
Don’t settle for ‘less than’ when it comes to choosing a coach.  And if you think you don’t need a coach, you’re wrong.  Look at any level of competitive athlete today - they all have coaches/trainers (sometimes more than one for each different aspect of their training needs).

You might say, “Well, Jb, I’m not a competitive athlete and never will be, so why do I need a coach?”  The effectiveness of one’s efforts in training/working-out will dramatically improve with some help.  And in our time-condensed lives, some professional guidance makes your time spent during training much more productive providing for better results in terms of strength, conditioning and don’t forget physical appearance!  With competitive athletes, consider all the years of coaching and supervised training they go through during their career.  Those hours in the gym, on the snow, etc. form a general knowledge base for working out and training.  Do you have those years of experience and education under you belt?  Probably not.  Even with such a strong background these athletes still look for someone to guide them with their physical goals and progress and to maximize the benefits of training, shouldn’t you?
Coach Jb training for 2013 USASA National Championships
I’ve also heard “I’ve got a perfectly good workout from a magazine article/DVD so I don’t need a trainer.”  An article can’t recognize and correct your poor exercise form (not  to mention demonstrate that form right beside you/physically guide you into the form) or notice when it’s appropriate to adjust your accessory exercises to better support your core lifts.  A static program doesn’t evolve with you as you progress, improve fitness and eventually develop new goals.  A DVD has no idea what weak points need addressed.  Don't forget that an article has no clue what sport specific aspects you need for better performance, whether you participate in athletics competitively or recreationally.

The bottom line is don’t represent yourself in the gym (or in court!) and choose a coach who demonstrates (not just tells you about) the ‘Green Light’ characteristics.

1 comment:

  1. I think the important question is whether your coach will compete with you and also share the Cholula...