I really love talking with young coaches and sharing my experience.
Maybe that’s because I am far enough down the path now to notice how far I’ve come. I can look back on my history and see the barriers I’ve cleared, the steady fears and burdensome doubts, the stiff resistance.
It wasn’t all that easy, but this journey has been more than worth the fuss. I just want others to know that so they don’t feel the burden and false expectations. That’s enough for success right there.
The journey is tough, theres no question. The grinding work and constant study will seam endless. But that’s alright. It’s normal, even. The stress and grind fades as you become more and more experienced. This is a craft like any other. If you work at it, it will come.
What I wanted to do is share a few ideas that I think will help. These are just some simple things that will get you a better result in the gym and in life.
I’ll just call them the 5 keys for now.
1. Start by being open.
One thing you have to understand is that there are no deep secrets out there. You don’t have to pick sides or join camps. You don’t have to defend anything.
Remember, your only job is to get out in the world and hear as many points of view as possible. Burn your days in pursuit of knowledge. Study all the methods you can, because in time – and after countless coaching reps – your unique voice will begin to emerge from that cumulative experience.
Never let your mind grow shut.
2. Connect with as many minds as possible.
Simply put, the easiest and fastest way to progress your career is to leverage the experience of others. Reach out to your peers, or people you would love to have as mentors. I don’t care what you have to do, get out on the road and spend time with them.
Contribute value and help them however you can. Pick their brains. Make sure they know you appreciate them, that goes a long way.
3. Target discomfort.
From time to time you will be challenged. You will feel awkward, out of place, maybe weak. That’s OK.
What you have to do is aggressively seek out these moments and push straight through them. You have to change your mindset so that you start to see these events as good things. I know you might not feel good enough or ready right now, but that doesn’t matter at all. Just focus on stretching yourself and you will grow.
4. Get good at asking great questions.
There will come a time when you’ll know all the methods that matter, and all the common tricks. If you want to keep advancing as a coach, I think you have to ask great questions.
The absolute best coaches are those that pick up on ALL the data. They take the time to really ask their athletes how they are doing, not just in the gym, but in school, work, relationships you name it. It ALL affects the training plan.
So, ask away. Get to really know and understand the people you’re working with. That will make your job much, much easier.
5. Create upward gradients in your life.
This is one of the only real secrets I know. It works like a charm, again, it’s just not easy.
If you want to be great at something, surround yourself with positive people who push you. Set progressively challenging goals. Do not accept stasis in any area of your life. You can be much better than you think, but not if the conditions are off. Make sure you are being pulled up, not down.
I hope you find those points of view helpful. If you have any questions just toss them in the comments below. I’d love to help you out however I can.