Aug 17, 2009

Be a Good Coach...Trainers

One of the things I've learned over the years is that whether your a Strength and Conditioning Coach (like I am) or a Personal should also consider yourself a Teacher and a Coach. Why? Because you are. It's that simple.

You cannot simply expect to get results with clients because you know your Ex Phys or Biomechanics or Nutrition. When you're with clients/athletes, you have to coach and teach...constantly. That not only means you should have a plan, but it should also influence the ways you speak with your clients as well as how you evaluate and educate. Using appropriate cues, giving feedback at the correct time, paying attention to clients effort/interest/focus levels is all a part of the deal.

One of the most shocking lessons I learned about my own coaching/teaching was when I began working with a great group of Strength Coaches at Velocity Sports Performance in Dublin, CA a number of years ago. See...I had an undergrad degree that emphasized teaching in Kinesiology, I had a Single Subject Teaching Credential, and I had been teaching at the secondary level for about 5 years when I showed up on scene at Velocity. One of the first questions I asked the then Performance Director (John White, MS, CSCS) was why they program designed the way they did. Plyo drills and sets, for example, were separated not just with rest...there were "movement drills" in between. The answer was simple and painful for me to hear. Essentially it was due to the motor learning process. Plyometrics such as this

were separated with movement drills like the Wall Drill

or Build Ups

in order to allow mass and distributed practice to occur as well as for athletes to make application of the plyometric drill just performed.

I could not believe it. Why? I was a teacher and a coach...and what I just learned was that I was not teaching or coaching my athletes like I was doing for my students in the classroom. Why? I was doing it wrong. I really had no excuses since--as I mentioned--I had all the "education" I needed in pedagogy.

I recently read a couple articles on this topic that reminded me we need to hear this message a lot more in the industry. Here's one I thought was great on the blog. It is regarding the simple topic of "positioning." Where are you standing? What's your view of your clients/athletes/teams? Whether you're a Trainer or a Strength's worth a read.

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