ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan is the Director of strength and conditioning at Pro Performance RX In Morgantown, West Virginia. Ryan has been working in the private sector with hundreds of youth athletes for the last 5 years. He is always excited to talk training and dig deep into the Why. Never stop learning, growing and adapting. In the great words of Bruce Lee be like water. To connect further with Ryan reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
// Reminder for all coaches out there
Gyms are closed. Office buildings are shut down. The world seems to be going a little crazy right now and you might be right there with it all. But it is moments like these that we can sit back and re-evaluate our coaching process. Focus on the things that matter. More importantly focus on the things we can control ourselves. Here are some reminders for all of you strength coaches and personal trainers.
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1. Go Deeper Not Wider!
This is me yelling at myself. Just recently, I caught myself getting back into old habits:
- Being shallow with my information and not deep
- Flying through books, podcast, audio books, training program, etc as fast as I could
I was crushing 2 audiobooks a week at x2 speed and speed reading the latest book of the week (that I had seen a strength coach recommend on social media that was supposed to be amazing). Then I caught myself. WHY? It was the fear of not knowing enough. The fear that there was some hidden secret that I did not know. What are the secrets of the strength and conditioning? Well, guess what? I solved them. There are no secrets. There is no one perfect program, exercise or anything. As Dan John has said before, anything works for 6 weeks.
Take away– Slow down. Absorb information and really soak it in. It’s okay to take your time and explore every nook of anything. Master it. Which leads me to my next point…
P.S. ALL of those books are amazing. No, I did not read Super Training from cover to cover.
2. Be a Great Technician
Know each exercise in and out and own the movements. Have the utmost attention to detail. However, that does not mean that you need to over coach and never let the athlete do a slightly imperfect movement. This is where the art of coaching comes in. Be articulate and direct with your words, then let the athlete move and solve the problem. Mistakes will happen, but this is how the athlete will learn and improve.
Do not always demonstrate the movements. I became a much better coach when I ruptured my right Achilles tendon. How? Because I had to. I could no longer demonstrate every movement. I had to effectively communicate each movement so that the athlete would understand. Less became more and my athletes continued to thrive.
Take away– Communication is key. Perfect it.
3. Always have a “WHY”
There should be a reason for every single thing you do. Period. Simple explanations need to be available for athlete’s curiosity. (I did this because it looked cool or someone said it would work are not reasons.) Have a real reason why.
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” or “Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Einstein
4. Always Return to the Basics
I have gone to many seminars, camps, clinics, etc. and one thing always stands out: the basics. We want things to be complicated and fancy with all the bells and whistles (squats with bands, flashing lights,etc.). Yes, these things work great and are awsome but most of the time all our athletes need are basic squats, some quality hard work and volume. There’s nothing sexy about 5×5 except the results.
Takeaway – Train the basics, don’t get fancy. Hold true to your foundation.
5. Don’t Forget to Have Fun
We became strength coaches because we love what we do and are extremely passionate about it. Do not lose that passion. It shines through with your athletes. It will help to build relationships with them and get more out of their training. Be involved. Play games. Have challenges and keep the energy up! Your athletes should have a smile on their face.
Take away- enjoy the process and have fun!