Keeping A Beginner’s Mindset as a Coach

Coach Development


Ryan Leibreich

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 [email protected]

// is a beginner’s mindset the key to coaching?

A beginner’s mindset: a thought-provoking concept to get you talking and asking questions.

In our chosen field of strength and conditioning, we need to embrace the concept of a beginner’s mind. Really in all fields, people should embrace this thought.

The concept of a beginner’s mind is the understanding that we always need to be open to learning, new experiences, and revisiting old experiences as if they were new again. The fact is – even when we have done something a thousand times, there is some small piece of it that is always different. We should understand and learn the depth of that. We should look at going deeper as well as wider.


We can look at different methods to achieve the same task or find a better understanding of the same task. We must ask questions daily and find reminders of what we once learned. Ask questions like:

  • Am I fully engaged in this process?
  • Am I always open to learning new things?
  • Am I going back to that beginner’s mindset and state?

Here’s an example: I practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. With Jiu-Jitsu, you go through a belt system, which ranks you on your skill and hours put in. You go from white to blue to purple to brown and finally to black. You have to put the time and effort in repeatedly to advance, or else you don’t make it. Nothing is handed over for free. Once you get to a certain level, however, it doesn’t end there. The black belts teach that once they finally received theirs, that is where the real learning begins.

You have literally trained years to achieve that level, to learn the craft, and now that you’ve made it, it is the time to start back over. You get to revisit what you thought you once knew and hone those skills and make them even sharper.

// learn it all and learn it well

This is what we need to embrace with strength and conditioning and to instill in our athletes. Learn it all and learn it well…then embrace that we can always do it better and more efficiently, that there is still more to be left on the table.

My favorite quote by Bruce Lee (which I put on my email signature too) is, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is not, add what is uniquely your own.” It expresses the idea of constantly researching and refining your own experience. I love this because we all can learn and reframe things so we better understand them on our own and can add our own style. We should then work on relating whatever it is we are doing so others can be inspired and do that same thing for themselves.

Don’t just have a beginner’s mind, but also inspire others to have one too. Utilize different methods and approaches for each unique individual so they embrace the teaching and principles of a beginner’s mindset.

There is nothing complicated about this concept. Its purpose is to inspire others and remind us to be open to new things. To be aware that there is always more to learn and to revisit old things with a new revitalized view and explore all experiences with more depth because there really is always more.

Cheers to becoming inspired, to another day of embracing the new and being the best version of yourself.

Are you a better coach after reading this?

More coaches and athletes than ever are reading the TrainHeroic blog, and it’s our mission to support them with useful training & coaching content. If you found this article useful, please take a momemnt to share it on social media, engage with the author, and link to this article on your own blog or any forums you post in.


Be Your Best,

TrainHeroic Content Team




Access the latest articles, reviews, and case studies from the top strength and conditioning minds in the TH Training Lab

Mockups of the TH library on mobile.
Plans written by expert coaches and delivered through our app.