When Your Lack of Ability To Do, Ceases to Hinder Your Ability to Explain
I remember as a young coach and trainer when I was a hard charger ready to change the lives of the entire world with what I knew from being college athlete and Bachelor’s in Kinesiology with ink still wet on the diploma. I can’t tell you how many times I uttered the words, “I won’t have anyone do anything that I CAN’T or WON’T do myself.”
I look back on that phrase and I can’t believe how dumb it is. How many of us coaches have watered down the true efficacy of our programming and hindered the progress of our athletes because there are things that we can’t do ourselves, either right now, or ever? This is the ego preventing you from being the greatest coach you can be and truly reaching your full potential. You don’t want to seem fallable to your athletes. Well guess what, get comfortable with the idea.
Not all of us are going to be able to pull 700 pounds off the floor. Not all of us are going to be able to put together a string of muscle ups. Not everyone will ever have a mile run time south of 6 minutes. That’s not the point. You are now the teacher, not the student. Your sole purpose in life, is to get your people as close the upper limits of their potential as athletes as possible. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT WHAT YOU CAN or CAN NOT DO. But can you teach it? That’s all that matters.
Get your head out of your butt. You are the coach. You better have the ability to accurately explain stuff you may or may not be capable of doing. I was teaching double unders and watching my members and fellow coaches whiz by me in WODs long before stringing 50 or more together unbroken was even close to a realistic goal for me. You need to be comfortable with the fact that you have the pleasure of coaching people with greater athletic ability than you might have. Hell, some people will pick up a movement or two, be able to crush certain workouts, or outlift their EVERYONE else, including you, coach!
That doesn’t mean you suck. Your job, is to pull that potential out of people and give them the tools and resources they need to maximize their gifts and talents. Give them that extra push that gets them excited to work on their weaknesses and develop their strengths. If you’re not challenging your athletes, you’re cheating them. Regardless of what they say, or how they feel, they are there to be pushed. Comfort was never achieved by staying comfortable. The struggle, right there at the edge of your comfort zone, is where you’re athletes need to live.
As the body adapts, that boundary gets further away, and the realm of comfort expands. When your athletes are able to do more work before experience the discomfort that comes with accomplishing progress, that’s when you know you’re doing it right.
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