Some of the most influential people that children, young adults and even adults will have in their lives are coaches. Regardless of your title in the gym – trainer, fitness leader, strength specialist or whatever else it may be – always remember that above anything else, you are a coach.
As a coach, you have a platform – people are listening to you. You have a responsibility to provide as much value and to make as much impact as you can with that platform. It does not matter how big or small you think your platform is, or if you are working with young kids, pros, a team or an individual, the responsibility is the same.
I was very fortunate to have some great strength and conditioning coaches that helped me in many ways over the years. They were teachers, motivators, and confidants. They added value to my day every day I worked with them and I am still appreciative.
I have now had the experience of being a strength and conditioning coach for over 15 years. Here are some things I have learned that can also help you to make a difference in the athletes you work with.
- Say “Hi”. Acknowledge and greet every single person that walks through the gym doors. It doesn’t matter how busy you are. You always have a second to say “hi”, shake a hand or wave from across the gym. It doesn’t matter whether someone has been coming to the gym for years or it’s their first day; acknowledging people sets the stage for a positive experience every time they walk in.
- Body Language. Your body language matters. Be engaged, stand with good posture, exude energy, and position yourself at optimal angles to coach. Small details, maybe; but these details matter. You are in a gym, it’s a physical place and athletes are visual learners. What you do physically can be even more important in some cases than what you say.
- Always Get Better. Your job is to consistently coach people through the process of becoming better every day. Walk the walk. Lead by example and do something to get better every day. Train hard, read, ask questions, eat well, take courses, watch videos, practice. Every time you do something to make yourself better, you add value to what you can share and coach people through.
- Never Think You Know Everything. Never, ever do this. If you do not know something, simply indicate you don’t and commit to finding out. Hustle for the answer, read, make phone calls or whatever you have to do, and then get back to them with what you learn. People will appreciate the effort much more than you making something up. The second you think you know everything is the exact same second that you stop getting better. When you stop getting better you limit the value you can bring.
One thing you will notice is that none of these actions require any talent. They require effort. Coaching is not a talent thing, it’s an effort thing. Accept the responsibility, put in the effort, use your platform, make a difference.
Until next time,
Strength, Courage, Hustle, Commitment