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The Case for a Coach

There are many different aspects to training for a sport.

There are physical aspects such as exercise, nutrition, sleep and practice. There are psychological components such as visualization, stress management and confidence. And while all these aspects are equally important when it comes to success, some of these components are traditionally done with the help of coaching.

There are many variations of a saying that is used all the time that goes something like “(insert sport name) is 20 per cent physical and 80 per cent mental,” or, “getting fit is 30 per cent in the gym and 70 per cent in the kitchen.”

I’m not sure where these sayings came from or why they ever became so popular, but I can assure you they are false. If you want to have success there is no division of effort based on percentages. Every aspect is 100 per cent of your effort all the time. The sport you play and train for is 100 per cent physical and 100 per cent mental. Getting fit is 100 per cent in the gym and 100 per cent in the kitchen. One aspect does not outweigh the others if you want to truly do your best and reach your full potential.

But remember, this is not easy to do without help. This is where a good coach can be of service and really help you out. The problem is, as mentioned before, we traditionally utilize coaching only in certain aspects and not others. An example of this, of course, is that for hockey we have a coach on ice for the players. Every practice and every game, there is a coach providing guidance and structure to put you in the best position to develop and be successful. That’s great, exactly how it should be.

Now let’s keep going with this example. When we step off the ice what coaching do we have? Athletes working with trainers has become increasingly popular over the years, which is great. But what about nutrition? A very small percentage of people consult a nutrition coach for advice. Finally, what about mental performance? Very few people enlist the help of a mental performance coach to help with their success.

When dealing with the mental aspect you actually here things such as “they’re a big kid, they can figure it out,” or “be a professional, deal with it.” That’s crazy. We would never even send a pro hockey team on the ice and say “You are pro players, figure it out.” We would never have athletes in the gym and say, “You’ve been training for a couple years now, you’re a big kid, figure it out.” Can you imagine? Coaching is coaching is coaching.

It doesn’t matter what aspects the coach covers, they are all equally important. The structure, adherence, accountability and guidance a good coach offers is an absolute game changer.

So evaluate where you are now and where you would like to be in the future. Take a look at all the different aspects you need to be successful and which ones are being properly addressed and which ones are not.

Go find a coach who can help you. Don’t leave it to a guess and don’t leave it to chance. You owe it to yourself.

Until next time,

Strength, Courage, Hustle, Commitment

AJ Zeglen, Focus Fitness Manager & Head Strength Coach

Originally published in Game On Magazine