What makes someone a good coach? They need to be a strong leader, teacher, and motivator. A good coach needs to be understanding and demanding, able to see the big picture and have the insight to put the athlete in the right position (not always physical position) at all times. I keep thinking about these things and it occurred to me that as a coach I fall short in a lot of areas.
I posses a lot of personal character flaws in my life outside of coaching. I can be obsessive with my own training and I plan almost nothing about my life out more than 3 days in advance if I'm lucky. I am very guilty of working on things that don't need to be done in the moment just to stay busy, but I am equally guilty of being incredibly lazy. This may be a shock to many but I can be incredibly introverted when I let myself be. I just fall into the exact same routine everyday, and I absolutely love it.
Enough about my flaws in my personal life, let’s get to the coaching stuff. For starters I am far too goofy, spending most of my time making jokes in between athletes taking attempts. Without question this can detract from the intensity of the training session, or the focus of the athletes.
I also like to be the center of attention. I cannot tell you why, but if you have been around me in the training hall or competition you know it's true. And being a coach I know the attention should be on the athlete, and they have my focus but I can feel myself doing things that make people look at me.
Because of my love and endless studying of the human body and it's functions I get too wrapped up in perfect function of the body and its movement patterns. With this I forget that in order to be a great athlete sometimes you need to bust your fucking ass when you aren't moving great or even feeling your best. And the same goes for programming. I can obsess over the perfect undulating pattern of strength training and peaking phases, deload, and exercise selection, that occasionally I forget that athletes need to do 2 basic things to get better. Bust their ass, and believe in what they do. Luckily our athletes do just that.
Where I have really been struggling as of late is with people on a personal level. I am a self motivated individual who wants to accomplish way too much way too soon, so I am constantly pushing forward and working from 5am until 8pm, finding time to coach and train before or after all of that because it is what I love. For me when I take on a task, I have no room for BS, especially in a sport as demanding as weightlifting. Everything I do is built around that singular goal. No matter how tired, or stressed, or frustrated, or rundown I am I do whatever I can to move closer to my ultimate goal. Because I have a deep need to move toward my goal I can struggle as a motivator, I forget not everyone is like I am.
We have a few fairly motivated individuals, but they often think they are more disciplined or motivated than they actually are. You can see this when they quickly give up on a training session or competition as soon as it or their life outside of the gym gets difficult. I cannot fathom this thought process so often I cannot connect with athletes who deal with this.
But for all the issues with these things I have a counterpart in my other coach who keeps us even and moving forward the way we need to. As a team we have developed a solid level of discipline and focus to keep us getting better. We have also been able to keep the training light so the athletes don't burn out or lose interest.
Although I don't always see eye to eye with all of my athletes, coaching is the highlight of my day. I have many shortcomings but they know that and so do I, but we overcome this by remembering that crushing weights in the gym is fun, and that we are all growing and developing as athletes.