I am a coach. I am a personal trainer (and RKC!) who coaches strength and conditioning six days a week. I am a nutrition coach (PN Level 1) who coaches individuals and groups on nutritional habits……every day.
I KNOW what to do. I know how to program workouts and put together workout cycles. I know how to adopt habits and tweak things and shore up nutritional deficiencies and find balance.
But I need a coach.
Like most everyone, I KNOW what to do. But when it comes down to coaching myself, I have the tendency to let emotion get involved. I know the reasons. I know “why” I should do something. I also know how to make things harder or easier as I need to.
But….I still need a coach.
I know my weaknesses. I know my strengths. I know my nutritional habits.
I like to train my strengths always. And forget about my weaknesses. And I am one to “stay the same” nutritionally, without trying new things, because I don’t like coming to head with old nutritional mind games that I used to play so I just roll the same all the time.
I need a coach. Because I can get complacent. Because I’m good at doing what I always do. And I’m good at doing what I’m good at, and perhaps not so good at doing what I’m not good at.
Two things happen here. First, it is REALLY easy for me to let emotions rule my world. Especially when it comes to what I think I should do for workouts, or when I try and talk myself out of something particular that could really help me be a BETTER mover, but I don’t really “feel like doing it” type scenario. Second, if I don’t have a coach, I stick to what I know. Which is all well and good…..but it doesn’t really let me LEARN more about what I maybe don’t know about.
I’ve always had a wonderful kettlebell coach. In fact, she was so awesome, and so inspiring and helped me learn so much….that I made a job changed based on what I learned from her after spending some years learning about kettlebells, and after a few certifications. I still see her, and will always continue to, because I am always learning cool stuff from her.
I KNOW kettlebells. I KNOW I love them. I KNOW they are good for people, and are a great tool for strength training and conditioning. I KNOW I will always include them in my own training, and in my clients programming.
But I don’t know tons past the scope of basic strength and conditioning and kettlebells.
So, I hired a coach. One that would help me learn, and help me with a training program that would make me learn and make me better…..in a skillset that had nothing to do with what I already am familiar with.
Three things happened as part of that coaching process (I’m about 12 weeks in)…..
- I learned that my kettlebell skills have prepared me WELL for future athletic endeavors that have zero to do with kettlebells. I learned that I have a “base” of movement that travels well in and out of the kettlebell world.
- I learned that different coaches approach things differently. And that being a student lets me see things with different eyes. And this has already translated to how I communicate to my own clients (and to be honest, myself).
- I learned a few nutritional pieces that are HUGE for those people who want to be athletically and physically AWESOME, but also know that the basics are still the basics….for everyone, no matter if you are competitive, WANT to be competitive, or want to just clock in a few workouts a week.
Three things had to happen BY ME as a part of this coaching process……
- I had to get uncomfortable. Doing something NEW, no matter WHAT it is, requires change. Change generally isn’t comfortable. So choosing to approach this with “I know nothing” so I could just sit back and absorb and learn were huge for me. Even when I wanted to say “I don’t want to do that, I want to do it this way instead.” I did it the way my coach said to do it….and as a result, I made some strength gains, and also learned some lessons.
- I had to do the work expected of me. And be accountable. And show up. Even when it wasn’t fun or convenient. Especially if I wanted to get better at this new skillset. And this also included a few nutritional protocols that aren’t my “norm.”
- I had to leave ego and fear at the door. I was a cautious student in this process, and I’m a cautious coach….I always go to the safest and most conservative thing possible (as I should!). For this program, I trained according to my max lifts. And I GREATLY underestimated my max lifts, because I’ve always sorta sorta maxed and not just sorta maxed. So I checked my fear at the door when I had my coach help me work up my numbers to appropriate levels for me. Which led to fear showing up the first few workouts of my new numbers. This was a GOOD THING for me. I had to learn through this.
Having a coach made me a better mover. But it also is helping me be a better coach. Because I have some new skills and ways of approaching things that make sense for different people. I think the greatest driver of this is that I had to be a STUDENT of a different “way” for awhile and learn myself. Being a student helps me help other people BETTER.
Having a coach helped me see, through a student’s eye, how it feels when I don’t WANT to, but I know it is probably the best thing for me…..to show up. Not only show up because my coach expects it, but to show up for MYSELF. I’m accountable to MYSELF. Showing up doesn’t necessarily mean that every workout or every session will be or feel amazing, or even that it will go 100% as written. But I still show up for myself appropriately when I need to. Because I’m in this for ME and my skillset and learning.
Having a coach is HUGE.
First, it takes the guesswork out. Someone else does the details for you after they get to know things about you. This frees up your energy and time so all you have to do is show up.
Second, coaches don’t tend to be emotional about the things you can easily get emotional about. So, suddenly the emotional piece is sorta gone.
Third, if you hire a good coach (please, please, PLEASE hire a coach based on knowledge, training, certifications, application, and someone who also does what they tell YOU to do), you will learn and make progress. A good coach respects your body and your limits and will keep you safe, while at the same time helping you grow and push outside of your comfort zone. A good coach will tell you WHY you are doing things and help you understand the process.
This experience solidified why coaches need coaches. And to be honest, why pretty much everyone will benefit from a qualified coach.