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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Don't be an a$$

Thats me, no really ;)

I have been lifting weights since I was 14. I have been a strength coach for almost 10 years. In those years I have learned many valuable lessons from mentors, friends, coaches and coworkers. One lesson still holds true to this very day...Nobody likes an a$$. We all know this person and some of us (including myself) have been this person. We cut people short, we "big time" them, create conflict when unnecessary, and act like our poop doesn't stink. I am not sure why egos are prevalent in the strength and conditioning world but they are and I don't ever see that changing. But why?

Everyone has learned something from someone else. Whether through reading books or blogs, having a conversation or simply watching from afar, this learning process will continue as you mature as a coach. We rip each other off (which is great :)) and base opinions off of experience. I believe this helps to shape us as coaches and as people. However, there is a down side to this. If you surround yourself with negative people who constantly think that their way is the only way or they have all the answers, you are clearly living in a box. You will eventually become an a$$.

I have met some of the best coaches in the world. I am talking about the biggest names in then Strength and Conditioning mega-universe. When these people speak, we all listen. The information is usually great. These professionals have the ability to make a huge impact on younger trainers in the industry. People like Dan John,  Brett Jones, Pavel and David Jack are top notch professionals. They are always friendly, willing to help and genuinely care about sharing and guiding others. These guys are damn good at what they do but have no ego, no reason to "big time" anyone and aren't a$$holes. Could they be? Yup, they are the best (in my opinion). They have been in the trenches and come out as the guru's in our field. I believe that each of them have made a conscious decision to do the right thing.

And then there are the turds. The cocky know-it-alls who are clearly above anyone else. You ask a simple question and get a snippy or sarcastic remark. It would be way too easy to give a clear, helpful and honest answer but you are too busy acting assholier than thou (just made that phrase up, sweet huh). YES, WE KNOW YOU ARE SMART, BUT DON'T BE AN A$$!!! You just had a chance to make a positive impact on someone, but you are much more important than the rest of us I know that you don't time for the minions.

...and thats how we feel :(

Kidding aside, we should all try to make a positive impact with everyone we meet. Share knowledge, find a mentor and be a mentor. Remember your time in the trenches. Learn from the massive failures and come out stronger each time. Find something you love and be great at it. Every time you speak, teach or train, you have two choices. Make the right one.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Speaking From Experience

Opinions are like belly buttons, everybody has one. I was going to say something different but I am trying to keep it PG on my blog.

Now, just because someone has an opinion doesn't mean that they formed their opinion based off of their own personal experience. Here is my issue with this. Often people's opinions are formed based on the experiences of friends, colleagues, blogs they read and articles, they perused through. Anyone can read an article, regurgitate some brief points and act like they have actually experienced it.

I have been guilty of this in the past, even just 2 weeks ago. I thought I knew more than I actually did and I would comment on things and form opinions based off on the little information and experience I had on the subject. As I mature, I am learning that knowledge is good, but knowledge paired with application is even better. As I coach, my goal is to speak from actual experience, nothing more or less. This is one way I can provide the best experience for all of my clients.

You can't triple stamp a double stamp.

The strength and conditioning world is full of egos, opinions and insanely strong beliefs. It's even gotten to the point that people get VERY upset when someone challenges his/her opinion. We argue about some pretty ridiculous points and go off on crazy tangents to try to convince other coaches that we are right. It's actually pretty dumb. The squat debate has gotten some major press in the last few years, but guess what it boils down to? If someone can squat safely and they are getting stronger, cool, squats are good. If it hurts them and their form is terrible, they shouldn't squat.

I honestly don't care what exercises, mobility and strength programs you prefer. If it works and your clients are healthy, happy, moving well and working towards their goals then you are doing something right. The goal is to keep the goal the goal. If you are doing something right, I can learn from you and that's cooler than Danny Zuko. If your clients are constantly injured then I might think twice about listening to you.

If you want to be a fat loss expert then help people lose weight.

If your goal is to be the best speed coach ever, I want to see some fast athletes you have trained.

If your goal is to be a strength coach then you might want to see if you are able get some clients strong.

Dive in and be the best coach you can be. Make changes in your clients before you call yourself a guru.