During one of the last conversations I had with Chris Brown about SST he reminded me, above everything else, to get lost in the coaching. It’s a great comment and it should be part of the employee manual for EVERYONE who works in the strength and conditioning field.
His notion is simple and given that he is less than a year out of school rather profound. Unless you own the gym, you are there to do a job and that job ISN’T necessarily to do things correctly (or as you view them to be correct). Your job is to do what your bosses ask you to do without injuring people. If you match on both of these criteria, you are doing a good job. It’s that simple when you work for other people.
This is a tough thing for many strength coaches to keep in mind because most do not own the gyms they work at. They are skilled employees with vision and they want to move their athletes along as quickly as possible to help them become even more successful on the field/ice/pitch/floor and to become examples of optimal health. When a business owner asks them to do something that falls outside of their coaching vision or something that will hinder the athletes progress, the coach will usually dig their heals in and advocate for what they believe is correct. This may create a dissonant feeling that disengages the coach from the job which will impair their ability to be an effective coach.
What non-owner strength coaches need to do is get lost in the coaching as much as they can because this is the surest way they have to remain engaged with their athletes. They need to clear their mind of the business thoughts as much as possible and instead focus externally on making a master piece out of the clay that is the developing athlete. They need to make the coaching experience a flow experience that allows proper coaching to simple come out of them without much thought.
For me, getting lost in the coaching is a very similar experience to riding my bike or teaching a cycling class. My words and actions are spontaneous. My vision is narrowly focused and naturally drawn to what needs my attention – I’m aware of everything yet conscious of very little. The right behavior, words and actions just come out of my brain, body and mouth and every athlete gets exactly what they need at any particular moment to achieve a slightly higher level of success. I find that this state feels really good, it’s timeless and it is when I feel I am at my most productive. Hours are like minutes or seconds and at the end of the sessions I am exhausted yet have no idea why.
I think it was the same sort of thing for Chris and it’s the same sort of thing Rachel describes when she recaps a successful BodyFlow class. For each of us, there is no resistance to how things are and we simple go along with everything that happens contributing as needed and letting the irrelevant stuff float over and past us.
Being lost in the coaching is fantastic and it makes for more productive time on the floor.