I wrote this article about one year ago. I just read it again, and I realize that my life as a coach continues to improve each and every year. A lot of you that read my articles are aspiring coaches. I want you all to experience the same blessing. This article is for you! Enjoy!
How to Coach Phenomenal Athletes! Reflections of a Humbled Coach!
This has easily been the most amazing year in my history as a coach. I am writing this directly after watching one of my Mash Elite OG’s Landon Harris marry his high school sweetheart Hayley Robertson. It was a beautiful wedding, and a major time of reflection for me. I was there with my beautiful wife, Emily Drew, and all around I was reminded of one of my athletes. The amazing Tommy Bohanon, NY Jets starting fullback, was in attendance. Tommy is without a doubt the most humble pro athlete that I have ever worked with. Eze, one of my Mash Mafia Weightlifters and my adopted son, actually rode with me to the event. I was sitting beside the sister of one of my old athletes, Grant Dawson, and she was talking about his experience as a linebacker at Wake Forest University. It was then I realized the extent of the reach that I have had as a coach.
Landon without a doubt has the most beautiful story of all the athletes that I have worked with. It’s a story of perseverance, hard work, and commitment. It’s the All-American story. To make a long story short, Landon’s attempts to make the varsity basketball team at High Point University failed twice. Upon the second failure, he called me and informed me of the bad news. I told him that he had two choices: 1. He could quit like most people, or 2. He could glorify God by persevering, working harder than ever, and make that team. He chose #2, and the rest is history. He made the team, and played two amazing seasons for HPU.
I still remember watching him play his first game. He drained a three pointer, and I darn near went crazy. In my gym now, I train some of the sickest D1 recruits in the area, and without a doubt some of the best weightlifters in America. Other coaches ask me all the time how that I am able to attract so many great athletes in one place. Well here are the answers:
1. Be darn good at what you! Get your education! Study on your own! I recommend internships with coaches that you admire. Never stop searching for new and better ways!
2. It helps to have been a high level athlete yourself, but it’s not necessary. You just need to think like one. Athletes that want to be exceptional are a unique animal.
3. More importantly you gotta love them. If you love your athletes, you will do whatever it takes for them to succeed.
My youth and junior weightlifting teams are the fastest growing teams in America. I have over eight medalist athletes in these two categories. A year ago, I had three total athletes on my team and no medalists. The growth has been the most exciting part of my professional work. I love my kids because I get to be a part of growing them as athletes and young adults. It’s an honor that I feel was bestowed upon me by God, and I intend to be a good steward of the task.
Other weightlifting coaches ask me how that I was able to attract such talented athletes so quickly. Well here are the answers:
1. Learn what to look for in good weightlifters! If I see an athlete with good mobility, strength, and athleticism, then I educate them about the sport. If they don’t have scholarship offers in other sports, then I inform them about the opportunities of weightlifting. All my athletes are introduced to forms of weightlifting anyways because weightlifting rocks for athletic performance.
Most coaches that I see expect athletes to come to them. Try going out after them! Don’t just wait around! Recruit!
2. Make the training environment Fun! This is key! Let the kids have fun and they will stay with you forever. Weightlifting is a fun sport, so I suggest letting it be fun.
3. Train the kids up right! Don’t rush putting weight on the bar. Take the time to perfect technique up front, and the big weights will come.
This year at the American Open I will have over 40 athletes present. I have athletes coming from my Mash Mafia onsite team and my Online Team. I have three coming from my affiliate gym in Eagan, MN, Undisputed Strength and Conditioning. I am the most thrilled about that because the gym is less than a year old, and already Vinh and Jason have recruited and coached three people to the big show. Congrats! Of course, I have my unbeatable team MuscleDriver USA! I will be coaching all of the MDUSA Athletes, and I will also be coaching any of my athletes that are competing during times the MDUSA Athletes aren’t competing. I will be taking assistant coaches to coach the athletes that I can’t reach.
My reach as a coach completely took me off guard as a coach. I never dreamed that I would be coaching over 400 athletes, but I am. All credit goes to God because I sure didn’t plan it. I also have over 2000 athletes that follow one of my free online programs, so in all I coach about 2400 athletes either directly or indirectly. Nothing warms my heart more than one of my free online athletes thanking me for publishing Free programs that allow them to improve. Last year at the Nationals, three athletes were that following my Free Online Programming. Of course they would rather have my direct contact like my Mash Mafia Online Team Members, but weightlifting isn’t a high paying sport.
Here are the things that I have done to create a 2400 athlete reach:
1. Publish Fee stuff! My goal is to help as many people while I am on this earth as physically possible. If you help people for Free, they will buy your products that are appealing to them and affordable. Most people are loyal to the people that are loyal to them, and one thing is for sure, I love my readers.
2. Strive to under promise and over deliver! Now I haven’t always done that but that is my goal. This year has been a real year of learning. I have hired people just so my online athletes are properly looked after. My goal is to make the online experience as close to the real things as possible.
3. Go above and beyond! By this I mean that I try to answer questions and communicate with the people that trust in my programming. This can be challenging the more popular that you become, but I believe that we should all try.
4. Form relationships with your online people! I try to be there for my guys and gals during their major wins and defeats in life. If something sets one of my athletes back, I pick up the phone and make a call to see if I can help rectify things. Communicating with as many online team members is key.
My main goal in writing this article was to teach the young coaches out there how to grow their reach the right way. I want all of you to be successful, but I want you all to want to help your athletes. I want you all to want to leave this world a little better place than you found it. I hope this helps!
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