The Attribute of a Coach Left Unspoken

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The Attribute of a Coach Left Unspoken

Yesterday I was podcasting with CJ Martin, Head Coach of CrossFit Invictus. The entire podcast was filled with information, but there was one thing that he said that resonated with me. He said that coaches have to admit when they make mistakes. I coach in a world filled with A-Type coaches that do not like admitting defeat, failure, or mistakes. A lot of coaches will blame everything else in the Universe before admitting a mistake.

If you are not able to admit making a mistake, how do you ever plan on gaining the trust of your athletes? We are all human. My goal is to bring the knowledge that I have acquired over the last 30+ years of being in the iron game to help my athletes reach their goals. Does that mean that I am flawless as a coach? No way none of us are perfect.

This week, I had a talk with my team revealing a mistake that I have been making for quite some time. I talk and write about the importance of being a “master of the mundane” if you plan on becoming the best athlete that you are genetically capable of becoming. That means athletes focus on the following:

• Nutrition
• Mobility
• Recovery
• Movement patterns
• Attacking muscular imbalances and weaknesses
• Technique
• Core Stability

These are just a few, but you get the point. It also means that you avoid the following:

• Alcohol
• Drugs
• Staying up late
• Partying
• Skipping Practice
• Showing up late
• Any poor decision that you can think of

Becoming a great athlete isn’t easy. It can be boring at times because you will be making the opposite choices of a lot of your friends. Your payment will come from the results of your competition. Your celebration will be on the podium during victory. Your purpose will come from the many people that you are able to influence and encourage. You might not get the instant gratification that a party provides, but the joy and fulfillment that you will receive from encouraging and motivating others is priceless.

Some of my team has not been living the code of a “master of the mundane”. I have known about it for a while, and I have chosen to ignore it. That was my fault. Coaches have a much bigger responsibility than simply what goes on in the gym. We are responsible for guiding these young men and women down the right path in life. I admitted my mistake to my entire team, and encouraged all of them to think long and hard about their goals.

I have a team filled with men and women that are fully capable of becoming great in their chosen sport. Many people throughout history have had the ability to be great. So why is it that only a few actually became great? It was simply the decisions made that led the people of the past down one road or the other. It’s my prayer that my team will all choose the path less traveled. I am not in the business of coaching mediocrity. I am in the business of bringing out the greatness in all of my athletes. That’s the path that we are on once again.

Coaches and future coaches don’t be afraid to admit mistakes to your team. It will build trust, and it will ensure that your program is always evolving. In regards to weightlifting, if we are ever to improve the sport of weightlifting in America, the culture has to shift. If we continue to follow in the shoes of the past athletes, we will continue to produce less than optimal results. We have to change as a country. We have to do things better than the other countries.

Maybe the Russians and Chinese smoke and drink on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean that we should. Right now these other countries are crushing us. We have to do things better than they do. America as a whole has to become a Master of the Mundane.

Let me leave all of you athletes this one thought:

Everyday you will face choices that will either help you reach your goals or not reach your goals. Those choices will add up to either victory or defeat. Those choices are in your hands.

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