I’ve noticed a common thread.  In my experience with professional and elite players, very few benefit from being “auto-gifted.”  Getting to the stadium or venue before other players to lift, mobilize, run, shoot jumpers, hit more golf balls, take more grounders, or simply refine skill can make the difference between a championship or second place; or a long career (and increased earnings) or a flash in the pan. 

Same for coaches.  Elite coaches prepare, plan and study when everyone else checks out. They watch more film, study the opponent longer, prep and prep again, learn more, study others who are successful, read and do it because they want to be the best.  Make an impact – whatever that impact may be. 

Here’s the thing.  It’s not just about having this discipline to make more money.  It’s about leaving legacy.  And you do this because you sincerely have this internal drive with a high level of gratitude for being blessed to coach/teach.  Or do you?

As an Athletics coach, here are five initiatives to start with to help you separate yourself from the many mediocre coaches in our industry:

  1. Be prepared and organized on the day’s program.  Don’t just look at it 15 minutes before you walk in to coach.  Give yourself a few hours to review and plan how you will execute the session.  Athletes should feel like you know the intent, the session flow and how long it will take.  

  2. Give more value. Instead of just regurgitating the program and going through the motions, give athletes some insight into the day’s session.  Talk about why a movement is applicable.  Present the Fitness Truths or explain why and when you mix or match grip.  Get the idea?  Educate, inspire and motivate.

  3. Exceed expectations.  This is at every session!  Athletes, no matter how long you have been coaching them, should sense and feel that you are 100% engaged and enthused about your craft. And be consistent with this.  Once you raise the bar, you need to keep it high.

  4. Sell the sequel.  We don't workout, we train.  Our training program works if the athlete is consistent.  The athlete should want to come back to train with you.  Engage them at the end of every session.  Interview each athlete on how they are doing in their training program and enlist them into their next training session (PACE, HIIT Camp, One Barbell, Performance, etc).

  5. Be available.  The coach should be one of the last to leave. After the session, athletes are feeling good.  It’s a good time to acknowledge, provide feedback or help with more skill advisement.  This is WHY we don’t take every session to 59 minutes!  Establishing rapport is often done after the session.

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. (Will Rogers)

Coaching & Leadership