What a great weekend! I had the great privilege of teaching a seminar over at Renegade Gym and going over what I know about mobility and flexibility and finding interesting ways to integrate these exercises into your workout. I love teaching this seminar because unless you are in the training field you would rarely see any of these exercises that are so helpful for your body’s maintenance. Ill go over a bit of what we spoke about later this week.
For now, I wanted to bring up a quick conversation we had about the modern state of coaches and trainers as we were wondering what the hell happened and how everyone is a “coach” now. Funny how things turn out. Being a “coach” is now the hot new term for trainers of all sorts and all levels to use. Recently to earn this esteemed title you only have to take a 2-day certification that only costs $1,000. Sounds great doesn’t it? Oh how things have changed, call me old school, but if it were only that easy to truly earn the title of a coach.
Here is my story.
I have been referred to as coach Joey for quite a few years already. Yes I started out as a trainer. Then I got involved as a volunteer strength coach for Hofstra University under the guidance of their Head Strength and Conditioning coach. Coach Beach at the time took me under his wing. He demanded respect from everyone. When he spoke, he had a tone that made you listen, but when he coached, he had a voice that rattled teeth! Needless to say it was a humbling time in my career. I thought I knew everything, and realized that I barely even scratched the surface. After my first few days in the collegiate weight room, I felt like I was training people completely wrong so far in my career and I had just entered a whole new world!
I had a ton of questions and was eager to see and try everything. Coach said “Just shut up observe, watch, listen and learn”. He was massive and about 3 times my size, when he spoke you listened. I did as I was told. I watched, listened, and took notes. I didn’t say a thing for months, and simply let it all sink in. I watched athletes pour in and out of the weight room, all different shapes, sizes and ability levels. The room was filled hour after hour with athletes from multiple sports. Overwhelmed is an understatement.
I watched and studied rep after rep of squats, deadlifts, bench press, olympic lifts, and countless conditioning sessions. I sat in on meetings about programming and detailed lessons on technique with the other assistant coaches. The more I listened the more I understood the main exercises on a deeper level. I took pages and pages of notes, and through conversations with the coaches I learned and listened about everything regarding strength training. I started gaining confidence and they started to let me coach certain athletes under the Head Coaches watchful eye, as I looked over for nods of approval. I was heading in the right direction, I found my voice in the weight room.
About a year later in this process Coach leaves to go to a quick meeting and says to the team in the room – “Listen to Coach Joey, he will be leading you today, I will be right back.” So he left me with a room full of young athletes and an arsenal of coaching techniques. I spoke and they all listened.
So it began. Being called a coach is something you earn. It is to be respected.
A 2-day certification doesn’t do it justice. You must get mentored, you must listen and ask questions, you must study your ass off. It takes time to truly understand and grasp the art of coaching. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open, one day you will truly earn it.