The Good Coach
Many things have come about lately that have made me really analyze my role at CFV. What am I doing? What are we trying to accomplish? How do we get there? How can I help get us there? Mainly I’ve really questioned my own coaching abilities and purpose. I’ve taken a long honest look at myself and my strengths (and shortcomings) and what I’m really good at(and bad)… and wanting to use that self-reflection to help raise myself to my highest coaching potential possible. Something I asked myself in the process is “What are the qualities of a good coach?” I’ve been blessed to have been mentored by some of the most awesome men (and women) and all have impacted me and have sculpted me as a coach myself. Mrs. Wilson my elementary PE teacher, Coach Huskerson my deaf 7th grade football coach, Coach Barnes my high school powerlifting coach, Coach Tom Ritchey my varsity football coach in Sweetwater Texas (Google him… he was/is awesome), and my Dad Rodney Reep who taught me to ride the hair off horses. All these people touched my life and steered me toward an active life of athletics and ultimately changed my life for the better. I’ve looked back at the qualities that EACH of these mentors possessed… here’s my assessment of what defines a “Good Coach”… in no particular order of importance.
- Knowledgeable – a Good Coach KNOWS what they are talking about… they are educated in a broad range of disciplines… they don’t pretend to be an expert in that which they are not. Good football coaches are just that… good at football, but many lack in the knowledge of building fitness, developing strength, or preventing injury. A Good Coach will evaluate their own weaknesses and strive to educate themselves through reading, seminars/certifications, apprenticeships, etc.
- Experienced – A Good Coach will never ask an athlete to do something they themselves wouldn’t be willing to do… or have at least done years ago before their aging body prevented it. It’s almost impossible to teach/cue a young lifter how to move effectively under a barbell unless one has “been there done that” and understands the apprehension of throwing a weight overhead and receiving it in a rock-bottom squat. A Good Coach has an eye for faulty movement patterns that can only be developed over years of practice. A garage-gym and an L-1 Cert with a $1000 t-shirt does not a Good Coach make. Good Coaches have a long list of accumulated injuries themselves in which their memory helps steer coaching and programming decisions to provide a safety net for the young athlete to keep them safe. Good decisions come from experience… and a lot of that comes from bad decisions.
- An encourager – A Good Coach is an encourager and a motivator… NOT merely a cheerleader. There are times in training when you are feeling sorry for yourself and the pain of extreme effort settles in, when someone in your face cheering you on is beneficial… but an encourager’s words last far longer to motivate. The cheerleader helps motivate in the heat of the moment but the encouraging words of someone respected keeps athletes fresh day-in and day-out and keeps them WANTING to come back to the gym to train hard.
- A communicator – All the knowledge in the world is useless if the person trying to get the point across can’t put it in a way the athlete can process. This has been one of the more difficult things I’ve learned in my 21 years in the classroom and coaching scene. I’ve learned oftentimes the worst teachers are those who are highly intelligent to a point that they are unable to demonstrate the content where a novice can understand. The Good Coach has to be able to think both like a seasoned veteran and noob of the sport at the same time. The Good Coach must be able to observe the individual and provide meaningful and easy to understand feedback for correction and growth.
- An example… sorta – Although I would be willing pay thousands of dollars to have John North or Donny Shankle come to my 6am class and give us a few pointers, being an elite performer is not necessarily an attribute of a Good Coach. Coach Burgerner doesn’t even lift anymore yet he is arguably one of the BEST Olympic lifting coaches in the world. Mean Joe Green was an uber badass back in the 1970 Cowboy’s hay-day, yet you won’t find ANY person who would say he would have made a better coach than Tom Landry.
- Caring – The Good Coach cares about their athletes. They take a personal interest in the ones they train. They know who is hurt and where. With which movements each athlete is strong and weak. They can tell when an athlete is having an off-day and knows when to back off. They know when to push an athlete beyond what the athlete thinks is possible or tell them to stop when they believe the work is being ineffective. A Good Coach is present for counsel and questions. A Good Coach listens… and just doesn’t wait for the athlete to stop talking so they themselves can speak. A Good Coach has passion for the sport and legitimately wants to see the joy of success in their athletes’ eyes.
As I mentioned above, all of my athletic mentors have possessed all these attributes, some more than others. I think that anyone who has been given the honor of an athlete to train them must understand that the athlete has entrusted you with their very health… as a novice they are going to do what you ask of them and they have faith that what your saying will make them stronger, fitter, and not get them hurt. As a coach striving to be a Good Coach, evaluate and reevaluate yourself… where does your coaching need work?… are you taking steps to cure them?… are you ready to take on this responsibility? Do you have what it takes to be a Good Coach? 3,2,1,GO!
1) 10min to est 1RM Snatch from Blocks (just above knee)
2) E90S for 3 sets. 3x Hang snatch @ power position. Work to AHAP.
3) 1ME T&G Snatch @90% of heaviest triple from #2
Strength – E2MOM for 3 sets each
1a) 5x Front squat @Bottom-start. AHAP
1b) ME strict ring dips. Use a level of assistance or resistance to get between 5-8 reps.
7min AMRAP of…
3x MUp or 6x C2B
10x Wallball to Hi-F/redline
CFV Monday WOD
15min to est 5RM Deadlift
3min AMRAP of…
3min AMRAP 10x wallbal