By: Jeremy Warner
First impressions last a lifetime, but a Coach has the obligation to leave a lasting impression on his/her athletes everyday. Coaching is as much, or in my opinion, more of a mentally tasking endeavor than a physical one. As a Coach you serve as equal parts gym teacher and school counselor to each of your differing athletes. Some you can challenge, daring them towards that next PR. Others you can trick, by losing count of the weight on the bar, or having them do meaningless tasks like spinning in circles before a lift to clear the overactive mind. Then there are those whom you must convince each and everyday they are exactly where they need to be. This athlete needs to know their Coach has their back, through thick and thin, heavy lifts and light, double-unders or line jumps, they have made you proud! It is the reassurance that the struggle they face never goes unnoticed and through their daily battles they will one day accomplish the physical prowess they desire. Coach can never falter in this task, for the day it happens will at a minimum instill self doubt and hurt feelings but in the worst cases will cause that athlete to abandon their goals, no longer follow your lead, and head back to the couch. This is a failure not of your Athlete but a failure of yours as a Coach. A mistaken comment, cue paired with the wrong tone, or belittling of an accomplished task is poison and will kill an athletes’ progress and motivation to continue. Learning is the main job of a Coach, the learning of your Athletes to ensure you give them exactly what they need to succeed! The mind, like hip extension, is a powerful thing but hip extension will not move large loads over long distances without some input from the mind. Coach one as much as the other to release the full potential of your Athletes. Be supportive, be in the moment, learn from mistakes, celebrate victories no matter how small, and be the Coach needed. Not just a Coach, their Coach.