After taking some time off because of scheduling I had some time to reflect on the quality of coaching at the facility I work at. I would like to use the term Studio as each coach is like an artist and no interns are training anyone. If you have no real experience training people you don’t work at our gym period. Paint by number programs? Not here. Why do I bring this up? It seems that some coaches have skipped the first 10 years after college (22 -32) and find themselves thinking that they have the answers. My mentors have coached for 30 years, more than some coaches have existed on this planet. Here are three things I have found out from the the public sector (salary from merit vs private billing).
- The only way to see if your program is great is to look at the context of things nationally and internationally. I remember working at the Strike Zone in tampa after a two years with the Rays and wondering what will happen to some of the athletes we were working with. Bryan Tobias and myself did consulting for a 14 year old prospect 9 years ago that made his first appearance in the majors (not AA or AAA) with the Braves and hit a home run with his at bat. It was nice to see him succeed but having a HS kid lift weights consistently and not follow a FLEX magazine program is half the battle or more. Just getting athletes to train and not do a bro program of curls and bench is unfortunately the biggest influence, not functional anatomy or magic strength blocks. The true way of looking at what you do is to compare your program to other great programs in their context. Many programs list the athletes that one has worked with but statistically many of the facilities are doing no better than the programs next to them. If I have a 10.8 sprinter at age 16 what does other international programs do on average? Do they get to them to 10.3 and then 10.5 on average and you get them to 10.5 and 10.4 every career cycle? or do you get them to 10.25 and then 10.0, beating the average of the better programs?
- Bob Ross was painter that had his own show on TV instructing people how to make a painting in 30 minutes.Bob Ross had his own tv show, DVDs, paints and tools, and even Certified Instructors but his art wasn’t that good in my opinion. He was a sweat man with a cool afro but nobody in NYC is really buying his paintings for galleries. I don’t want to sound harsh as Bob passed away years ago but we need honesty. I watched Bob work many times as a kid and he did get me interested in art so I have much to thank him but he was not an amazing artist but more of a drivers ed instructor. Still is his art world class? 30 minutes of copying a program and you are done? Sound familiar? That’s my beef with many of the gurus in the performance industry. They equate success the fact they sell a DVD or have a facility. With this thinking any infomercial guy is he greatest coach ever.
- Is your coaching limited by your business model or efforts? What if money and time were not an issue what would you do? Many of my coaching programs had no time or budget limits and the learning was outstanding. I had one athlete that came from a facility 10 miles west of us and he rushed through workouts and was craving attention. This made sense as he was never coached at the other location but just monitored as more athletes can come in and train instead of limiting to a 4:1 ratio. His workout was as long as needed and not based on 3 x week for an hour. His workout was customized for him, not a cookie cutter template altered for a few injuries. When working with athletes that train 18 hours plus (10 hours of video and therapy) you get a sense of what works and what is just getting buy. Paint by number or masterpiece? You decide on what you want.