Imagine a world where strength and conditioning coaches were tested like their athletes. What would happen if we were taken through a Combine of coaching skills to assess how good we actually were at our jobs? Moreover, to evaluate how good we actually were at handling athletes and humans?
Here’s what this could look like:
Emotional Intelligence: 2/10
Ability to Read the Muscles of the Hip Adductors to Athletes: 0/10
Ability to Crack Jokes: 0/10
Sadly, most strength coaches would fall under these scores. As much as degrees and certifications and knowledge of physiology play their role in understanding functional anatomy and exercise technique, they’re not enough. At least, not enough to do your job with genuine intent, connect with human beings, and not come off as a douchebag.
I’ll admit: I’m triggered.
And when Fitsoccerqueen is triggered, it’s not pretty. Just like a volcano erupting to the surface, I’m about to light your world up.
Still, it flabbergasts me the overwhelming sense of entitlement in the coaching industry.
Beware of the trainer who hasn’t trained one client in person, yet wants to become the next fitness Instagram influencer.
Beware of the trainer who has been in the industry for all but one year, but is ready to grace the world with his online training course.
Beware of the trainer who only wants to train pros, but wants to sell a $29.99 eBook to the Average Joe.
Beware of the trainer who transfers from a D1 collegiate program to a combined D1 and D3 program as a new hire and says this:
“I don’t want to be handed more D3 teams. I want to work with the D1 teams here.”
Excuse my Dutch, but holy sh*t balls.
Sadly, this is a common occurrence.
Worse yet, most trainers feel they’re above certain ages, levels, and teams. Most trainers play the role of the a-hole who sees Average Joe clients as the bird poop on their windshield. Most trainers get into arguments about how to load the Half Kneeling Arnold Press as if the fate of the zombie apocalypse depends on it. Most trainers believe they should be making six figures online in year two.
This is the quintessence of entitlement, folks. And it’s the one thing that will kill a coaching career.
In fact, it’s so rampant in fitness that I’m tempted to bake one, massive humble pie to shove down the industry’s throats.
Not only would it shut these guys up, but it would propel them to be better.
To serve others.
To put their shirts back on and spare us the six pack selfies on Instagram.
Alas, you probably wonder what the hell I know.
Well, I’m a female strength coach who sniffs out egos faster than you can say conjugate periodization.
Personally, I’ve choked on humble pie many times early in my career. But I came back to life after it was all said and one, namely, awakened to the fact that my ego was killing me. And others.
More cogent to my point, to say I’ve “done my time” in this field is an understatement.
After 7 years of coaching, I feel I’m finally getting the hang of all of this. And to put things into perspective, it wasn’t until year 6 I designed my first program for a professional athlete. Although, training pros was never a goal of mine, it was a nice challenge to design something for someone at such a demanding level, in fact, it gave me a sense of gratitude to be able to do so.
Of course, I had a heart attack periodizing his all but 3-week off-season, but that’s because I cared and wanted to do my best. Too, it’s worth mentioning that during this time I collaborated with several coaches better than me to ensure I executed his program properly. If this isn’t the antithesis of entitlement, I don’t know what is.
Expounding further, it wasn’t until year 7 (this year), I got to see long-term athletic development blossom with my middle school girls who are now crushing it in college.
It wasn’t until year 7, I wrote my first book on soccer performance to sell to people.
It wasn’t until year 7, I felt adept enough to train people in the online space.
It wasn’t until year 7, I spoke at conferences.
It wasn’t until year 7, I got paid for freelance fitness writing.
It wasn’t until year 7, I learned how to spell entrepreneur.
It wasn’t until year 7, I called myself Fitsoccerqueen.
And it wasn’t until year 7, I realized I don’t know jack.
Oddly enough, I’m convinced this is still amateur hour for me. 7 years? That’s it? HAHAHAHA. I shouldn’t get ahead of myself here…
Looking up to 10+ year veterans in strength and conditioning like Michael Boyle, Brandon Marcello, Tim Gabbett, Dave Tenney, Eric Cressey, Tony Gentilcore, Tony Strudwick, and Lee Boyce, I’ve learned the more you get into your career, the more hungry you should be to acquire new knowledge.
True experts, to that end, constantly ask questions, exchange ideas, and improve their crafts. How else would we get better at serving our clients?
Oh, and your meager one year of coaching doesn’t mean D1 teams will be kissing the ground you walk on.
F*ck outta here.
To think you deserve the world or know all the answers just reaffirms you’re an arrogant prick in this for the wrong reasons.
I’ll evade a rant on egos in this article, but if you want to read my two cents on the topic, check out this article.
One more thing before I step of my soap box: if you’re a coach who preaches continuous improvement to your athletes, then how are you practicing it yourself?
Drop your ego and improve.
You don’t know everything.
Oh, and get back to me when your Modesty Combine score becomes a 10/10.