“What are the three most important subjects I should study if I want to be the best strength coach I can be?”
That is the question I asked EVERY strength coach at every seminar I attended during my journey to becoming the best strength coach I could be.
The top three subjects were anatomy, physiology and neuro-mechanics.
Once I determined this, I set out to learn and attain a deeper understanding of all these subjects. It is essential that you read and study on an independent basis and go beyond any classroom work!
I have about twenty anatomy books, you know why?
Each book helps me learn anatomy in a different way. You have to dedicate yourself to lifelong learning. You can’t just finish school and say, “I have learned what I need to learn. I’m good”.
In my opinion the period after you graduate is when the learning really starts.
“What are the three most important things that helped YOU become a successful strength coach?”
This was always the second question I asked. Without a doubt the top three elements were experience, modeling oneself after other successful strength coaches, and interning with top strength coaches.
This boils down to finding a strength coach whose method resonates with you and going to learn from them! Intern with that coach and see how they really work, what they actually do, and precisely how they do it!
That is absolutely the most efficient and effective method possible for obtaining and understanding the high-value information that is directly applicable to your profession.
I interned with Charles Poliquin and Pierre Roy, the two coaches who had a tremendous effect in molding me into the coach I am today.
These coaches helped lay the foundation for my eventual success. They helped me understand what Charlie Francis was doing when I was training in his system under George Vanzeyl.
They prepared me for my meeting with the most decorated Weightlifting coach in history, Ivan Abadjiev.
I observed and duplicated what they did as much as I could over the years and then finally found my own style.
Foundation is the Key to Success
Learning and mastering the strength game is like training, you have to lay a foundation and build a base. That’s why my first three questions were about what subjects to study, and then I asked what made that particular coach successful.
Success to me is about RESULTS, not just what’s in your bank account!
You have a lot of TERRIBLE coaches who have a fat bank account based on marketing skills, and have no problem looking themselves in the mirror every morning before the go rob another client or athlete.
That is not what I want for myself and not what I want for anyone I help train or mentor. So study the foundational aspects, then identify a successful and experienced coach you admire and go learn from them.
It really is that simple!
Study, Observe, Apply. Repeat.
We need to go back to the age when the apprenticeship process was valued.
I’ve seen some of the smartest coaches when it comes to textbook knowledge do some of the dumbest things I have ever seen on the gym floor.
You have to be able to understand and be able to APPLY what you learn in a practical way.
Once you have a solid technical understanding of the subjects required, get off your computer and go apply what you have learned and practice, practice, practice, until you refine your system and master the methods you employ.
This will give you the best chance of being a successful strength coach, and will ensure you deserve whatever level of success you achieve.
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