Coaching must start with relationship, we put a high value on the relationship between the coach and the athlete as a crucial step to progression. Logically, if we have not built a relationship first, we do not have access to the emotional tools in order to provide insight and ultimately results. Like in any relationship it takes two people having two way conversations which means authentic communication and authentic listening, from both sides. In no way should coaching an athlete ever be a dictation, the coaches responsibility is to allow for this natural communication. But results cannot come from the extreme opposite either, where the ownership falls solely on the coach, because it is ultimately about the athlete.
There is a lot of social media buz in our industry about coaches being the ultimate listeners and relationship builders. This is great, but very one sided and comes from a place of confirmation bias; it’s also a self fulfilling prophecy approach for the coach and provides lack of accountability for the athlete.
What we are in fact speaking about is coachability, when we teach coachability we are not just teaching how to learn more effectively in the gym, this habit spills into our every day lives and allows us to develop valuable skills like patience, authentic listening, ability to understand others, allowing us to be more productive absorb more information and basically allows us to become better at learning in general.
In the name of two way conversation, the athlete must be willing to listen and grow with the coach, the coach must be willing to guide the athlete to this level of coachability. The two people involved in a coaching situation form a team that both have a common goal; where the athlete would ultimately like to make progress toward achievement and have fun doing it, the coach is invested in assisting that athlete toward their achievement. It is in every sense of the cliche a two way street. Our growth happens together and as a team, not just a one sided view point from either side, both have to build a relationship that allow for productive communication. The fitness industry, it seems, has gotten to a tipping point where the old adage “the customer is always right” is now on steroids; chalk it up to a fear of bad social media reviews or a misguided approach, it is apparent that effective coaching has been lost in the social media wave.
It is difficult to have learning scenarios without coaching or guidance, we cannot have coaching without a relationship, because when we care about the subject you’re going to gain knowledge on the subject, but if we care about and value the person delivering the material on the subject, we will gain more than knowledge we will gain experience. We are so lucky at CFO to have the culture that has been shining on our social media as of late, our athletes not only hold their coaches accountable but they are ready to be held accountable themselves, because we know that on the other side of accountability are the results we’ve been looking for.