Coach Is Always So “Pushy”
As a Coach we hear a lot of things: some positive, but a lot is negative. The overwhelming majority of these negative things are not directed at the gym, my coaching, or even about the WOD (although there are many groans). The majority of negative talk is directed at the person whose lips are speaking the remarks. “I can’t..”, “I am not on their level…”, ‘There is no way….” and so on and so on are commonly uttered, but I doubt athletes even realize they do it.
I know for a fact that I am personally responsible for 99% of the negative things that are said about me as an athlete come from me, because I am truly my own worst critic. I doubt myself, talk myself out of trying things, and criticize myself for failing at something……sound familiar? In the box we have as saying “a person can only truly know what they are capable of, by failing.” It is our failures that oftentimes show us our limits. The problem is nobody truly likes to fail.
This is where the coach comes in. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective, a little positive reinforcement for athletes to make it OK to try and fail. I can’t tell you how many times as a coach when I tell an athlete to add 10lbs, the look of “you are crazy” is the response I get. Generally the lift is accomplished and the athlete hits a PR and feels great about it. It was just the “push” they needed. There have been many instances mid-WOD that I have walked over and changed someone’s resistance bands to something harder, because the athlete was bouncing over the bar. The WOD is completed with less resistance and they feel great having completed the WOD even though it was a more challenging experience. The changing of the bands was the “push” that they needed. Starting to see the trend?
A great trial Lawyer is said to never ask a question they don’t already know the answer to. I would argue that a good coach never “pushes” an athlete to try something that they don’t already know the athlete has the requisite ability to accomplish. We as coaches are always watching, assessing, and correcting. We have a view of an athlete’s abilities that they themselves do not have. This is the reason for the cliche “Such and Such Coach gets the most out of their athletes”. Personally, as a coach if you are not “pushing”, then you are not paying attention. Every athlete that steps into the box is capable of so much more than they think. It is our natural “comfort zone” to stay within the realm of what is familiar and what we have already succeeded in. The coach is there to “push” you toward your future successes. This can only happen by dipping your toe into the water of uncomfortable situations. The “push” that your coach is giving will almost always be something that they know you can do, even if you don’t know it yet.
If my years of playing sports and coaching at various levels have shown me anything it is that, coaches always believe in their athletes more than the athletes believe in themselves. The magic happens once an athlete begins to trust the coach that is “pushing” them, and they begin to believe that they can accomplish all the things that the coach has known to be possible. That’s the good stuff.