***A lot of you have been asking how Hafis has been doing. He had his first pro day yesterday and performed beyond expectations! He had 23 reps on the bench, ran a 5.21 40 yard dash and a sub five second 5-10-5. Scouts were talking to him after and telling him they liked what they saw. Way to go Hafis!
At Newell Strength, we are constantly trying to step up our coaching game. Our goal is to be the number one gym in the world and my own personal goal is to be the best strength coach in the world. With that, we are always examining different aspects of coaching and I thought some of you would like some insight into what a good coach does and doesn’t do.
The combine has just finished up and it always makes me shake my head, how some coaches will opt for testing over on the field performance, even when a player has proven himself over the course of a few years. The combine is cool in that we like to look at numbers, but the real test is on the field.
I have said this time and time again, but reports continue to come into me about ‘Napoleanite Strength Coaches’. In case you have never heard this term, don’t worry about it, I just coined it, but basically it means strength coaches that have become more important than the training of their athletes or clients. They make the mistake of becoming the thing rather than the programming and coaching.
These types of coaches are the ones that also put a ton of stock into testing. Once again, I will say it loud and clear, the real test is on the field or on the court and I will always put my guys up against anyone else’s on a Saturday afternoon and see who ‘passes the test’.
With that, here you go:
• A good coach uses to testing to get baselines and see where his or her program is falling short. It is a self-evaluation, not an evaluation as much for the athlete or client. If the athlete isn’t getting the results, its your fault, not theirs. Coaches that try to validate themselves through testing are often ego-driven, trying to prove themselves. Can someone please explain to me why so m any college and high school strength coaches are still in love with testing the hang clean? How does the hang clean make you a better athlete? If it were true, why would the NFL not just go to the nearest Olympic training center and take all the Olympic lifters and draft them? Think about it.
• A good coach will always evolve and innovate. A coach that has been running the same scheme for years on end isn’t learning, they are repeating and if you are staying the same, you are in reality getting worse. Its like the teachers that use the same lesson plans year in and year out, what’s the point? Are you just doing it for a paycheck? I look at the programs I wrote even one year ago and I am embarrassed by them because I have learned so much since that time. At the time, they were the best I had because that was all I knew. Good coaches keep a ‘growth mindset’.
• A good coach will never belittle a student or trainee. Good coaches realize that we are coaches on more than just the physical training realm. I was reminded of this recently when a member of Newell Strength came into the gym to give me a hug because his son just made his college baseball team, not because the training but more so because as he said, “This place is just different, the mindset, the atmosphere.” A good coach walks the walk in all phases of life.
• A good coach will be on an endless quest to become the best. I can’t for the life of me figure out why someone would do something not to be the best at it. This means learning from each other. I have a whole rolodex of coaches that are far better than me, that I can email or call on the drop of a dime. My constant mindset is that I am the student and when the teacher is talking, to shut up and listen.
• A good coach will have his or her own coach, often in many areas of life. I currently have 3 coaches, one for life, one for business and one for my physical body. I am not a know it all and again, a good coach realizes the importance of good coaching. If you want to see how good of a coach your coach is, ask them if they have a coach. If they reply know, find a new coach because they are a hypocrite and don’t really see the value in good quality coaching.
• A good coach is someone you actually admire and want to be around. A bad coach is someone you can’t wait to get away from. I realize that many of you that read this are just regular sports coaches and not strength coaches, so I am writing this for you as well. It is gut check time and if you read one of these things and realize that you violate it, you need to change or get out of the profession.
Before I come across as a dick, understand that I love all my athletes that become part of the Newell Strength family. I have a deal with them: Whatever energy and emotion they put in, I will give back to them. And I expect a lot from them. This goes for the high school and college athletes and the grown men that are members at Newell Strength.
As far as the athletes go, we have had quite a few have big accomplishments this year. We have had at least 10 athletes this past year earn scholarships to play at the collegiate level. We have had sophomores play varsity for the first time. We have a few bodybuilders that are about to kick ass in a bodybuilding show next weekend. Evan C., won a professional MMA fight back in December. One of our track guys is leading the county in multiple events and has by far made more improvements than any of his teammates. Not because of me or luck, but because he has stuck to his plan like a gunslinger.
So it bothers me when some of the sports coaches or other strength coaches start denying my athletes services or bad mouthing my gym. I don’t quite understand their line of thinking, except that I know it comes from a place of hating. I never even pay attention to other coaches unless I know they are better than me and can teach me something. I had two incidences last week where it seemed a student of mine and athlete of mine had their coaches and bosses showing incredibly childish behavior.
If someone is willing to go out and learn and better themselves and pay hard earned money to do it, you should applaud them, not hate on them. I am sure many of you will face this circumstance in your life at some point. If one of your athletes comes back transformed, find out what the hell they are doing and talk to whoever is helping them. I laugh when I hear reports of ‘silly’ behavior from so called professionals.
In both cases, I would love to sit down in a room with the nitwits that these people are and have an adult conversation. Most likely, they would want to tell me about their methods and why they are the ‘man’, which would tip me off even more to their egocentric behavior and immaturity as personal trainers, professionals and coaches.
Helping to make people better every day is a tiresome job, one that professionals should work together on and collaborate on. Remember the next time you act like a punk, it is just a mirror of your ego and SELF. Regular coaches try to dictate, great coaches lead by example and don’t tell unless asked.
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
The man who thinks he knows everything, knows nothing. The man that knows he knows nothing, knows…..