It’s a new year, which means it’s time for the next installment of my least enjoyable, but perhaps most important post – I WAS WRONG.

If you remember from last year, this post is based on an Eric Cressey article I read years ago, where he proposed that the three most important words in a coach’s vocabulary are “I was wrong.”

As coaches, there’s a delicate balance we walk.  We need to be seen as an expert, in order to have the full trust and respect of our clients.  However, our own education is continually expanding and we often learn more effective tools, contradictory information to what we were taught before, or maybe research or our own experience proves something different than what we thought before.  In any case, our knowledge and advice is constantly evolving.

For this reason, we often realize that at some point, we were wrong.  And hopefully our clients, and any other audiences we reach, appreciate that being wrong means we’re now better coaches for it (assuming we’re not too stubborn to stay attached to former ideas).

Here are a few more realizations I’ve discovered I was wrong about. 

  • Not everyone wants abs.  I have prioritized what I THOUGHT clients wanted, rather than digging deeper into the reasons WHY they came to me in the first place.  Even if their goal was to lose body fat, it didn’t necessarily mean they needed it to happen as soon as possible – even though I could do that for them.  Peeling back the reasons why they are after those goals will help inform the protocol and even the language to use with them.

  • Tension isn’t everything.  I have still been guilty of learning new training techniques or methodologies, and trying to apply them to all situations.  Prioritizing the mind-muscle connection and maximum muscle tension during an exercise has its merits and is absolutely crucial to an optimal training program.  However, it can also limit progress depending on the client’s abilities and goals.  There is a time to squeeze and a time to shove.

  • There’s a difference between a COACH and a TRAINER.  I have tried to fit square pegs in round holes, which tends to leave me and the client frustrated.  It may seem like semantics, but consider this:  Is your “advisor” trying to TRAIN you to do what he/she wants out of you?  Or are they COACHING you through the process with education, flexibility, and adjustments when things go well or poorly? 

It’s the education, mistakes, successes, and experiences that facilitate growth.

Here’s to another great year!


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