When I first started coaching, the word “no” was much harder for me to say. Now it’s my favorite word.
In Tamara’s new article, she recounts overhearing me in the gym using the word “No” over and over:
“Last night, I watched two of our lifters snatch together. Nick kept telling them no. No, you tried to dive under it. No, your back angle still changed. No, you were too slow. No, your lockout was not spot on. No. No. No.
I was power snatching on the platform next to them, and Nick looked over at one point and told me no and laughed that my lockout had been a master’s lockout. So, I did it again, and he told me no. And, I stayed there for a while and did it again and again until he said it was right. I moved on to RDLs and bodybuilding, and the two lifters were still snatching. Two hours later, they were still snatching. Two hours later, they had finally managed to do the key things correctly.”
(NOTE: a “Master’s lockout” means you didn’t lock out all the way… probably because your elbows are too crotchety — like your ever diminishing tolerance for whipper-snappers.)
At this point, saying “no” is a natural response out of my mouth. But it wasn’t always like that. I had to work at it just like I had to work at every skill a coach needs to develop over time. It’s a never-ending process. You get better at coaching the same way the athletes get better at lifting: by doing it a lot and learning from your mistakes.
Safety and Success go hand-in-hand. If you fuck up tomorrow’s workout by hurting yourself today, that’s not productive That’s why RULE #3 in our gym is: Don’t fuck up tomorrow’s workout! However, athlete’s are highly prone to going “full-bro”. Your job is to reign their excited asses back in, not rile them up.
It’s too easy for coaches to fall into the trap of thinking that OUR job is to cheer — that’s someone else’s job, cheerleaders, and it’s rather mean to steal another person’s job.
Cheering is a TOOL — a reward, like the kind of you give a dog when they sit. You SHOULD cheer! But, use it as a tool, not as a crutch.
Now go lift something heavy,
PS. The next 21-Day Squat Challenge is coming up in ONE WEEK. It’s a month-long ONLINE class teaching you how to squat better, get stronger, and kick more ass.
PPS. Speaking of squatting and coaching… sign up for the Super Total Certification coming in June. A complete barbell education for coaches and athletes.
PPS. Join Weightlifting Academy FREE and get your learn on!