Coaching Isn’t All Selfies and Hashtags

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by KELSEY SCHUTTIE

Coaching Isn't All Selfies and Hashtags
You may want to sit down, because I have a news flash that is going to rock your world. Are you ready for it? Here it is: Being a coach is more than standing in front of a group of athletes and telling them what to do. BOOM. WORLD ROCKED.

But seriously, we’ve all been there, in that class somewhere, sometime, when the person who was supposed to be instructing wasn’t. And by “wasn’t” I mean wasn’t teaching, encouraging, pushing athletes to their full potential, or even paying attention. As coaches, we’d be lying to ourselves if we said we’d never felt like we hadn’t been in that position at some point. It’s not always easy to be “on.” Here’s another news flash: Just like all you athletes who have “off” days when you’re just not quite feelin’ it… well, coaches have those days, too. The trick is knowing how to bust the slump and continue being a great coach.

During my years of being an athlete, coach, and manager of a retail business, and now being a CrossFit affiliate owner and coaching athletes again, I’ve seen a lot of people who just want the title, whatever it might be — coach, supervisor, manager, owner. And in some instances it’s pretty easy to get that title. It’s not always as easy to keep it, or to gain the respect that should come with it. In my on-going quest to be better, here are the top 10 things I have learned that will help make you successful. This applies to life, not just the gym.

1. Have a Mentor.

[A mentor] may point you in the right direction, or give you advice based off of their experience, but…they will help you discover the answers for yourself.
Everyone needs someone they can lean on, ask questions of, express doubts and frustrations to, and learn from. Sometimes those people will come to you, but why wait? Seek them out. Find those people in your community, or profession, that you look up to for their work ethic, organizational skills, ability to teach and coach and inspire, and ASK THEM FOR HELP! That’s right… ASK THEM. They might be good at what they do, but chances are they can’t read your mind. They don’t know that you want their help unless you tell them. And if they are truly a person worth looking up to, they will be more than happy to help you. But don’t expect them to just give you all of the answers. They may point you in the right direction, or give you advice based off of their experience, but again, if they are a true mentor, they will help you discover the answers for yourself. They will give you the tools to become a successful peer and hopefully, a successful mentor to someone else.

2. Never Stop Learning.

Never Stop Learning.
You don’t know everything. You will NEVER know everything. Even if you are an expert in your field and spend most of your time teaching other people how to do what you do. There is always more out there. Always another experience, another chance to hear another perspective or view. What works for you may not work for others, and what others have to say may help you become better. I have been CrossFitting for 5 years and I have improved every day since I started. What does that say about what we do? You are never at the top of your game, and that is what we love about it. That is the challenge that keeps us coming back, keeps us striving to be at the top of our game. Learn new sports and skills, listen to different instructors and coaches — hell, go to seminars about stuff you don’t agree with — just to learn more about it. Look at every single experience as a chance to learn and grow. If you don’t, you’re missing out.

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