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I Am Not Actually A Good Coach

This article isn’t about self-deprecation. It’s not a plea for approval or recognition. I write this with utmost sincerity: I am not a good coach.

Photo by Kelly Knowles

Recently, I few things I posted on social media garnered more attention than I thought it could. I was asked to write a blog post for a site that wasn’t mine. Someone sent me a direct message, saying that they liked some of the content I produced and how they could tell I was a good coach. But what if I’m not? What if I’m duping everyone?

Now, I am not a bad coach. I have made bad decisions and lead some poorly planned and executed training sessions. But if I was a bad coach, the people around me are honest enough to tell me. The point of this article isn’t about how I am or am not a good coach. This is about being honest with oneself and with others.

While there is no quantifiable way to determine what makes a good coach, I don’t think it is something that we can see only through the lens of social media. Someone can agree with your opinion, an exercise you like to use, or the weights your athletes move, but that doesn’t make you a good coach. I’ve never posted a video a full training session. How do you know I connect with my athletes? How do you know I’m planning sessions that truly work towards a clearly defined goal? How do you know I’m not spit-balling everything? We as coaches always preach about context, but what if you’re taking the snippets of sessions I post out of context? In this way, I don’t think you can tell if I am a good coach or not.

While I don’t think that having tons of initials behind your name automatically makes you a good coach, if you looked at my life on paper, I would be underwhelming at best. I boast no master’s degree (at the moment), no list of successful athletes, and if you saw my college GPA you’d probably cringe. I was not a great student. I had to repeat Anatomy, Chemistry, and biology which ended up maxing out my retake limit in college. I am 25, live in my parents’ basement, and have very limited coaching experience. This I am honest about: I am not the most educated, qualified, or experienced coach there is. I am probably not a bad coach, but I am not qualified to call myself a good coach.

I am not a good coach, but I am a growing coach. Like any task in life, mastery requires significant time honing skills and refining the craft. I am not a good coach because I have not had the time to refine. I have not mastered this art, nor am I likely to in the next five years.

Photo by Kelly Knowles

This blog isn’t about being self-deprecating, it’s about being honest with myself and with others. To have enough guts to be honest with myself and with others. I will willingly expose my flaws, because I would rather be the first one to remind myself of them before someone beats me to it. There’s a lot of things I need to work on while I pursue mastery in this craft. I am not worried about it, because I realize I have plenty of time.

So here’s to not being a good coach, a humbling viewpoint I hope I don’t lose anytime soon. And in the meantime, you can find me somewhere out here constantly learning.

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