Posts

Set the right expectations…for EVERYTHING. Usually we set the expectations for movement standards, culture, and attitude, but we also need to remember to set expectations for equipment usage. I had an athlete drop a completely empty bar from overhead 5 feet in front of me. My heart and soul were crushed.

Be prepared for handling ‘front desk’ logistics. Since we don’t have a front desk, I need to be better prepared to receive drop-in’s and getting waivers filled out. I always forget to ask for waivers for athletes’ guests.

Learn everyone’s story. It’s important to understand why each member shows up. Is it to get fitter? Look better in a bathing suit? To be around longer for their grandkids? To be around good people? Knowing what makes them tick will help you connect with each athlete. Seek first to understand, then be understood.

Speak to the average skill level of the class. If the class has an average intermediate skill level, then you can focus a bit more on the advanced techniques, then have side conversations for the beginners or advanced athletes. Don’t get caught spending too much time explaining modifications for one beginner if the rest of the class is a bit more advanced. And vice versa.

Inspect equipment regularly for defects or malfunctions. There was a resistance band that snapped during class. These things will happen, but make sure to mitigate it by routinely checking items.

Coaches need coaches. It’s not enough to just pass seminars or get certificates. Just like in other industries or aspects of life, a mentor is needed for continual growth. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, so learn from others that have already walked the path.

Learn by observing other classes. You don’t have to always be coaching or participating in a class. I learned how to scale for a 60+ year old grandpa with Fibromyalgia by just observing.

Youth doesn’t translate to higher fitness level. I had a 15-year-old that I had the mistake of assuming he had greater capacity, but moved similarly to a deconditioned 40-year-old.

Use the warm-up to assess fitness capacity and movement mechanics. This was useful for the above scenario of testing a new athlete, regardless of age.

Get your reps in. Just like with anything that we’re trying to improve in, experience is important. It’s hard to become a great coach if you only do 1 or 2 classes per week.

Knowledge is the NEW MONEY! Get you some!

~Eric Thomas

Have you ever finished reading a personal development or self-help book, but can’t remember what the key takeaways were? Have you ever gone to a seminar or weekend conference and forgotten everything by Monday? For a lot of us, including myself, the information we hear or read goes into our brains, but it never fully sticks or takes root.

We get so overloaded with information every single day.

With such ease of access to information on the internet, our brain’s space gets used up by all the useless crap we see on Facebook, the news, and other social media feeds. The stuff we wish to learn that could better our lives gets quickly replaced, because we haven’t had a chance to let those new ideas solidify themselves in our minds.

You might hear that writing it down or taking notes is a surefire way to quickly learn something. Implementing and taking action on a new idea or concept is another way for us to learn faster. These are great steps towards learning, but these still take a bit of time to leave permanent imprints on our brains. Taking notes is useless if you don’t read them over and over again after writing it down. And executing an idea may take up to 21 days before it solidifies into a habit.

So what’s the fastest way to learn a new idea?

TEACH!

There’s a difference between regurgitating words from memory versus teaching an idea to someone. When you can relay information to another person and continue to do so UNTIL they understand what it is you’re teaching, that’s when you know you’ve fully learned the content.

Through teaching others, I’ve been able to retain information faster AND longer. I remember a time back in college when a group of friends and I were last minute cramming for a final exam. Usually when we do last minute studying, we cram the info into our brains just so we could remember it for a few hours. But I took a different approach to studying for the exam. I spent most of the time teaching all of my friends and testing them on the content instead of just doing silly flashcards and practice exams. To this day, I still remember all of the information from that class, and it had made a huge difference in my final exam results. I was the only student in the entire class to get an A on the final!

Ever since that AHA moment, I now intentionally learn things so that I could teach it to others. When you know in advance that you are going to pass this knowledge on to other people, you tend to pay more attention to what you’re hearing or reading. During live seminars or conferences, I also pay attention to HOW the speaker is teaching the information, so that I could adopt the same emotional effect on the listeners. People don’t remember what you say, but they remember how you made them feel.

Obviously everyone learns in different ways, but this is one method of learning that I believe is under utilized. I’ve been able to learn information within three sessions of teaching others whether it’s team phone calls, group presentations, online videos, etc.

Your ability to learn faster also benefits others by providing value to them.

The best perk of learning via teaching is that you’re developing others while you grow yourself! Information is completely useless if it’s not implemented or if it’s kept to oneself. I highly encourage you to not only continue to invest in yourself, but also invest in others by teaching them what you learn.