As humans, we are habitual by nature. We can’t help it, our brains are wired to form habits and automate as much as possible. This is great because it helps us preserve brain power for the really important things like processing issues and making big decisions. However, this can be a double-edged sword.
When you’ve been in any industry for awhile, you develop systems. These systems help people build big businesses and teams win super bowls. When it comes to coaching, this can be powerful, but also detrimental. Let me explain. We’re humans, and we’re biased. We have preferences for everything from potato chip brands to political candidates to pizza toppings.
I am absolutely obsessed with kettlebells and kettlebell training. Since earning my StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor certification in 2019 and then my DV8 Kettlebell certification in 2020, I have gone down the kettlebell rabbit hole. I’m currently training for the Sinister Challenge and loving the process.
However, I will immediately admit that the kettlebell is not for everyone. Though it’s my favorite training tool, as a coach it’s not about me. It is my duty to serve the person in front of me. My main priority is to help them reach their goals as safely and effectively as possible. While I use the kettlebell often, it’s not 100%.
Zack Henderson once said that as coaches, it’s up to us to adapt our systems to fit the client and not the other way around. I firmly believe that we must suspend our ego and lead with empathy (he also said that, I would cite him in MLA format but it’s been too long). While all of my clients perform the same basic movements (squat, hinge, press, pull, row, carry), the variation is the secret sauce.
As we gain experience, our toolbox should get bigger. Let’s face it, a hammer doesn’t fix every problem, so stop looking at training modalities that way. In our latest podcast, Tony Gentilcore warned that it’s detrimental to your development if you pigeon hole yourself. For example, one of my clients wants to prepare for the Jedi trials. Given her very specific goal, it’s my responsibility to train her on the art of the lightsaber and how to use the Force. Training her with nunchucks, while fun won’t prepare her for epic lightsaber battles against Sith Lords. Get out of your comfort zone, open your mind and don’t get stuck in your ways. It’s very easy to get comfortable. Just like in training, without growth and resistance, we will stagnate. It’s a trap!
Train your body. Feed your mind.
-Demarco, Jedi in-training