Monday, September 13, 2010

If It's Worth Doing....

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.


Commonsense perhaps. But, over the years, I've approached many gyms and organizations about working with their trainers and coaches so that they can better serve their clientele in the weight room with kettlebells and in the power racks. Not-so-uncommon responses are "Well, we're not training our kids to be weightlifters", or "Our [fitness] clients don't need that level of detail, they just want to get in shape". Sure, they might be just saying that to make me go away (and it works), but when I see what they are doing in their classes and training sessions, it makes me think that they have no desire to learn nor teach skills.

For example, just the other day, I drove by a new area fitness-cardio-boot-camp-body-shaping-transformation-studio-gym. I like seeing them sprout up. I hate seeing them go under (and most do). This particular one is situated in a strip mall with lots of windows, highly visible from the slow passing traffic. Within, a group of at least a dozen participants, each wearing bright red boxing gloves, and each with their own brand-new, free-standing, bright red punching bag, jabbed away while circling in a fast high-stepping jog... Now, I'm no boxing coach, but you don't have to be Cus D'Amato to know that one foot in the air and the other on your tippy-toes is not the best way to ground and deliver a solid punch. I'm not Charile Francis, but jogging around a bag and jabbing can't be positive for speed development either.

But, I suppose technique is secondary if your goal is fitness... or is it?

Cleans before learning the rack? Not a good idea.

Well, what about thrusters? I'm not a fan. Learn the rack.

Let's just assume that our budding Sugar Ray can't hit the bag hard enough to hurt himself with one leg in the air and gloves. What happens when he puts one leg down and takes off the gloves? Will he injure his hand or shoulder? If he has to defend himself and throw a "real punch", will he be able to deliver any power at all?

I don't think that potential injury is the most critical issue, however. Sadly, the client probably knows he can't punch his way out of a paper bag. He's probably hoping that after boot-camp is over, he might be able to. If he makes it through a 10-week program (or two), he's going to realize that while what he's been doing might be good for burning calories, it's good for very little else. And, when the weight comes back (and it does for most), what is he left with but no skills to better himself and fading memories of a more in-shape self?

I mention this from time to time, but it's always worth reviewing:




Competence begets Confidence begets Commitment


Competence precedes confidence. Commitment follows confidence. We can decide that mastery is not for us, but as coaches and trainers, we cannot make that choice for others. It is our duty to foster competence in skills that matter and, ultimately, training self-sufficiency. Does that mean they will not need our coaching? No, because we ALL need coaching and instruction. But, we need the RIGHT coaching and instruction. The right coaching is teaching transferable skills, sport specific skills, life skills, and proper progressions. The right coaching is more than holding a stopwatch and rolling out the dodge-balls...

8 comments:

Boris Terzic said...

Yet another great post with a decisive message. I just spend the weekend attending a clinic by Erwan Le Corre and he focused a lot of quality of movement and technique

I find that many people forgo technique because they don't compete and especially with kettlebells because efficient movement is only for those who wish to compete. It's like saying the swimming advice from Michael Phelps is useless unless you plan on winning gold metals.

Boris said...

Thank you Boris. Exactly!!

fawn said...

Excellent post Boris, as usual.

Boris said...

Thank you Fawn.

Dissertation Writing service said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Knowledge Domain said...

This is such a lovely blog! Would you want to trade links?? Plzzzz add me and buzz me!


http://www.saludeducaperu.com/
http://www.kareem.ws/

Andy and Judy said...

The video so completely sums up my experience in PE all through school. I had that coach every year, despite the fact that I attended 8 different schools! He was everywhere!

Boris said...

That's pretty sad (but funny in a perverse way) - I had good PE experiences, but I'm sure many of my classmates perceived it completely differently... It helped to be athletic of course.

Dodgeball is one of those games that is fun for kids who have the requisite skills, but it's a horrible game to teach and drills those skills.