Having kids can be great.
A few months ago my Missus went off for a few night away with her friends which meant I was left in charge. It was the weekend that the Lego Movie came into Irish cinemas.
So naturally I booked three seats and took my two boys with me as a cover for me dying to see it!
And I wasn’t disappointed.
I think I’ve seen it about 32 times now.
It’s taken till now for me to have a topic for a blog post where I can blatantly reference the awesome Lego movie.
And here it is……
Bring out the Micro Managers!
Recently I’ve been working with an up and coming coach.
When I watch her working I see she has a great eye for detail and genuinely cares for the people she’s working with. She also knows her stuff.
All good so far.
But then it happens, out come the Micro Managers.
It’s a very common issue with many new coaches/instructors. I’ve worked with many new to teaching/coaching and more than not do exactly the same. Hell, I did it.
As I grew up training Karate, there was a time where I was given teaching responsibilities, and at the tender age of 16, I thought I was the dogs bollocks.
And I micro managed.
I wanted the people I worked with to be perfect. I wanted them to move right, have their stance perfect, back leg straight, front knee bent, hand pulled back to the hip and a sharp, crisp punch.
So I worked on the minutia, I tried to get the polish on the technique before there was any technique to polish. Essentially I did those guys a disservice.
My own instructor took me aside and gave me a vital lesson on become an instructor.
He told me that I wasn’t training black belts, I was training white belts, so I needed to work at the white belt level. As a shit hot brown belt, I’d almost forgotten what it was like being new, uncoordinated, unfit and intimidated by the higher grades as well as the volume of information to absorb.
My instructor told me that as long as the students were good enough, then it was good enough.
There was always next week, and the week after, and the month after.
Or to put it another way, they are like a lump of rock in the hands of a sculptor.
You don’t start smoothing out detail straight away, you first have to hammer and chip away until you have a rough shape.
Then refine that shape.
Then add a little detail.
Then work into that detail.
It might take a day or might take a year.
It’s not important as long as the process is happening and moving in the right direction.
This is coaching.
It’ about getting people training, causing a training effect, getting them working and building their confidence.
So what if the lifting technique is a little off, as long as their not in any danger, why change it, why slow down their workout and rock their confidence by nit picking.
Why not instead let them at it, encourage, maybe drip feed pointers here and there. But only add in a new piece of info once the first has been absorbed.
Only change one thing at a time.
refine the shape, add a detail, refine the detail…..
People learn at different speeds, and very often it takes time for a piece of info to soak into the body. You may very well find that when the client comes back the following session, they move like you wanted them to do without need for more coaching.
If you really want Everything to be Awesome ( <– see what I did there?) you must learn to not micro manage. Learn to drip feed info, to not present new info until the student is ready, and then present it in the simplest manner possible.
This is coaching.
It’s taken me the last 21 years to get the hang of it, but I reckon in another 20 or so years I ought to have it nailed.
Over the last few months I’ve gotten a stack of emails asking about kettlebell workshops, I have plans to take the kettlebell workshops and instructor program off the shelf and dust them off over the next few months. They will be relaunched early next year with the intention of providing accessible, high quality information and providing the tools for those wishing to genuinely coach the lifts and integrate them into their clients training.
Until then, stay awesome.