“What is the ONE thing that you wish you knew when you started training people?”
It has taken me a lot of time to think of really what would be that ONE thing. Many think it would be a reference to an exercise, a book, studying another coach, or something related to the actual fitness part of training. While all these things are incredibly important, I don’t think it would be that ONE thing.
This weekend I got to work with a bunch of great fitness professionals. During one of our breaks I was talking with a few of them, one in particular had been a trainer for just a year. He was quite skilled though and seemed to have a great understanding of what it means to be a teacher and coach. I asked him how he enjoyed the career change and what he thought of training. His response?
“The training is really fun, but I had no idea there was so much psychology to training!”
It hit me, that is my one thing. The mental side to training.
I think I can teach people the how’s, the why’s of fitness pretty easily. However, the mental challenges we all face can be some of the toughest obstacles. I think of all the emotions that are a challenge to conquer, fear may be the one that keeps us from achieving our goals.
It may present itself in many different ways.
Some are fearful of failing an attempt of achieving their goals once again.
There is fear of how actually changing may alter their personal relationships.
Fear of looking stupid and ending up feeling worse about ourselves than when we started.
Others that even like to train, been working out for a long time, or even coaching have fears. I remember when we first came up with our Clean and Press test, I was nervous, for a lot of reasons.
Not being a competitive athlete anymore, I was a bit scared about being accountable for my own fitness. For many of us that are in the industry or fitness enthusiasts, getting a “good” workout actually done is the primary goal. Our outcomes are much more subtle, we are often bad about adhering to our own timelines, and overall have no one to be accountable to, so the effort, and programming of ourselves is almost never put to any real test.
I wanted to set the standard high, not because I wanted to be hardcore. The idea of having a high standard was a means for me to see how good of coach I really am. Could I program? Could I be disciplined on my training schedule? Could I actually achieve these goals?
What I began to learn as I went through the process that the outcome in a way became secondary to the process. Making myself uncomfortable I found actually to be a good thing. I found myself doing real self-checks on my nutrition, my organization, my effort, my overall discipline.
Every workout that I was going to push myself I began to feel those butterflies. Yea, I got nervous! Often no one was around, but I felt that moment of truth every time. Did I skip a workout? Had I trained leading up to this hard enough? Was my program on track? Oh, yea, and the butterflies of knowing that I had five minutes of a tremendous challenge in front of me.
I started to realize something really important.
Fear is our greatest challenge, our strongest obstacle. It happens in all of us and we have an important decision to make. We can crumble, or we can try to rise to the challenge and excel. Understanding that feeding into our fears by making excuses is never the way to achieve great things.
I had to answer an important question, what did I want to our program to be known for?! I knew we wanted to be a true fitness educational program and that would take more than just doing what is easy. When someone said they were DVRT certified we wanted it to really mean something. The comprehension of our principles and techniques along with the physical ability to express these ideas.
The same hopefully goes for yourself as well. If you really want to accomplish something you are going to have to face some fears. How you respond, how you take those challenges head on will tell you more about yourself than anything else. I hope we can share with you the ways we have helped others and ourselves to overcome, learn, and best these fears to become something so much more!