Coaching Advice: Trust Your Gut

This post is really for strength coaches, those already working in the field and those working towards their degrees and gaining experience. One thing I want you to remember is, trust your gut. There have been many times in my career where I felt like I was being questioned or told what to do by those who weren’t in the position to make those calls. However, they felt like it was their role to tell me how to fulfill mine.

I just want to encourage you, if you're a strength coach, even if you're new, open your eyes, observe what’s going on around you, and if something looks off, speak up in an appropriate way. You don’t want to be constantly challenging people, that’s usually just annoying and disrespectful. However, it will be valuable for you to speak up, voice your observations and voice your opinions. I say this because after probably fifteen years of experience, I’ve realized our eyes are about the most important thing for what we do.

Watch practices, watch how the players move their feet, their hips, how they turn. Watch every little detail of how they move. After thousands and thousands of hours of images logged into your brain, it is shocking what you are able to notice.

If something doesn’t look right to you, after all the data in your brain about movement patterns, you should speak up. There will be many times where someone will disagree with what you have to say, and that’s alright. Take their opinions and information and try to make sense of it. Do some research and really give their opinion an unbiased look to see if it works out. If it truly doesn’t make sense, move on and continue with what you are doing.

I think the tides are changing in the strength and conditioning field, I think strength coaches are beginning to be viewed as extremely knowledgeable and a foundational component to any performance program. They are the experts on performance, not the medical staff. The medical staff are sometimes the people that believe they know better than you, but in truth have no idea what they are doing when it comes to the nuts and bolts of a safe, effective, and up-to-date performance program.

Trust your gut, performance is your profession, not theirs. They don’t have the eyes you do, they haven’t seen the things that you have seen. They would most likely never be able to notice a correct movement pattern from a faulty one at full speed. Stay in your lane, but make sure others stay in theirs as well.

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