Reflections on Coaching

Last fall I saw a window of opportunity to get my Level One Certification and start coaching. This is so different than anything I've ever done. I needed that. I needed change and I needed a challenge. I'm so happy I decided to do it.

I started coaching at the end of November. When I started, I was worried that nobody would take me seriously. They'd think, "Hey, there's that woman who fixes Jeremy's grammar and yells real loud when she does cleans. I hear she's also good at opening champagne bottles. WTF is she doing leading my class?" And maybe that's what some people were thinking. But I kept signing up for classes because I knew I wouldn't get better unless I actually coached. So I faced those fears and just kept coaching.

And then some things started to click. I got some regular classes (I love my Mondays at 3:30). I started knowing the athletes that I didn't know. They started asking me questions. Newer people asked me questions. I knew the answers. Newer people saw me as a coach, and not just another athlete. I started feeling more like I want to feel. Challenged, yet comfortable. And it's fun. It is. 

I've been told that I'm not always the most confident in front of a group. I think this is true in the case when I'm with more experienced athletes. I love working with newer athletes. I love figuring out ways to scale so they know how to do the movements safely and they'll get a good workout. 

I just listened to an incredible ending to a baseball game. Justin Verlander needed to pitch the full game. He just had to. It was the bottom of the 9th. The Tigers were up 3-2 and his pitch count was in the 120s (that's a lot for all of you who don't know baseball). He walked a guy and then had runners on 1st and 2nd. Jim Leyland, the Tigers' manager, comes out to the mound. They chat. Verlander stays in the game. Not many managers or coaches would believe in a player like that. He kept him in the game. Verlander actually hit the next batter, which loaded the bases. He stays in. If there's a hit or a walk, the Royals win (the f*ing Royals, of all teams). On his 131st pitch, Verlander struck out the hitter. Tigers win! His manager believed in him.

I'm no Jim Leyland. I could never grow a mustache that awesome. Sometimes our athletes need to hear it from someone else that they can do it. Sometimes just hearing your name during a WOD is all you need to keep going, or a cue from a coach so you know they're paying attention. I totally believe in our athletes. They're f*ing amazing.

And things go wrong all the time. If you've taken a class with me, you probably know that I'd like to run over the timer with my car. Run it over! Sometimes Pandora picks the wrong song. Sometimes my athletes don't like Rihanna! Whatev!

I know I'm not the best athlete. I'm average. I really need to work on technique in my lifts. But you don't need to be the best athlete to be a good coach. You need to recognize form in others and give cues to help them improve. I know I'll get better at this the more I do it. I just need to keep doing it and keep paying attention.

I like coaching. I'm glad I needed the challenge. And I'm grateful for the athletes who believe in me, because I certainly believe in them.

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