Why I Need a Coach

Just a few things I’ve learned about needing a coach.

Yes, I’m smarter than everyone else and I probably know 95% of what there is to know 🙂 But if I’m really interested in improving, I’ve got to forget about that — that’s already been applied. I’ve got to find out what I don’t know. Key phrase here: “if I’m interested in improving.” I am.

The above requires setting aside my ego (95% — yeah, right) for the better good. That’s a big feat for me. My ego is huge. It took a lot of practice, much like pressing my big kettlebell.

It’s one thing to read about it. It’s another thing to see it on a DVD. And to stand next to someone live and in-person and watch them do it is something entirely different. I don’t know how to explain this better. If you understand how a live musical performance is qualitatively different than a recorded performance, you’ll know what I mean.

As they say, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

What’s in the mirror?

Probably the most critical reason why I need a coach: I can’t see myself. No matter how much I know in my head, it is very difficult to see myself. With kettlebells, it’s literally impossible. Add to that sensory motor amnesia and imbalances/asymmetries, I can never truly know if I’m applying correct form.

Recently while working on my overhead press with my coach, he asked why I was moving my arm back like I did. I replied, “to get my arm vertically straight.” He pointed out “you’re hyper-extending, it was straight before.” I stuck my arm up in the air, “you mean this is straight up?”

It didn’t feel that way to me.

All that extra struggle for nothing! My pressing has significantly improved.

If you’ve had the pleasure of being observed by someone trained to teach these moves, they’ll see one little thing we might miss, tweak that and in two minutes it’s as if you’ve gone to kettlebell heaven.

Who has coaches?

Successful people in all endeavors seek out coaches. They might call them mentors, advisors, or consultants.

Find an unsuccessful person at something — I bet they don’t have a coach.

Tiger Woods is probably the best golfer in the world. Why would he need a coach? Don’t you think he already knows how to play golf? Then why does he have something like 12 different coaches!

Two heads are truly better than one. Smart people get even smarter in the company of other smart people. Isn’t that why we brainstorm? Remember how something unexpected can open up and be discovered. It’s the unexpected, the new, the something better I’m seeking —– and it lies out there somewhere beyond my reach without the help of others. It’s like a really good listener — when they just truly listen, I can find the answers for myself. It’s already in me. Somehow I have to open myself to it. This openness is often MORE important than mere mental knowledge.

Consciousness expansion

Have you experienced how it is that teaching someone else the simple basics of something often leaves you improved too? Many times it’s said that the teacher learns more than the student. Why is that? All that was discussed were the simplest basics, right? No deep level, advanced esoteric stuff. Just the simple basics. Yet you, the teacher, were improved in some real way.

How does this apply when you’re the student? I’m trying to get you to relate to this kind of improvement that I’m calling consciousness expansion — which is different than mental knowledge. (Sometimes in an ‘Aha’ moment I say, “I knew that — I just didn’t know it!) And it can work as a student, too, when you empty your cup and look at the topic with fresh eyes.

This is why I often go to introductory events. It’s for the consciousness expansion. the ‘aha’ moments. It’s the stuff between the lines that I’m catching. I just know that I get my best ideas flowing in my head — often unrelated to what the instructor is discussing at the moment. Truly, I think I enjoy the beginner’s classes the most. I guess it’s because now that I’m educated in the topic, I’m participating in an entirely different level. I’m not sure why.

Another reason might be that be this: it’s often said that mastery is all about the basics. A true master of something is exceptional at the basics. And beginner’s classes focus on the basics. I want to go deeper and deeper into the basics. This ‘deeper and deeper’ is not more stuff, more knowledge. The answer isn’t ‘more,’ the answer is deeper. It’s more ‘Aha’ and realization. All the ‘bells and whistles’ don’t impress me any longer. I’m after more and more with less and less.

Okay — if that’s sounds crazy, ignore that last one.

But I need coaches. That’s what I am finally realizing.

The cost is often my mental block — but after I do spend it on a good coach I realize what I received was worth much more than I paid. I kick myself, thinking, ‘why didn’t I do this sooner.’

Therefore, I’m putting in my reps with coaching too. Practicing overcoming the inhibition. Increasing my capacity to seek out coaching.

Are there bad coaches?

That depends.

I haven’t had a bad one yet as far as kettlebells go. I have outgrown coaches, however, and gone onto different or ‘better for me’ coaching.

I have the same fears inside of me. What if he’s no good? What if it’s a waste of my time or money? What if he teaches me wrong? I’m sure these fears are for good reason — but if you’re like me, these fears from one or two bad apples can be holding you back from lots and lots of good opportunities.

First, I seek out the best I can. That’s a common sense and personal judgment issue.
Not always so easy to find the right fit. If not, then I suggest someone try to learn from the experience and do better with their next choice.

I always remember that my sister loves her doctor — yet I cannot stand him. And visa vesa. She cannot stand my doctor — but I love him! So, who’s to say if someone is good or not?

Second, I’ve discovered that I can learn something from almost anyone. Their best is something that can help me. It has more to do with me opening up to it rather than blaming the other person. I can easily get the worst performance from someone by being resistant and closed. You and I have the ability to get the best out of another person — and that depends on you and me.

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