I would think most people want to be described as “coachable,” or “a pleasure to work with.”
Some people, though, have a hard time abandoning how they want to do things for the sake putting their faith in a coach’s hands.
Because it’s hard to put your trust in someone else, especially when you’re competitive and impatient and have your own vision about what you want from each training session and don’t always understand why your coach is giving you the feedback he’s giving you. It’s easier sometimes to say, ‘Screw it, my way makes more sense to me!’ Right?
I would argue that being coachable is a learned skill, to a certain degree. It involves a willingness to take a chance on someone, and an even bigger willingness to be patient—to abandon the short term game for the long term plan—and most importantly a willingness to throw your ego away. Tough for anyone to do, right?
But talk to any coach in any sport, and they’ll tell you the most successful athletes are the coachable ones. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever question your coach: In fact, if you’re confused or have your doubts about what he/she’s telling you, by all means ask WHY!
Why do you want me to do it that way?
Why should I do ring rows instead of pull-ups?
Why is that better for my long term development?
If you don’t receive an answer that makes sense, by all means, do it your way…
So, are you coachable?
If any of the following hypothetical scenarios (albeit based on real life encounters) sound like you, you might not be as coachable as you think…
8. Your coach tells you you’re better off doing tuck-ups than to struggle through toes-to-bar in the conditioning workout (or dumbbell shoulder press instead of handstand push-ups, or ring rows instead of pull-ups—the list goes on) in order to keep your intensity up and preserve the stimulus of the workout, and you say: “Nah, I think I’ll try the toes-to-bar. They’ve gotten a lot better lately and I really want to try them in a workout.”
7. The coach tells you to place your hands closer together on your handstand push-ups. You do it for one set, but it feels harder. When you notice he’s no longer watching you, you resume your wide hand positioning so you can get through your sets and reps faster.
6. Your coach advises you to take 20-lb. off the bar because your form looks horrible, and you say, “I got this. I’ll focus on my form this time. I promise.”
5. Your coach gives you some homework to do after class. You try it for a week but don’t notice any benefit, so you abandon it.
4. Your coach tells you to slow down to a 2:05 pace while rowing on the first round of a five round workout, but you notice the person next to you is moving faster than you so you choose to try to keep up with him instead.
3. Your coach tells you you’re not allowed to come to the gym tomorrow because you’ve been there 10 days in a row. You show up anyway.
2. Your coach tells that until your loud hacking cough clears up, to steer clear of the gym, so you go for a run instead.
1. You’re following an individual program but you don’t think today was hard enough or had enough volume, so you stick around for another hour to hammer through two more met cons.
But the ULTIMATE sign up all that you’re uncoachable is when the coach stops giving you feedback at all!