Should a strength coach practice what they preach!?

Should a strength coach practice what they preach… or rather put “why experience should make a Strength Coaches resume more appealing to you”

Generally speaking if you were on the lookout for a Golf Coach (I will use this as an example because I know the sport) would you hire the services of someone who has only played a few games in their life? ..Or would you put your trust in a Professional who understands the Biomechanics of a swing, the distance average of each club, how to fix your swing in as little as one lesson and who has played the sport for years? It’s a no brainer for a well established sport like Golf and the same principles apply for lifting….

So it’s then fair to say it would generally be expected and beneficial for a strength coach to practice what they preach. There are a few factors that come into play rather than just competing yourself in the sport or being “strong” that I’m referring to when I say “practice what they preach”.

I have been a strength coach for over 10 years, competed in Strongman for roughly 9 years now yet my role goes beyond simply instructing and guiding others in their strength journey. It also involves making a lasting impact on my athletes and others by practicing what I preach.
When you consistently embody the principles and behaviors you teach, you establish credibility and trust with those who seek your guidance. Let’s delve into a few reasons why it is crucial for a strength coach to walk the talk and practice what they preach:

  1. Credibility: When a strength coach practises what they preach, they demonstrate that they have firsthand experience and knowledge about the principles and methods they advocate.
    This enhances their credibility and instils confidence in their athletes. It is easier for individuals to trust and follow the guidance of someone who has personally experienced the benefits of the training methods they recommend.
  2. Role model: Strength coaches are often seen as role models by their athletes. By practising what they preach, coaches can inspire and motivate others to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle. When athletes witness their coach consistently engaging in the practices they promote, it can serve as a powerful source of inspiration and encouragement for them to stay committed to their own training.
  3. Understand athlete needs: By participating in similar training programs and facing similar challenges, strength coaches gain a deeper understanding of their athletes ‘experiences and needs. This firsthand knowledge allows coaches to better tailor their programs and provide more effective guidance. They can empathise with the struggles and triumphs their athletes encounter, making it easier to address their concerns and provide relevant advice.
  4. Professional development: Practising what they preach allows strength coaches to continue learning and evolving in their field. Through their own experiences, they can experiment with different training techniques, evaluate their effectiveness, and refine their methods. This ongoing personal development enables coaches to stay up to date with the latest research and advancements in strength training, ultimately benefitting their athletes.

    So while we’ve established it is important for strength coaches to practise what they preach, it is also essential that a Coach acknowledges that every individual’s circumstance and goal may vary. Coaches should be able to adapt their practices to accommodate different needs and situations while still maintaining their core principles and values.

What I’d like to leave you with is a question and observation before the next topic I’d like to discuss – How often do you see a top Athlete with clients lifting the exact same style as them across all events/techniques?