As a leader, if you are waiting to appease others before acting in many cases you are doing our role as a leader injustice. However, in the profession of training an conditioning, many have taken that idea of “I am going to do something and ask for forgiveness later to a whole new level by adding an ingredient that ruins many a good coach… EGO. I will be the first to say that if I have to step on others to get a head in this career, I will walk away, and never do this again. I know I get on my little soapbox here and spout off what I think is right and wrong, however, I am doing this as an aim to educate and generate conversation. Sometimes playing the devils advocate is an interesting role to take as it makes one think as much as the person defending their stance. But one thing I will never try to impose is an Ego into this career. Yes, I have completed a few post secondary degrees and what that has taught me more so than anything else is that I know very little and the more I learn the more questions I have.
But in the “industry” of strength and conditioning, many begin to impose their sense of ego. The gather a following, or have others state that they do great work, and the ego is fed. The more the ego is fed, the greater the ego is present. This occurs to the point where they are putting others down, stating their work is shoddy, or incorrect. My personal thought is that they put others down as they are envious of that persons role or are threatened by their knowledge or skill, but that is a whole different post on insecurities. Does that need to be part of the business of strength and conditioning? To be a good coach in the public sector do you need to stand up on stage at a trade show and state, “ that everything you read in a text book is wrong” or “ the “this show is the second best thing to happen to the Calgary fitness industry since the opening of my facility.” Why do people buy into the hype?
Why must some think that to be a god coach you need to be an… asshole? What makes me think that someone is great at his or her job and the characteristics that I admire most in people are the following…
1. Be humble to the fact that yes, you are good at what you do, but you do not boast. You must be humble to the fact that there is others out there who are great at what they do and in some cases they have forgotten more than many of us even know.
2. Good coaches are honest individuals who are there to help. And will tell you if they cannot help. They do not deceive and all that they do for their clients is with the best intentions. They do so with the intent to never deceive or ever do harm.
3. The good coaches stand by their principles and never waiver. Now this may be skewed as even the terrible coaches who have sold their soul to the “business devil” and have become the ego driven person I never wish to become believe they are still standing by their principles. I am talking about the coaches who have stood by their principles and maintained point 1 and 2 above.
4. Good coaches are teachers; they are there to teach others (and not just those paying), however they are life long students as well. They understand that they do not have all the answers, and they are first to acknowledge that fact. They understand that research has been conducted since they have left University and they continue to upgrade and advance themselves. They are the first to recognize terrible information, and although the information to them may be considered “useless” they learn that that information is valuable. They know never to do that with their clients. They do not lambaste the material or the “author” of the material.
It is a short list and I am sure that there are other characteristics that different readers admire, but there are books written on this topic. I only have a short amount of time. But it is a simple concept to leave the ego out of training. There are those few who are “Ghosts” in this profession. They are amazing at their job and no one would know the difference. I have a list of guys in this profession I admire but no need to name names; I have mentioned in previous blogs before. And this is the goal I have for myself, to be a Ghost, a trainer without ego. Hopefully someday some day others are writing posts with min in mind as inspiration and a Ghost to emulate. That would provide a little ego boost.
Yours in Health and Fitness,
Jeff Osadec, MKin CEP CSCS
P.S. M. A. , thanks for the brief conversation that spurred this post. Like you said, seeing those without ego is a great relief.