Saturday, July 6, 2013

Being Your Own Coach

Marion over at Affection For Fitness posted yesterday about being your own coach, I thought it was a pretty powerful message and you should go read it. Right now. Click the link.

If you did that and then came back some of what you are about to read might be a little redundant, but hopefully you read it anyways. She posted a couple of questions and a few statements at the end that I told her in the comments I was going to steal and post here, and then put my own answers or twists on them. I think that Marion and I think alike in a lot of ways, so it’s a good fit on this space as well.

You will find that most of my coaching references refer to hockey teams!

If You Are Your Own Coach…

What rules does your team have?

You’ve got to set up rules so that the team knows how to operate.  These would be the goals and the basic plan of getting there I think.  The rules for my team used to be incredibly strict, now they are not so bad, however there are still rules. 

‘Nothing more than 1600 calories’ used to one of my rules, and there was hell to pay if it got broken, now that rule is ‘Between 2300 – 2500 is alright’

‘Workout every single day’ used to be on the list and it meant cardio.  Now the rule is ‘The gym (my garage) or the road minimum 4x a week’ rest days are a necessity now, I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m building muscle, and doing events that are hard and such.

I’m sure I could think of other rules I had made but you get the idea.  When you are playing on a crappy rag tag team, you need strict rules with severe consequences.  Once you are on a team of all-stars you can let them dangle out there a little bit.

What are your team standards?

Everyone needs standards, Gordon Ramsey screams it at chefs all the time on Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares. If you don’t have standards then how do you know what you are working toward? Personally I think that my team standard is “Give everything you’ve got, and then give a little more”. When it comes to races and workouts I want to be winded at the end, like I left it all out there.

What is your team currently working on?

Having a goal that everyone is on board with is important, if people are going in different directions nothing gets done well. From a fitness perspective it’s analogous to people that work like crazy at the gym, but eat crap food. Sure they aren’t getting fatter, but they aren’t having any success with weight loss either.

Currently my team is working on the balance between returning to my preferred amount of running/cycling/working out and re-injury of my left Achilles or right knee. A tricky balance, but it has almost sorted itself out.

What happens if you fell off the wagon?

Here I don’t necessarily consider one day or event to be ‘off the wagon’ some people call them cheat days or whatever. I look at those types of days just as they are, if I was using a coaching metaphor for them it would be the games were you lose 7-2 in hockey and the coach them skates you into the ice at the next practice. You know it’s not going to be pretty, but you suck it up and do the extra work to please the coach, message sent – message received. Off the wagon would be when those types of days become the norm rather than the exception. You then have to decide how you are going to turn it all around, who are you benching and who are you putting on the ice.

If I was falling off the wagon you can bet there would be the clamps put on food, back to strict tracking of my diet and more hours spent on cardio, I have a plan, and even the last couple days have shown me that I can enact it at the drop of a hat.

Trust yourself. But if you don't know what to do, ask for help.

Solid advice, and nothing truer ever said, even the professionals confer with other professionals when they have something that they don’t know come up. My go to is Jodi, she knows what’s what.

You need to be a kick-ass coach for yourself. If you have a terrible day, you do the best that you can, with no excuses. That's what a fair but awesome coach would expect from you. No reputable coach allows days off for "emotional days" of feeling self-pity. Every day is not going to be optimal, but no day has to be a cop-out, because your coach (meaning you) does not accept that kind of attitude. It's only with consistently good attitude and effort, that your team gets winning results. Consistence is crucial to success.

I left the whole thing of Marion’s there because I can’t say it any better. Your goals (not matter what they are) don’t care if you are sad or happy or whatever. If you are not working toward them they won’t be achieved, no amount of ‘woe is me’ with get you fit, the laundry done, a report turned in, or a black belt at karate. You want to achieve? Then suck it up and get to work.

You are your own best coach and your own best friend. Make a strategic plan for your fitness and weight loss, have standards and goals, analyze your results, improve. You deserve it--this quality guidance in your life.

I know that I am a bit less of a ‘players coach’ than Marion is, she likes to make sure her body is getting all the right messages at the right times and she’s listening to it all the time too.  I’m more of a “Win this thing no matter what the costs” kind of coach willing to throw away the game plan in the final minutes to put it all out there!

If you liked all that, read more of Marion’s stuff, she’s knows what’s going on!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris! Thanks for the nice things you said about me. Very nice. :D

    You are one of the most self-directed fitness people I know. So it is definitely not surprising that you have this thought out so well for yourself. Like I've said before, I'd like to claim you as a Canadian fitness cousin.

    :-) Marion