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For every strength sport, there are enough coaches out there to get the special attention needed to take you to the next level or create opportunities for PRs that you may not have seen in yourself. Not all coaches are created equal, and that is why there are some specific criteria to picking the best ones for you. At every level there is someone for you, but how much trust are you actually putting into these coaches?

How should you choose a coach?

Once you have chosen a coach that you can trust, it’s time to put your trust in them completely. As important as it is to have a good coach, it’s equally important to be a good student. There are a few key points of doing this.

Ask Questions

Your coach wants you to ask questions if there is something that you don’t understand. It isn’t just assumed or expected that you know what is expected in every situation; therefore it is important to ask questions and get clarification. Many people are afraid to ask questions, or think that their coach will look down on them if they don’t understand what is expected of them. There are no wrong questions and they certainly aren’t thinking poorly of you. In fact, your coach should advocate that you ask questions, that way you are both on the same page and they are sure that you are doing the work that they are expecting from you.

Follow Instructions

Your coach is giving you specific things that they want you to do and there is a reason for each of the things. If they want you to do certain warm ups or only take so much time in between sets, or anything else that you may or may not understand, there is likely a reason for it. If you don’t understand the reasoning behind the instructions, again, don’t be afraid to ask. Be respectful to their programming though and do what you are told.

Don’t Do More Or Less Than What Is In Your Program

This is probably one of the most common things that I have seen from people who aren’t under my direct supervision. Each thing is put in your program just for you and there is a purpose behind it to fix your weaknesses. This doesn’t mean that you should do more because you feel like it isn’t enough. Just because you feel like you aren’t doing enough, doesn’t mean that it isn’t enough. In fact, many times, less can be so much more in training. On the reverse side of this, it isn’t appropriate to skip sets or not do something because it doesn’t seem that you aren’t getting anything out of it. If there is something that you don’t understand about your programming, don’t be afraid to question why you are doing it, but don’t just omit it because you don’t feel like doing it.

Be Honest

You are an athlete, and just like every athlete you aren’t perfect and you aren’t invincible. If you are overly fatigued, have ailments that you are fighting through, are sick, or anything else that could be affecting you and your training, it is very important to let your coach know. This can and will affect your training and most likely things can be worked around to create the best recovery and training session for your needs. In other words, don’t try to be Billy Bad Ass!

Trust The Cues

While being coached, there are often times that your coach wants you to focus on certain parts of a movement in particular instead of the entire lift all at once. For example, if your coach is giving you a cue to keep the bar close to you, and the only thing that you are focused on is keeping back on your heels, it is likely that you are missing the point of the exercise they want you to be focused on. Trusting that they see something that you may not feel is another way that you must trust your coach. They are likely seeing things much differently than you can feel and they will in turn teach you how to feel it appropriately.

It may be hard to completely put your trust into your coach, especially if it is something new for you. This is the reason that you must put your research in a pick the coach that is going to be best for you. There are many frauds out there, so put in your research, but then learn to trust!

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