I was just reading a good blog post about social intelligence by Brian Tracy. It made me think about how personal trainers and coaches interact (at least the good ones). It’s more than just knowing the science behind Strength and Conditioning, it’s about how you are able to convey that information, how you interact with your clients/athletes that makes you a great coach/trainer. From experience, I have had some coaches in my past that may have been very knowledgeable about football or strength and conditioning, but really sucked at conveying the information!
In the article Brian Tracy says “85 percent of your success in life is going to be determined by your social skills, by your ability to interact positively and effectively with others and to get them to cooperate with you in helping you to achieve your goals.” wow 85 %, but now that I think about it, he is right on! If you have no personality, and people dont enjoy coming to train with you every week, will they keep coming back? If you’re a coach, will they go the extra mile for you?
I personally had a offensive line coach in Junior College (Mt. Sac) that worked us like DOG's, I mean at the time I think he was trying to kill us...lol. I have never worked that hard in my life! He was mean at times, but he was not disrespectful, he would give phrase when we deserved it, and screamed at us when we screwed up! He was REALLY hard, the hardest coach I ever had, but he was also the best coach I have ever had, I learned a lot! And I am still friends with him to this day.
In short, you can still be a hard SOB, and be a great coach; sure we hated going to practice because we worked like dogs! It was funny because we would MotherF him after practice because he worked us so hard, (he would always say “I know you guys sit at home and MF me”, and we always did!!), but we loved the guy, he was a great coach, we loved playing for him and we would always go the extra mile. We all trusted him that it would all pay off, because he had that way about him!
The point being you can work your players like dogs and they will still love you for it!! If you have great communication skills! If you treat your players with respect and convey your information in a positive way!!!
FYI: We ended up one of the best teams in the country! Our Offensive Line killed people, our RB (1,000 rushing, 1,000 receiving) went to USC and our QB went to K-State.
PS. I will never forget the day we walked into the weight room on the second day of 2-a-days (hell week) and we found a large dog bone on the desk, we all looked at each other like WTF, then coach came in a few minutes later and said "I have worked you all like dogs, so now I'm giving you a bone", we had the day off, the 12 of us Offensive lineman went to the beach for the day and the rest of the team never even said a word about us getting the day off durning 2 a days! (they all said its about time the big guys get a break) O the glory years!