The 10 Types of Coaches and How to Spot Them

Rick McCharles shared this on Gymnastics 


View Original article in Breaking Muscle 

Chet Morjaria Contributor – Strength Training, Strongman, and Olympic Weightlifting

Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of different types of coaches. Hell, I’ve been plenty of different types of coaches. And I’ve figured out a few things along the way so far.

I’ve figured out that to be the best coach you can be you need to strike a balance between a number of seemingly contradictory principles. Coaching is a journey, full of these contradictions and conundrums. And along the way, coaches tend to drop in and out of different coaching styles.

For me, the mark of an outstanding and experienced coach is someone who has been through this all and is able to balance the different types of coaching to form a style of instruction and leadership that is far greater than the sum of its parts. I’ve always thought it would be useful to come up with a summary of these different parts, so coaches can compare against them, and see not only where they currently sit, but where they can improve and what they need to add to their coaching to become more well-rounded, and therefore better able to serve their clients.

Here are the ten types of coaches I came up with. Take a look through and see if you recognize anyone you know (especially yourself)

The Programmer

More at home in front of a spreadsheet than in front of an athlete, the Programmer is clever and well read, with the foresight and vision to put it all into practice. He knows exactly how to get you from where you are to where you need to be. Often trying out different methods on himself, the Programmer is a human guinea pig when it comes to trying out training approaches.

The Athlete

The Athlete leads by example. She is athlete first and coach second. She can often be found joining in the session with classes or clients. She likes to demo everything. Probably more than once. She tends to struggle to work with those who don’t move well or don’t work hard. She is naturally a good athlete and works hard herself. The Athlete can be selfish when it comes to her time and energy – she always comes first.

The Motivator

The Motivator comes in various guises. Often with a background as a trainer in a commercial gym, the motivator spends most of his time shouting at his athlete in a way that could be loosely identified as “encouragement.” The Motivator is otherwise known as the Bootcamp Boss or the Cheerleader.

The Technician

The Technician is much sought after. She has a keen eye for movement and can pick up on technical faults others miss, but she sometimes gets a bit too technical. Unlike her colleagues who can take an athlete apart (if not a little coarsely), the Technician is adept at putting the athlete back together again so that he or she functions better than previously – which, after all, is the whole point.

The Learner

The Learner can often be found furthering his own knowledge at a course or certification. He has the best collection of books and eBooks in the gym. He knows a little bit about everything, and a lot about some things. If you’re about to embark on something new, speak to the Learner before you do.

A dangerous sub-species of the Learner is the Pseudo-Learner. The Pseudo-Learner is much the same as the Learner, except for the fact that his attendance at courses and certifications doesn’t seem to make much, if any, change to his daily coaching skills and practices.

The Observer

You may not even realize the Observer is there. She can be found lurking in the shadows, watching your lifts. Sometimes she gives feedback via email or message and will on occasions give you feedback a few days later. She doesn’t say much unless questioned or prompted, but when asked, the feedback is short – and deadly accurate. In fact it will probably rock your world.
The Presenter

No matter what the question, the Presenter is able to put it in a way that is meaningful to the athlete. He is skilled in breaking down complex ideas into simple structures. He can mostly be found at the front of the class, sometimes for a little too long as he tends to like listening to himself.

The Judge

The Judge values form over, well, anything else. Workouts are judged to strict standards, and any deviation from proper form is immediately corrected. The Judge is a perfectionist, perhaps to a fault. She is a stickler for rules, regulations, and timekeeping. If the Judge is in charge, you know things will get done properly.

The Professional

The Professional may not have the best bedside manner in the gym, but this translates to a platform-side manner that gets the best out of you. You want him by your side when you are competing. He is often a seasoned high-level competitor, with the cynicism and grumpiness that goes with seeing it all before. When it comes to competition, the Professional knows best, and has an air of calm knowledge and confidence that filters right down to the lifter.

The Friend

The Friend does not like to offend. The Friend will patiently listen to all of her athlete’s problems and issues and help wherever possible. However, she does not like to give feedback that would cause the athlete to take offence or dislike. In this way, the Friend will not give much in the way of constructive criticism for fear of being disliked. The same is true for calling no-reps or no-lifts.

There we have it. The ten types of coaches you may encounter in the wilderness of the gym, and how to pick them out. But wait, there is actually one additional type of coach:

The Ultimate

The Ultimate is an extremely rare breed. If you know one of these, find a way to get coached by him. If you’re lucky enough to be coached by him already, you need to keep him on your team. The Ultimate is a killer combination of all of the above coaches. He displays:

  • The analysis of the Programmer
  • The ability of the Athlete
  • The encouragement of the Motivator
  • The eye of the Technician
  • The passion of the Learner
  • The succinctness of the Observer
  • The clarity of the Presenter
  • The standards of the Judge
  • The experience of the Professional
  • The patience of the Friend

Coaches, take a look at these types of coaches and think about which type or types you are. Be honest. Few of us are going to be the Ultimate. But many of us will be a combination of a handful of these types of coach. All of the types have good points and bad points about them. Use this list to work out where your strengths are, and where the gaps in your coaching are. Take the best points of each type and mold yourself into the best coach you can be.

Which type or types of coach are you? Post to the comments below.

Your Gymnastics Customers Want Video!

Get A YouTube channel!

While the quality of YouTube comments can be questionable, YouTube drives the most engaged traffic, according to a new study from Boston-based content-sharing Shareaholic. Meaning, YouTube users can be some of the most desirable customers a brand can have. We are the most visual sport out there. Why is someone going to READ about gymnastics when they can watch it!

Video watchers are especially engaged and are more receptive to links within video descriptions, the study says. YouTube produced the lowest average bounce rate (about 43 percent), the highest pages per visit (2.99) and the longest visit duration (just under four minutes) the study reports. Viewers are used to spending a lot of time watching video, so what’s one more click to them?

While Google+ and LinkedIn don’t rake in the social referrals, the ones they do get are solid. Google+ users on average spend more than three minutes clicking things shared by their connections and bounce about 50 percent of the time. LinkedIn users normally spend more than two minutes on each link.

The time you spent crafting the perfect tweet and Facebook post amount to similar bounce rates (56 percent), pages per visit (just over two), and time on site (two minutes).

And Pinterest, while pleasing to the eye, only heeds a little more than a minute on a site post-click.

Your Customers Are Likely More Engaged on YouTube Than on Facebook or Twitter

5 Social Media Trends your Gymnastics Club needs to be aware of

The social media landscape is evolving rapidly, and therefore, your social media marketing strategy cannot remain static. Instead, it’s important to reevaluate business goals, social media campaigns, platform results and revise your strategy at least once a year. Since the gymnastics business is largely around the school year, it may be a good idea to re-think your strategy with dates that follow the school schedule.

Being aware of trends in the social sphere can help you design better strategies, apply the most effective tactics and choose where to invest your staff as well as financial resources. Here are the top five social media trends every entrepreneur needs to think about for 2014 and beyond:

1. Diversify. You’ve probably seen headlines about Facebook’s algorithm changes. If you currently operate a brand or business page, one study found that only six percent of followers currently see your posts. Experts suggest that that number will continue to plummet, eventually reaching one percent.

This bid by Facebook is aimed at increasing advertising dollars. But it highlights a potential weakness in many business’ social strategies: overdependence on any single platform puts you at the mercy of that platform’s whims. Whether it crashes or simply changes its rules, too much is at stake.

2. Google+ is for real. If there’s one social network businesses should pay specific attention to, it’s Google+, which is already playing a more important role in Google’s organic ranking algorithm. I expect this trend will continue.

To the surprise of many across the SEO industry (search engine optimization), Google’s Matt Cutts confirmed in a recent video that Facebook and Twitter have no impact on SEO rankings as a result of crawling and accessibility issues. So it stands to reason that if Google wants to use social signals for organic search rankings, it could easily mine Google+ data, where its crawler access is unhindered.

Google+ is also the best way to get access to Google Authorship, which will play a huge role in SEO by the end of the year. Google Authorship helps the search engine identify your content, attribute it to the correct author and build a portfolio for each author that may include what many are calling “Author Rank” — algorithmic scoring based on author expertise and publishing history.

In most cases, an image of the author appears next to their content in search results, which also increases visibility and click-through rates.

3. Integration of social media, SEO, and content creation. The online marketing industry is moving away from the idea that social media, SEO and content marketing happen in isolation. Social media marketing decisively impacts how content is seen and shared.

Content creation and marketing have direct implications for your SEO performance — especially in light of Google’s latest algorithm updates. It’s important that you think of the three pillars of online marketing — SEO, content and social media — as a system that works synergistically to increase visibility, build your brand and ultimately garner customers and sales.

4. Visual content will win. An estimated 63 percent of social media comprises imagery. As such, visual platforms are playing an increasing role in social media for businesses. One study found that 29 percent of Pinterest users bought an item after posting or re-pinning it on the network.

Video content is also hotter than ever, with the addition of networks like Vine and Instagram featuring microvideos. Infographics are another effective promotion tool for businesses with both a bounty of data and absorbing stories to tell.

Not every platform will be right, but spending the time to find the visual angle to your business’ story and experimenting with different content formats can help revitalize your social media marketing strategy.

5. Social media as a brand builder. Social media channels should be managed according to a brand-oriented approach. Building your brand on any platform impacts your SEO and improves sales over the long term.

Are the visuals of your social media accounts consistent with the rest of your visual branding? Is your account name or any other copy branded? Are you regularly filtering your status updates to ensure they’re on-message and consistent with the overall brand that you’re building? Focusing on building your brand through your social interactions should be a key focus this year.

If evolutions in social media have taught us anything so far this year, it’s that entrepreneurs with flexible and engaged approaches will have the highest ROI. Take the time to understand general trends and focus on core goals, but also take action to experiment with specific tactics that will grow and change as your business evolves.

8 Things I’ve Learned About Starting a Gymnastics Club

It’s 2014 — which means that 20 years ago we started ATLANTIC GYMNASTICS TRAINING CENTER   in Portsmouth, NH. I’m always nostalgic on April 15 (Tax day here in the USA), thinking about how far we’ve come as company and how far I’ve come as an owner.  On a day like today, I wish I could reach back into the past and talk to Tony Retrosi, 1994. 

If I could talk to Tony 1994,  here are eight things I would tell him:

1. Your team is everything: You won’t get very far with this gym without a fantastic group of people with you along the journey. Hire slowly, and fire fast. Pay close attention to what makes each person tick. Some of the people around you will become life-long friends. Cori has been with me since the day I opened. I need to remember to tell her how much I appreciate her.

2. It’s going to take longer than you think: Everything is going to take a lot longer, including developing the lesson plans, raising money, hiring a team and growing the business. Starting a gym isn’t a short-term affair. Be prepared for a very long ride.

3. Starting a gymnastics club  can be full of heartache: The road you’re about to embark on will be a very tough journey, and you’re going to feel deep sadness and heartache along the way. You’ll be betrayed, tricked and ridiculed. But just know that around the bend is another day, and it does get better.

4. Don’t compare yourself to other gyms: Oh, this is so hard. But it’s critical to your sanity. You’re going to see other gymnastics clubs get more funding, have a bigger space, better equipment and other gym club owners start numerous gyms while you’re still working on this one. You’ll see club owners with more Twitter followers and gyms with more clients. Remember, you can only control your small sphere and you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to keep up with others. Figure out what is going to set you apart from the rest. Find your own identity. (CAUTION- Do not unnecessarily  reinvent the wheel.)

5. Don’t worry about the competitions: You can spend lots of time worried about what your competition is doing, or you can focus on what you can control. Hire a great team, build a great product, and focus on revenue and costs of your own business. The competition will come and go, but you control your own destiny.

6. Raising money is very, very hard: It’s difficult to put into words just how hard it is to convince people to part with their money and invest it in your gym. Until you get the check in the bank, anything can happen. The key to success is presenting the company as an investment opportunity. Remember, people have lots of places they can invest their money. Find ways to get people truly excited to invest in your company.

7. Survive and advance: Like the NCAA basketball tournament (“March Madness”) it doesn’t matter how you win — just find a way to survive and advance. When you look back, the details will be fuzzy, but what you will always remember is that you found a way to survive. And that’s more than most entrepreneurs can say.

8. Form your own opinion: You’re going to be surrounded by lots of so-called experts along the way (ME INCLUDED!). Listen to what they have to say, but make sure you form your own opinion. It’s their 15 minutes of advice, but it’s your company. And you have to live with the decisions.

TONY SAYS: They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are successful gymnastics clubs. In fact 99 percent of successful gyms grind it out every day and wake up many years later just hoping to have seen some success. Today, I’m going to pause for a moment to celebrate just how far we’ve come. What a ride it’s been!

9 Ways to Become a Better Leader

Encourage employees to disagree with you. 

Gyms get into trouble when everyone is afraid to speak truth to power. Whether it is a business decision or a technical decision.  If all you hear is how great you’re doing, that should be a danger sign that your staff are afraid to disagree.

Don’t micromanage. 

Empower the people below you, then leave them alone. “A good part of leadership is stepping back,” says Bill Pasmore, senior vice president at the Center for Creative Leadership. “A good leader leads from front and back.”

When people err, don’t destroy them.

But make sure they LEARN whatever lessons there are to be learned from their mistakes. Failure is a prerequisite for success. 

Show compassion. 

Develop strong interpersonal relationships at work, so employees have some meaning attached to the work they are doing. One of our key employees recently had a death in the family and missed a lot of time. Instead of being frustrated with the time she was out, all the staff pitched in to help out. Sometimes it was just bringing her a coffee when she was at work. In our industry, we have to make sure everyone views this as MORE THAN JUST A JOB.

Vow to be constantly learning and curious.

It is OK to take risks but always ask yourself, “What is it that I don’t know that I should know? How do I learn it and test it out in situations that are not necessarily safe?” If your staff sees you learning, they will be motivated to learn.

Know yourself. 

“Just like you can’t start a weight-loss program without getting on a scale, you must begin your journey by learning the truth about yourself,” says executive coach Tasha Eurich. “We’re often the worst evaluators of our behavior. One of the biggest problems I see is a real lack of self-awareness. Executives often aren’t aware of who they are as people and the impact they have on others.”

Be laser-focused. 

Stick to one goal at a time.  Coaches who have transitioned into gym owners or managers often choose too many development goals. Give yourself the greatest chance for victory by developing one thing at a time. It is far better to make progress in one area than to make little or none in five.

Get rid of poor managers. 

“Of the 60 top executives at Continental, I probably replaced 40 who were not team players,” says retired airline CEO Gordon Bethune. “Don’t tolerate factionalism, backstabbing or prima donnas. Everyone wins, or no one wins.”

Practice leadership skills daily.

“The amount of deliberate practice you choose will be proportionate to your improvement,” Eurich says. “It’s like learning a violin concerto. You have to learn the concepts, then you practice every day to create beautiful music.”

You may want to read a past post, WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM GEESE 

Job Opening in NJ

Bright Stars Gymnastics Academy is seeking a Team Director/Head Coach for our fully equipped, 21,000 square-foot facility in South Jersey. (Approx. 1 hour from Philadelphia and 15 minutes from Atlantic City) We are looking for a leader with experience who wants the challenge of growing our successful existing girl’s program. Applicant must possess a passion for teaching children & developing athletes, have a strong work ethic, believe in a positive environment, be a positive role model, possess high values, loyalty & integrity, have strong technical knowledge & spotting abilities, be willing to work with all USAG levels & development programs and work well with co-coaches.
Additional requirements are as follows:
Current USAG member & certifications up to date.
Successfully pass an extensive background & reference list check.
Strong ability to coach levels 9+ a plus.
Professional, friendly, “kids first” attitude, with a love for teaching.
Excellent leadership; managing program for quality & consistency.
Demonstrate ability to be a Team player.
Responsible, reliable & safety-minded.
Strong organizational skills.
Ability to work & communicate effectively with staff, kids and parents.
Ability to work evening & weekend hours, & travel to competitions.
Coaching up to 28+ hours/week; administrative duties up to 8+ hours/week.
Professional Development – Attend Clinics & Certifications
Pay based on experience & knowledge.
Email cover letter & resume.
Bright Stars Gymnastics Academy
3330 Bargaintown Rd. Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234

Job Opening in Iceland

Grótta gymnastic club in Iceland is looking for a full time professional WAG
coach for girls 10-20 years old, all together 22 that train in two different
groups. Two of the girls are in the Icelandic senior national team, one in
the junior team and three girls are in the Icelandic youth program.

We are looking for a coach that can start working soon, temporary or for a
longer period of time. This could be interesting experience for someone that
is between jobs or looking for new one.

For more information contact Sesselja Järvelä head coach of Grótta gymnastic

phone +354-8936658.