Have you ever noticed that some days there is a different energy or vibe to your classes?
You may have one class, in particular, that is “low-energy” in comparison to your other classes. What about your early morning class?
Obviously, folks that have just gotten out of bed to get to your class aren’t going to be as alert as the athletes in your afternoon classes. But can we influence the “tone” or “energy” in our classes? The answer is an unequivocal yes!
I’m not one to be able to hide how I’m feeling. People have said throughout my life that “I wear my heart on my sleeve” and I agree wholeheartedly (see what I did there? 😉.)
When I first started coaching group classes, it was a strange time in my life for me. I had recently come back from a deployment (my wife and I opened our box exactly one month after I got home.) Like any “tough guy” I thought I’d be fine.
A lot of the issues I was dealing with spilled over to my work; I didn’t know how to NOT bring my feelings to work with me. This is something I struggled with for a few years that I’m sure influenced the initial success of our gym (and not in a good way.)
After a lot of self-assessment, and talking about my feelings, things started to improve. I realized that my feelings had no place being in my work.
Everyone has things going on in their lives (my wife always says, “everyone is fighting their own battle”) and no one was coming to our facility to see if I was having a bad day.
Of course, putting a fake smile on was impossible for me to do as well. The end result was facing these issues, looking at myself in the mirror, and coming to terms that I needed to start loving myself again.
Sounds easy on paper, but it’s one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. This translates to your own inner peace that you can carry with you in whatever role you have in life.
I know a lot of Veterans have struggled with these issues and I wouldn’t wish these feelings on anyone. Sadly enough, a lot of people do not take the necessary steps to address how they’re feeling.
Luckily for me owning a box, I was almost forced to. To be honest, if I didn’t own a gym, I may not have been able to really look at myself in the mirror and say, “things need to change.”
Owning the gym and dealing with people on a daily basis brought these issues to the surface and forced me to dive in headlong.
Long story short, my confidence changed my coaching. It changed my ability to ensure I was the best version of myself for each class.
Overall, we all deal with setbacks. It really comes down to how we rationalize these setbacks and not let them control our healthy side.
As coaches, we are 100% capable of turning our class into the best hour of someone’s day, where they can forget about all the other troubles in their lives for 60 minutes.
I’ve always thought that it is a must for a coach to be able to leave their own troubles at the door. No one is coming to your class to deal with a coach’s shitty attitude.
Your athletes are depending on you not only to ensure they are receiving the proper guidance and coaching but also for you to be able to motivate and inspire them.
How great of an athlete you are means nothing if you cannot connect with your athletes
So what are some strategies for ensuring your athletes are getting the best of you in any given class of the day?
- Leave your problems at the door: Again, no one cares if you are having a bad day. We are in the business of inspiring, not intimidating.
- Be approachable: This goes hand-in-hand with number one. If you bring your problems to work you certainly won’t have an approachable disposition.
- Smile: My wife always used to give me shit and tell me I’m too serious. She was right and smiling more is something I really had to work on and practice. Try it more, and I promise you’ll be happier from simply doing so.
- Break the ice: Come up with creative games to start off the first 5 minutes of your classes. One I really love is simply getting everyone together and making sure everyone knows each other’s name. Sounds simple, but it really changes the comfort level of a class.
- Be confident: Speak with conviction in your voice that you know what you’re doing.
- Be loud: Coaches should never be whispering. In most cases, you’ll have a group of people it gets very easy for someone to not hear what you’re saying and lose your message altogether.
- Start your classes on time: Don’t fall into the trap of waiting for people to show. You’re running the show here, not your clients. If your class starts at 5:30, start your class at 5:30.
- 100% of your attention to the class: Don’t even bring your cell-phone to class, it will only distract you and give people the impression that you don’t give a shit.
- Be professional: As coaches, we develop relationships with our clients, but remember if you want to be treated like a pro you need to act like one; your athletes are your clients, not your buddies.
- Coach your athletes: I know it goes without saying, but I can’t even tell you how many boxes I’ve been to that coaches don’t coach! EVERYONE needs coaching, even your best athletes.
In short, your clients being comfortable in your facility is paramount. This type of thinking starts at the top and will carry over to your staff if you lead this way.
Never accept “low energy” from yourself or from your coaches.