Coaching Style

“Even a coach has a coach” – just me.

As many of us, I started weightlifting from crossfit. After sometime, I fell in love in weightlifting and decided to be good at it.

I realised how technical weightlifting is and thus I’ve decided to join a weightlifting club and have a coach (or coaches) who can help with things.

I’ve come to many different weightlifting clubs around London, and I’ve met some great people there. I also met some people I don’t admire much. To be honest, I think each coach and club has their own style and that’s the beauty of it. I respect all the weightlifter and coach I’ve met in my life. However, I’ve experienced some not-so-fun thing when I came to a club too.

I dropped in to a club where the coach was really strict on “you have to do it this way” without even trying to understand my body movement first. Yes – I believe there are certain sets of rules to do things but I also believe it should be tailored to your body proportion and movements, especially if you have done it for sometimes. If you’re a true beginner – they yes, fine. Let’s try to implement the general rules and see how to adjust it later.

Although the coach was amazing, I don’t plan to come back there. I learnt few cues and tricks during the session but the coach directly put me off by criticising how I did things after seeing my first warm up.

I got it. My technique is crap and far from perfect. I even knew her feedback was very valid as it is my constant weaknesses. I even knew before I joined the session that I would have gotten that feedback. What I didn’t enjoy was how it was said. The coach did not ask my experience nor my feedback during the session. I felt like I am just another person coming to the club.

Don’t get me wrong, I came for the feedback. I also don’t need to be pampered. However, I don’t want to join something that makes me feel as a constant loser at the end of the session.

In my early stage of lifting, I met this amazing coach who also have “”you have to do it this way”. I was a very beginner then, so I did not really know what to do at all. He also always corrected my movement but I was happy with the feedback.

What’s the different? Instead of making me feel like a failure, he gave me cues to improve. He also watched how I move and at the end, he adjust the technique that fits my style. He did not only make me do things the way he wants it, he made me understand why and tailored it for me.

I’ve recently also made a coach – which I started to train with on a more regular basis now. When I asked “do you think it’s okay that I don’t jump much?”, his response was “that’s fine. It’s your style and we work with that”. I love that answer. Not because I want to be right but because he thinks about me as an individual and not just applying general knowledge on me.

I’m sharing this because I think it’s important for us to acknowledge other people as who they are instead of how we think they should be.

We tend to judge people straight away from the way they talk or introduce themselves the first time. That’s normal – that’s how our brain works. However, it’s important to remind ourselves that what we know is not always applicable to others.


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