Communication is Important
Communication is key. Everyone alive knows how important communication is. Now, acting that communication is a different story.
In the realm of sports performance, fitness, strength sports, etc. communicating with the coach is highly important. Communication is a two way street. The coach needs to be able to communicate how to do things, why the program was designed the way it was, what the athlete needs to do better to reach his or her goals, and so on. The athlete and client need to be able to communicate back to the coach wherever the coach’s information is not working or is misunderstood, etc. For example, if you are an athlete and a coach says something that seems to make no sense at all, rather than acting as if it does make total sense, the best route to get the best result is to maybe say, “I don’t understand what that means, could you explain it in a different way.” A good coach will be more than happy to explain things differently because your progress is important to them. If a coach is not willing to explain things differently then it may be time to find a new coach.
Communication and Injuries
Another big reason why communication is so important between coach and athlete/client is injuries. If something is bothering you during a training session the worst thing to do is to not let the coach know. If the coach doesn’t know then he or she has no way of helping you. I don’t know if people think it is a sign of weakness to tell the coach something hurts or is bothering them, but it can be a great hinderance to performance if it is not communicated. There have been plenty of times where an athlete or client seems to be in great agony and I ask them, “what is going on?” The answer I’ve been given a lot of times is, “oh it’s just my back it’s been bothering me for a couple weeks now.” This is often times frustrating because I feel like, as a coach, I could’ve done something to help make the situation better if it was communicated right away.
If minor injuries or pain are not communicated right away then there is a likelihood that they can get worse and become even bigger problems later down the road. What was once just lower back tightness could potentially be a chronic problem if the coach isn’t able to step in and take the necessary steps to solve the issue. If you are an athlete and want to succeed at the highest level then it is important to communicate all things to the coach. Be that annoying person because it is in your best interest.
Communication for Longevity and Sustainability
The best thing anyone can do for their health and performance is to be able to stay consistent for a long period of time. Force Barbell is built on the pillars of empathy and accountability. These are two items of communication that need to be equally balanced to sustain the long-term consistency of athletes, clients, and coaches. Without them being properly balanced things can fall out of line. Clients and athletes may leave, and even coaches will leave if they aren’t able to communicate these two things because they probably won’t value what they are doing.
Without getting too lost on the concept of applying empathy and accountability, I want to highlight the importance of communication to keep training sustainable for a long period of time. Poor communication is one of the top reasons people leave the gym. They may feel like the coach treated them unfairly, and rather than communicating that with the coach they might just leave to avoid the uncomfortable conversation. Someone might stop training because they aren’t getting the results they wanted. Rather than communicating this and trying to find some corrections to the training program, they might just leave to avoid hurting the coaches feelings. Another reason why someone might stop training is because they are getting “burnt out.” Again, instead of communicating with the coach about why their motivation is so low or why they just don’t love coming to the gym anymore, they might just leave because they think it is the right thing to do. Any issue that doesn’t get communicated stays in your mind and you sort of dig yourself into this emotional hole. Which is why when people stop training for whatever reason they aren’t any happier and that same thing is eating away at them subconsciously because they haven’t communicated it.
Communication is a Two Way Street
I don’t want to finish this article by implying that it is always the clients who do not communicate because that is just not true. As a coach you have to keep athletes and clients accountable and you also have to have empathy to open up a honest line of communication. It is the coach’s job to create trust with everyone in the gym so they feel comfortable enough to communicate anything that is going on. As a coach, I generally take responsibility if something isn’t communicated, because that just means that I did something to not make someone comfortable enough to communicate, and now there is something I can change to make the situation better next time.
Without communication it is very hard to find success in health and performance. You not only need people around you, but you need open lines of communication with the people around you. Start by creating honest and open communication with the group around you and see where everyone’s training starts to go!