Often times, as a beginner in anything athletic, you just want to start doing something before you discover you want to commit to an athletic endeavour fully and completely.
The value of coaching is up to you and the answer is “it depends” on your stage in life, other personal commitments and how bad you want it.
Take running for instance.
All you need is a pair of decent running shoes, athletic socks, jogging pants or shorts and t-shirt and you just go.
Maybe you were inspired by a friend who completed a half-marathon, read a few articles and watched a few videos on Youtube, and you think have an idea of what good running form looks like.
But, you’re not entirely sure of yourself.
Whether it’s for running or CrossFit, you just do it, and learn through doing nd emulating the basics.
Taking it to the next level
Becoming serious about your training, however, is an entirely different story.
It requires more than relentless discipline, focus outside of the blood, sweat and tears you already shed during training.
It requires the help of others to help you to continually break your personal records and progress.
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Keep in mind however, when I mean coaching, I don’t mean private coaching as that may be quite cost prohibitive for the majority of us “normal folk”, especially if you’re at an amateur level, I’m including group coaching whether it’s CrossFit, Bootcamps, Olympic weightlifting, running clinics, virtual training groups and the like.
Luckily, at CrossFit Toronto we have coaches that specialize in other disciplines outside of CrossFit, such as Olympic Weightlifting with Coach Smith, along with John, Machiko, Amelia, and Krista for strength & conditioning programming.
Heck, if you want to do Strongman training we have Coach Warren who has a specialization in that.
Here are the most likely objections from having a coach.
Budget / Resources
This may be very much a valid excuse for many people and I totally get that.
It really depends on how serious you are in terms of the sport you’re pursuing and much value you place in your health, nutrition and fitness to be able to justify the costs of hiring a coach, even if it’s temporary to allow yourself to get to the next level.
You’re paying for the guidance, wisdom and knowledge that a coach can impart upon you. If money really was an issue, perhaps you can find some space in your budget and give up something temporarily to make space in your budget to afford it.
It’s not so much that coaches have secret knowledge that will allow you to unlock your potential. It has to do with the amount of experience and wisdom they’ve accumulated over the years.
Wisdom and experience
Mimicking can only take you so far.
This is something you simply can’t assimilate purely through watching passively from Youtube.
As with countless others, you learn by doing and having the careful guidance of a coach that carefully takes into the considerations and nuances of your current fitness level, your nutrition, strength and overall ability.
Having someone saddled with years of experience not only allows you to continually grow, but it allows you to keep training safely for the long haul and overcoming plateaus because a coach has seen these issues time and time again.
You can become “competent” over time, sooner or later you’ll stall.
If you’re okay with that and just in it for the fitness aspects, you can continue doing that if you’re okay with mediocre results compared to someone who trains semi-frequently
However, with the proper coaching and you can shave off months of your training by providing programming that allow you to continue to progress at a pace that’s challenging and that would help you surmount whatever obstacle you’re facing.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
Simply put, there’s some stuff that you won’t even be cognizant of. Things that are invisible to the eye but make the world of a difference.
An example for those who have done any amount of strength training or Olympic weightlifting will appreciate, something so simple but effective that is pretty much invisible and automatic in our training.
When it comes to strength training through barbells or olympic weightlifting, having the proper breathing technique makes the world of a difference in terms of being able to execute a heavy lift properly by stabilizing your spine.
Something small like that, which helps you lift much more safely, along with more weight and intensity can cut your training time by months.
You can get by on sheer strength or luck, but through proper coaching and technique you can lift even more for a more effective training regimen.
That Extra Push
If you’re under the tutelage of a really good coach, they’ll understand the nuances of how you work, your psychology and when to push you just a little more or hang back to let you struggle on your own and fail before they step in and give you the necessary feedback to help you progress.
Having someone you trust completely as opposed to a group who “thinks” they know what they’re doing will make a world of a difference in your results, time and money invested as well. Compounded over time, how much further or better do you think you’d be without one?
So what are your thoughts on the value of coaches ?