AM I AN IMPOSTER OR FOREVER A PADAWAN?
Last weekend I revisited my Level 2 CrossFit Trainer course. If you read my blog a few months back, you’d know I was repeating due to the fact that I failed my L3 exam, which lead to my L2 going invalid.
The L2 course focuses much of its attention to improving your ability to teach, see and correct movement, as well as work on your class management, presence and attitude and your ability to demonstrate movement. Much of the the is spent in ‘teach back’ groups, taking other coaches through a movement in a class-like scenario. It sounds not too tough hey. But the bar they set is high (which is a good thing), and all of your bad habits and weaknesses shine through. For many this includes: over explaining, getting around the group and not actually seeing anything to correct, complex correcting, taking the group through a movement breakdown smoothly and correcting too much all at one time.
“Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”
“Surround yourself with people smarter than you.”
“Check your ego.”
Redoing the level 2 course was a fantastic reminder in these three lessons.
We all like to appear good and the greatest of experts in whatever it is we do. I consider myself an excellent coach, but we all need to be put through the ringer from time to time. No matter how good of a coach you are, at a L2 seminar… prepare to be grilled! And I love it!
The pressure, the extreme discomfort, the incredibly sweaty armpits. This is where improvement happens. It certainly doesn’t in the comfort of your own gym with no one looking over your shoulder. But what you get out of these types of workshops depends very much on how you show up mentally.
If you roll in, fixed minded, guards up, you’re in for a tough weekend.
If you show up, open minded, ready to learn, ready to be criticised and critiqued, you’re on!
Nothing challenges your ego more than when you are in a room, surrounded by your peers, having your life’s work scrutinised with a fine tooth comb. The moment you start to approach the situation thinking, “ if I do a poor job I am going to look stupid, they’re going to think I’m a terrible coach, how will this define me as a coach?” your ego has got you.
Rather than staying humble and accepting that we all have room to grow and develop, you’ve put a ceiling on your abilities. You’ve categorised your coaching ability as a fixed trait. You’ve allowed your fears of what others may think of you, or how you define yourself to control your mindset, your decisions, and it will then affect your behaviour.
Of course the feeling of not being as great of a coach as you thought may have been, in front of 3 of the best coaches in the country and your coaching peers is not going to be that great. But only if you choose to define it in that way.
“Oh man, these coaches must think I can’t teach my members a thing! How embarrassing!”
“Rightyo, I did really well in these few areas, but have plenty to improve on there, there and there. Practice these and I’m on my way to becoming up there with the ‘Red Shirts’ one day (CrossFit trainer staff).
When you spend all of your time worrying about how you will be perceived, you blanket yourself with doubt and you resist the ability to learn. Because you are doubting yourself, your coaching becomes poorer, you second guess everything you are saying, you overthink everything, you end up sucking more than if you just let go and let the learning flow.
“When we worry about not already being ‘good’, we don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to become better.”
– me… (I just came up with that then and it sounds too profound to not be written as a quote. haha)
Looking back on the first time I attended a L2, I was far more ‘that guy’. On the first day I felt totally embarrassed and uncomfortable, and I didn’t like it. My ego couldn’t handle being schooled, and so I become a stuttering, sweaty mess. I remember looking over at Tim, co-owner of the gym at the time. About 20 years my senior, he was in another group. He was asking questions, more than anybody else. He couldn’t care for a second that he was struggling in some areas. He didn’t care what people thought. He was there to learn. So he did.
On day two I rocked up with a different mindset, “be more Tim”. Although still uncomfortable, I chose to embrace it and managed to significantly improve by the end of the day.
Be more Tim.