Real Life Examples of Successful Coaching

How do you define success as a coach?

Is it by wins? Is it by commitment levels? Is it by keeping athletes out of trouble?

These are all great things for your athletes to achieve but what I realized a few years ago about all these goals was that they were temporary and only lasted as long as the time that you had with these athletes. The turnover rate was too high to make long lasting change.

Life cycle of an athlete

In our gym, I’ve seen a trend of how our athletes progress through our program. They begin their first 3-6 months of CrossFit about 2-or-3 times a week. Around 6 months-to-a-year they upgrade to 3-to-4 times a week, some even manage Unlimited classes if they can afford it. But something interesting happens around the second year for those that stick around. They reduce their frequency and instead compliment their workouts with other training protocols outside of the gym, either in a small commercial gym or they build their own gym in their garage.

Changing the psychology

Did you see what happened there? The psychology of this individual changed. Through our program, I empowered these athletes’s to take control of their own fitness. I equipped them well enough with proper movement, and a sound training protocol to do workouts on their own. No longer do I have to “hold their hand” towards lifelong health and fitness.

[Related: Set Goals, Not Resolutions]

This is powerful because these individuals most often than not came to me because they wanted results but didn’t know how to achieve them. They were fed up with the conventional model of fitness and dieting. They were bored out of their minds with machine training. I was able to excite them about fitness enough to take accountability for their own well being.

[Related: Excellence As A Moving Target]

So what makes a successful coach?

When you create enough passion in an individual for a training program or organization like sports that they try to replicate that same experience elsewhere. That’s success. When you see those individuals 5 or 10 years down the road and they’re still involved somehow and someway in the same program you coached them in. To me that’s success. When they come back to visit you during their break or successful careers to come work out and show other athletes what they learned. Now that’s success.

Examples of success include:

  • They train as hard today in strength and conditioning the same way they did when they trained with you
  • Former runners running 5ks for fun
  • They help sponsor yearly fundraising to keep the sport thriving
  • They frequently spectate the sport they participated in
  • They decide to become a coach

This way of coaching is the most powerful form of leadership because it offers an indirect feeder system of passionate people just like you. The program becomes more dominate year after year because you created a love for something that didn’t previous exist to them. Conversely, the byproduct is a healthier lifestyle, where initially it was their only reason for training.


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