What is our goal for our internships? We want to create an educational experience that we would have wanted during our own formalized schooling. We are also trying to create a total educational experience that if we showed our interns this picture below...
This summer has been no different, as we have 4 interns that started a few weeks ago, and so far it has been a great start for them. The summer internship is quite different than during the regular school semesters. During the summer we are busy all day! On a normal day during the school year we would usually see 15-20 athletes come through our program each afternoon, during the summer that will triple and go all day. This leaves little time to spend going over the finer details of our programs. This means that they get a crash course in the "What we do, How we do it, and (most importantly) WHY we do it" for each area of our programming. But most importantly, they also need to pick up our greatest lesson right away. So what is the greatest lesson we teach our interns?
Training is not COACHING.
It goes without saying, that we do things a little different here. This can be simple as "Caturday", where you wear your favorite cat shirt (ideally on Saturday), or as complicated as having a Unicorn demonstrate an exercise sporting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle footie pajamas... for grownups.
So our interns must grasp what a coach IS.
Here is how we see it when it comes to being a coach, and also what you can expect from us...
- A coach builds you up
* I had the pleasure of hearing legendary NFL Coach Dick Vermil speak at the Perform Better Functional Training Summit in Providence RI two years ago, and he spoke about this concept directly. He mentioned that there were plenty of times in his coaching career that he needed to "break down and athlete" either physically or mentally, but the key is you must ALWAYS pick them back up. "That is your JOB!"
- Believe in them more than they believe in themselves
* Failure is part of the learning process. Sometimes it is the best teacher. A coach's role is to recognize when an athlete loses faith in the process and give them realization that they will reach their goals.
- Worry about their wellbeing more than they do
* Some athletes will push themselves beyond the brink of safety. As coaches our concern is always providing a safe and effective path to reach the end goal. A coach is paramount in this process.
- Get them excited about them
* As coaches in our programs, we have the opportunity to provide great results that will show up as improvement on the court, field, ice, etc for our athletes or fitting into clothing that you haven't worn in years for our gen pop clients. This should create such excitement to the members, but only if the vision is planted by our coaches. We need to give them their WHY.
-Leads you into and joins you in your journey
* I wrote previously about going through our New Year, New You Challenge here, where I participated with our members in a weight loss challenge, and the importance of leading from the front. But one of the greatest things about coaching athletes is that you get to watch them play. And if you are lucky enough to work with professional athletes you get to be a small part of their livelihood. This became very apparent to me this past spring when I traveled to watch my good friend and client, Justin Mercier, play hockey for the Rochester Americans. Justin was on a long road trip and hadn't seen his family, including his infant daughter Lila, in a number of days. Justin played great and was named the player of the game. More importantly, seeing and speaking with him after the game, with his appreciation for me being there, I came to a realization that I am part of his journey. And that is pretty special!