Coaching with Energy from a Distance

“Be the energy catalyst in the room.” This is something that Jim Davis used to say to us all the time when I worked for him. It was some of the best advice I have received as a coach and something that I try and pass along to other coaches as well.You bring the energy, you bring the excitement – the kids will respond in turn.

Occasionally, there will be forces outside of your control and no matter how hard you try to fight against them, it’s just not a battle that you’re going to win. Now more than ever, I’d say we have all found ourselves in this position.

The room is gone, but the need to be the energy catalyst is more important now than ever.

Another piece of pertinent advice I received in my time with Coach Davis was to always try and end each day on a positive note. That doesn’t mean sugarcoat the truth but rather frame the situation in a way that gives the athletes and coaches something to look forward to, a reason to come back, a new challenge to overcome… and most of all the hope that the current struggle we face will not be enough to keep us down.

Is the situation unprecedented? Of course, but that just means our response must be as well.

I feel for all of the athletes who had their seasons ended by circumstances outside of their control. While the decision to do so was the correct one it still is undoubtedly a tough pill to swallow. The vast majority of athletes don’t get a say in when their season or career will come to an end, but I doubt that any of them envisioned that it would end like this.

If I am going to adhere to the lessons that I claim to subscribe to then it is on me to find a way to continue to be optimistic for my athletes even when – especially when – the outlook is uncertain.

That is why we are so excited about the opportunity that Powerlifting Nationals provides. We are giving those athletes something to work for, something to look forward to, and a community to be a part of.

The other wonderful thing about this opportunity is that we can maintain an element of control that other sports cannot. We can train from afar, we can decide when we compete, and we can share our progress alongside those other competitors, all while adhering to the guidelines that will benefit the greater good.

as a coach, it is on me to find a way to continue to be optimistic for my athletes

We are going to have to get creative with training because of access. Well here’s my opportunity to get creative with programming and figure out how to overcome that hurdle. That’s an exciting idea to me – a new opportunity to grow and improve as a coach.

We may even have to push the date of the competition back, so everyone has ample time and access to a weight room. The great thing is that we can do that with the click of a button and a few tweets and emails!

Is the situation unprecedented? Of course, but that just means our response must be as well.

When we first launched, we got a response from the parent of one of my student-athletes that read, “you don’t realize how excited my son was to hear that he may be able to ‘virtually’ compete. I hope this happens.”

Good news, it’s happening.  

We’re fired up and going full steam ahead.

Our athletes at Saint Viator are in, are you?

Registration and info for Powerlifting Nationals 2020: https://www.goodathleteproject.com/powerliftingnationals

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