As a Strength and Conditioning coach and owner of Reach Your Potential Training, I have a mission to develop and inspire as many coaches and athletes as I possibly can. With an ever-evolving internship program, this vision allows me to stay in pursuit of my mission. When it comes to developing past, current, and future interns I don’t do it because I feel obligated to, I do it because I love it. By giving young coaches valuable experiences and allowing them to grow, I know that more athletes will be given opportunities to develop not only as athletes but more importantly, as people.
“No man can become rich without enriching others.”- Andrew Carnegie
Do not confuse being rich with wealth. As a fan of John Gordon’s, The Carpenter, I believe a rich life consists of love, service, and care. Love what you do, provide a service that you can express that love within, and care for others as you provide them with your service. When it comes to developing my interns, this is one of the many lessons I hope to instill within them. As my interns spend their time with athletes and coaches at Reach Your Potential Training, I want them not to ask themselves, “What am I getting here?” but rather “Who am I becoming here?” For their time spent here will not be utilized to just clean and organize the facility (don’t get me wrong there will be plenty of that), but to gain coaching experiences that they can learn and develop from.
Throughout my coaching career there have been three key components to my success. These have been the importance of developing relationships, paying attention to detail, and developing your character and allowing it to flourish as you coach. If there is anything my interns take from there time here I hope it is at least one of these points. When it comes to developing relationships, before we leave the office after every morning meeting, the coaches and interns will hear me say, “Now get out there, and go develop some relationships!” As social beings, forming relationships with others is essential to our development. When you get to know someone, understand where they are coming from, and what their goals are, you can make decisions specific to their personality and needs in helping them attain their ambitions. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. An athlete will work harder for you when they know you care about them.
When it comes to paying attention to detail, it is critical in avoiding errors, maintaining efficiency, and making a good impression. If you cannot handle the little things, you will never be able to handle the big things. If you were to walk into Reach Your Potential, it would be hard not to notice the organization, from the color coordinated and precisely placed cones, to the uniform arrangement of the plates, kettlebells, and dumbbells. And it’s all for the athletes, when they get to train in environment so neatly organized for them, it gives them a feeling of importance and value.
As far as coaching goes, interns at RYPT get experience that you cannot find anywhere else. My staff and I make sure that our interns have a general knowledge base of the RYPT system before we throw them in the fire. But just as important as their knowledge is their confidence and eagerness to learn and grow as coaches. Interns do not simply walk in on day one and begin coaching, they earn the right by showing up on time, asking questions, conveying their integrity, and actively learning throughout the process. No one deserves anything, they must earn it.
When we have our interns coach our athletes it is important that we let them know that there will be times where you fail. Whether it’s giving the wrong cue for an exercise or taking too much time during a warm-up, they will make mistakes. Although they will fail, it is in these moments of failure that will determine their success as a coach. We want to see our interns be able to refine their skills after each session. These are the moments the interns develop their character. I want the intern to be able to think for him/herself and not have to rely on me and my staff for the answers. When my interns leave Reach Your Potential Training after they have gone through our internship process, I want them to be confident in their skills and character. I want them to inspire others. I want them to go beyond the expected!
A Message to Future Interns
You will be given as much responsibility as you demonstrate you can handle. Developing a great work ethic will allow you to learn and develop the knowledge to assume more responsibility in the strength and conditioning program. You get what you put into it! Be who you are, but understand who we are and what WE stand for. Don’t just talk about it; be about it!