Different Strokes for Different Folks

July 20, 2008

Such a large part of training and coaching is the ability to communicate with clients well! Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all communication style that will work with every person. Different clients have different learning styles so what I’ve been learning to do is present instruction and feedback in various ways to accomodate this.

Yesterday I was working with an athlete who’s been training with SST for over a year, and for a while now his program has included a steady dose of deadlifts. There’s just been one issue: his deadlifting form is not the greatest, and it seems that bad habits have been developed due to repetition of improper form. Because of this, fixing the problem has not been a quick process. And I’ve spent time DISCUSSING with this athlete the changes I would like to see in his form, I’ve spent time SHOWING this athlete what the changes should look like in comparision to what he is doing…and other coaches have been doing the same. To show for all this effort on everyone’s part, only minimal improvements have been made.

So yesterday I decided to try a different method: record his sets on a digital camera and let him watch it afterwards while discussing what HE sees.

After the first set, he watched the clip and he realized what us coaches have been telling him for some time now, and the funny thing was all this time, he FELT as though he was making the correct changes! From the clip he saw that this wasn’t the case.

Now we didn’t fix the problem on the very next set, but now that he sees the changes he still needs to make, he is getting closer to the right track.

In summarizing, I have noticed as I’ve been improving my ability to communicate with the clients at SST, that the ability to effectively reach people with different learning styles has been both a challenge but also something that has gotten easier the more that I recognize and adapt to these situations. And I am always surprised at how much the clients continually teach me, when superficially the flow of information would appear very one-sided (me to them).

CB

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