Strength Faction Fall ’15 Coaching Recap

OnwardAs much as we all like to geek out on the X’s and O’s of training, we’re in the people game and we have to make peace with that. People are paying for how they feel around us and for the results we deliver. Sure, our deep subject knowledge is important, and it’s what gets the results, but if we can’t effectively interact with our people we can’t get them the results they want.


Let’s say interact beyond effectively. Any humdrum personal trainer can interact effectively, we have to be coaching superheroes to get our people even better results and to set ourselves apart from every other Tom, Dick and Harry with a training certification.


But we also have to stay in tune with how we interact with ourselves. How do we coach ourselves and construct our inner dialogue? It’s important to note so we get the most out of ourselves. But it’s also key because that inner dialogue is reflected in our interpersonal relationships.


Strength Faction 2016 is going to be loaded with even more coaching philosophy and actionable coaching strategies.


Before we move on, let’s make sure we’ve gathered all we can from the coaching lessons from the fall 2015 Faction.


Self-Determination Theory and Coaching


Our coaching style is build upon self-determination theory—the psychological precept and theory of intrinsic motivation.


Here’s a definition:


A theory of motivation concerned with supporting our natural or intrinsic tendencies to behave in effective and healthy ways.


Layer that with our coaching definition. You won’t find this one in a textbook, so take note!


Inciting the right challenges and offering the right interventions at the right times to help a person, or group of people, move toward their desired outcome based on personality, current status and goals.


First, work to understand the person. Then understand how to help them motivate themselves by creating the right environment for them to grow in. Think, microenvironment—each interaction is its own environment that exists within the whole of your gym. As coaches, we’re constantly creating new environments with every interaction. These microenvironments exist within the macroenvironment. If you own your macroenvironment, gym, whatever, it’s easier to control it and produce an unconditionally positive space. If you’re a trainer at a commercial gym, you have to get even better at controlling each microenvironment.


You, in all your beautiful and universal glory, are the first microenvironment to conquer—we mentioned controlling inner dialogue and how it effects our outward expression.


We start by applying SDT on ourselves. It deepens our understanding of the theory while also keeping our inner environment consistently positive.


Let’s apply SDT to ourselves by reviewing that lesson:

Applying Self-Determination Theory to Yourself


Once you’ve slathered a healthy layer of SDT on to your own cortex, it’s time to apply its motivating context to your coaching. We must, however, understand that all people, and the psychological precepts that attempt to govern their behavior, exist on a spectrum. Remember our coaching definition—we have to meet people where they currently are.


SDT application exists on a spectrum that passes between its three tenets: autonomy, competence and relatedness. People inherently need different levels of each. Some folks need a heavy dose of one tenet at one time, while the others take a back seat. Applying SDT on a spectrum based on need helps folks progress toward greater levels of intrinsic motivation—it also enhances coaching effectiveness.


Review and apply:

Self-Determination Theory as a Spectrum


Intra-Session Goals


We too often obsess over big goals. We forget that it’s the small, every day actions that move us forward—macro rules micro with as an uncontrolled tyrant.


But the accumulated conquering of small goals is what accomplishes the big goals. It’s the small victories that change us.


Maybe you want a lower body fat percentage. Maybe you want to squat 500 pounds. These are worthy ends to strive for. But striving is the task in front of us. It’s asking, “What am I going to do with the training hour in front of me?”


We can answer that question to infinity and back, but first we require context.


Let’s review setting intra-session training goals to ensure that we’re gazing forth through an improved frame:

Setting Intra-Session Training Goals


Wrapping It up


We’re vastly expanding our coaching material in the 2016 Faction, but let’s make sure we’ve gotten the most out of these lessons before we move forward. Kick. Some. Ass.