Something to ask yourself when determining who you train with. The more and more I am around the fitness industry, the more I am astonished by who people are trusting with their health and success. First and foremost, I believe in separation between strength/conditioning coaches and sports coaches. Hold on before you go nuts here; when I say separation I certainly don’t mean that they cannot or should not coexist and work together. For example, Bill Belichick, my former coach and head coach of the New England Patriots would never attempt to be the strength and conditioning coach for the team. As well as the strength and conditioning coach surely wouldn’t step on Belichicks’ toes by telling Tom Brady where his secondary read should be. With that being said, there should be an open communication between coaches about players to make sure they are progressing the way each coach sees fit.
To backtrack to the original question of whether your doctor is your friend or a trusted advisor. I would hope that your health or your children’s health is important enough for you to seek the most trusted advisor you can seek. When personally reflecting on the professionals I have been around the most that have the most impact on my life as well as my family’s’ lives, I have always put my strength coach up there with my doctor, lawyer, and financial advisor. Here is why! On average, as an athlete since I was in high school, I spend roughly 1.5 to 2 hours per day in the weight room. My health, life longevity, and career all rely on the people I can trust most in the weight room. Do the math, even as an adult not playing professional sports anymore on average I still workout 4 to 5 hours per week as do most of our members at The Pitt Training Facility. On the low end, that is over 800 hours per year that I am working out at the gym. In those 800 hours per year I am dedicating myself to the gym so that I can continue to have a strong and healthy life. If you are dedicating that much of your time, energy, and effort to the gym wouldn’t it be nice to find a gym with coaches that dedicate just as much if not more of their time and effort into you?
Where the problem lies in today’s fitness world
With zero background in strength and conditioning, people are getting online today and getting their personal trainers certification in less than an hour. Minutes after getting their online certification, they’re already back online to buy a few bands, a kettlebell as well as some sandbags. Voila! You have yourself the next best trainer with his own philosophies on why band work is the only way to train. Am I against people branching out into entrepreneurship and trying to make their own living? Absolutely not, but I am also not sending my kid to a surgeon that hasn’t experienced residency training first. For any doctors reading this, I want to be clear that in no way am I trying to compare being a strength coach to a doctor. It’s just the best example I can think of at this time to portray my thoughts.
Back to my point. Whether it is myself, my wife, my kids or anyone I care about for that matter, I would always do my homework on the people they are around for over 800 hours a year. I would make sure that they are not only qualified, but that they thoroughly understand how important their job is to keep you healthy as well as fit.
My last and final point.
More and more I am seeing trainers becoming sports coaches. For the right or wrong reasons, that is on an individual basis to decide. Personally, when a sports coach is making it a requirement to workout at their “gym” where you have to pay extra to do so, that is WRONG. Again, this goes back to Coach Belichick doing his job by coaching the players how to play and allowing the strength coaches to get the players healthy, strong, fast, and more flexible. For nearly two years now I have had parents and kids come to me complaining that their sports coaches are making them train at some gym their coach made in a storage unit or else they won’t play them next season. Oblivious to this world, I somewhat ignored these parents and kids coming to me telling me about these issues because I couldn’t fathom that actually being true. Now knowing how prevalent this issue really is, I am truly sorry for those parents and kids that are in such a predicament. My answer to those parents and kids is to do what is best for yourself or your kid by seeking the best coaching possible and that coach will have no choice but to play you when you’re a standout on the field. If you are one of those coaches that demands your players to pay you extra outside of the sport to train them with the threat of not starting them because of that, then shame on you!