Super Coaches for Super Scary Skills
How fast can you say ¨Super Scary Skills¨ three times in a row? Heheheh, it is hard, isn't it? For the sake of your reading comfort, I will use ¨SSS¨ instead of the whole phrase in this post. I know, I am so thoughtful :o). First, let me explain what I mean by a SSS. Basically, if a skill makes you cringe with the fear of death, brings at least 3 possible neck breaking scenarios in your mind, that is your SSS. Additional symptoms such as; eye twitching, ice cold sweating, ear buzzing, etc.. can be present, depending on how terrorized you are.
- I may or may not have experienced one of these symptoms, but this information is classified! -
Just kidding, I am a very experienced chicken. The struggle of fear is really strong in me for some reason, but in my defense, I am one hell of a stubborn chicken! If you are like me, dedicated to overcome your fears and get that SSS no matter what, you might want to consider finding a Super Coach.
A Super Coach is somewhat conceptually similar to your imaginary perfect lover, who is always doing/saying the right things at the right time and pushes all the right buttons. Though a perfect lover is a mythical creature that lives only in your head, Super Coaches are real. Just like unicorns or dragons :P! They are hard to find, but with enough trial and error, eventually you WILL come across one. When you do, cherish them and tell them how important they are for you, give them the credit they rightly deserve. While we are talking about crediting, here are my 3 unicorns: Maxwell Henry (Parkour), Kris Kunze (Tumbling) and Dimitry Politov (Parkour&Pole). Guys, thank you for guiding me to go beyond my fears and making me a better athlete, you are awesome!
- A quick note; super coaches are different for everybody. The difference between a great coach and a super coach is mostly your personal connection with them. I have had many great coaches, who helped me improve in all aspects of athletisizm or spesific skills, but the way that I benefit from my super coaches are different - and they don't even know it! I use them as mental anchors during the times when my stress level rises, to make myself calm again. But more on that later :). -
How Do You Identify Your Super Coach?
Simple, they consistently make you do things that you thought was impossible for you. If you are always relaxed around them, feel excitement rather than anxiety when faced by your SSS, that person is your Super Coach. It feels like magic and it is addictive. You might find yourself trying to plan your travels around their schedule - if you are not living in the same country. That's the other thing, you don't even need to be in the same physical environment to continue benefiting from them! Beware, some brain Voodoo is ahead!
First step, is to really concentreate on the encouragement sentences they use, and how they say it. Next time when you achieve something big and feel the joy of triumph, try to remember the phrase they used, just before you get it. I push this even a little further by trying to memorize their own voices in the meanwhile. These sentences will be your mental anchors. Second step is to activate this mental anchors to get your stress level down and pull yourself out of the self-doubt swamp when you need to. Just take a deep breath and try to get back to the triumph moment of your choice, repeat their sentence as much as you need to, until you feel ready to go again. It really helps me to hear their voice in my head. Here are some of my mental achors, to give you an example;
¨You can do this, your legs are strong!¨ - Max
¨Don't underestimate yourself, just do it¨ - Dima
¨Your body knows what to do, stop overthinking¨ - Kris
-You will be amazed how effective this mind trick is! If you can control your brain, you can control your body too. This will probably take some time and adjusting, but if you keep building new anchors and practice using them, it will eventually work like a charm.
Right, moving on...Now that I have more than one Super Coach, I am able to realize some similarities in between them. I know I said it is mostly about the personal connection, but there are some attributes which makes them universally special (in my opinion anyway :D). Here are some examples:
Being Observant And Present
In a training session, you will feel that it is about YOU, not them. Their concentration is always on the group (or you - if it is a private) and they asses each persons limits for that specific session only. They understand that you won't be able to have the same performance or motivation every single day. This gives you a subconcious comfort, because the initial message is that ¨failing¨ is acceptable, a part of the process and sometimes even encouraged. Naturally, when there is room for failing, there is always more room for improvement.
-Another super power they posses is: Being able to protect you from your own frustration. They catch the moment of negativity in your eyes,body language or performance and skillfully shake you out of it, by making a joke or do something to cheer you up.
Trustworthy And Trusting
YOU.CAN.TRUST.THEM.PERIOD!! There is no ¨why?¨, ¨how?¨or ¨if¨, you just do. They are able to gain your trust in the first 15 minutes. I believe it is about the way they lead the training session, their calm and confident stance and the simple keywords they use to describe complex moves. There is more subtle details that I noticed, but I will not bore you with a list. The important thing is, they give your subconciousness a strong message ¨This person knows what he/she is talking about, I can trust her/his ability to keep me safe¨.
-They are also always honest; letting you know when you are not ready for something yet, notifying you when they are not spotting or when they are going to be spotting. So your brain and body is conditioned to believe them, when they tell you that ¨you are ready¨ , you really go for it.
Being able to gain trust, is (or should be) the priority for every great trainer anyway, but a super coach is different. They also trust YOU! When you truly believe that you can't do something, they will trust your self awareness and take your struggles seriously. It is kind of how parents are able to seperate a spoiled screaming, from a real ¨something is wrong¨ crying of their baby; your super coach will be able to understand your real ¨I can't do this¨. They will have you approach the skill in a different way to avoid getting you stuck.
Passionate About Their Sport
You can see the flickering passion in their eyes, while they are talking even about the simplest thing. They probably thought about the subject/skill in hundreds of different context, deconstructed and reconsrtucted it at least a dozen times. The more you ask, the geekier they will get about it and they LOVE IT! It is not just a job for them, it is a way of living.
-I know, there is a lot of athletes or coaches who are passionate about their subject, but a super coach is also not afraid to share EVERYTHING that they learned/discovered over the years. This is very important for me, even though I do understand the idea behind ¨keeping some things to yourself¨, I deffinitely respect the ones who are more open. In my opinion, a super coach may secretly want you to be as competent as they are, if not more...
Did I already tell you how much I love my Super Coaches? I can do this all day, I LOVE THEM. I trust them with all my heart and mind. Do you have your own super coaches? Have you realized a super power that I forgot to mention here? Who are they and what do they teach? TELL ME EVERYTHING and let's make a super coach list together, for people who are in need.
Thank you for reading. Don't be a stranger and say hi :o), I would love to hear from you.