Leadership, Relationship, Creativity

By Mike Tuchscherer 2 April 2018 There are no magic programs. Coaching is about a lot more than writing a good program. Of course writing a good program as part of being a good powerlifting coach especially in an online setting but to think that there is just writing the program is to misunderstand the process and to do a serious disservice to all the clients who put their trust in you. We see the coaching process as encompassing three distinct sections. Coaching is about leadership, relationship, and creativity. These are three distinct areas and they are all interrelated.   Relationship must come first. It is also one of the easiest areas to overlook. Have you ever wondered why when you ask a generic question to some powerlifting coach online you always get an answer like it depends? That's because the answer depends on the status of the individual. There are real answers to these questions however it depends on so many factors that often are personal to each individual athlete. Perhaps it's personal to their goals… or to their priorities… or to their stage of development… or their training history… or injury history. If you have a deep relationship with an athlete you will be familiar with these factors and you can answer in real ways that take the circumstances into account. It allows you to move away from it depends and toward better answers.   Actually providing the answers and the guidance is where leadership exists. In this context leadership is about being the one to make the decision. It's about taking responsibility for deciding what to do when the athlete doesn't know what to do. It is intensely dependent on the relationship. The relationship is what informs the coach on what is important to the athlete. Then the coach exhibits leadership in helping the athlete find the best way to achieve individual goals.   And finally the coach must be a creative problem solver. If you cannot solve the athletes problem then you have no business being a coach. Without creative problem solving you're basically running a static program. All the parts and pieces about coaches building custom training programs and what not fall under the heading of creative problem-solving.   Again all of these parameters are interrelated. You can't have good creative problem-solving without a relationship with the athlete. And you can't have it without leadership as well. And there will be no relationship unless the coach can provide creative solutions for the athletes problems. Or lead them into the direction that they need to be taken. This is why things like training logs or other communications between a coach and athlete are so critical. If that is not present then the relationship breaks down. The coach cannot provide good leadership or creative problem solving. It is essentially a static program at that point. A really expensive static program.   Although the three components of leadership/relationship/creativity are about the coach's responsibility to helping the athlete, the athlete has a responsibility as well. It is the athletes responsibility to provide hard work and feedback into the system. Otherwise relationships break down leadership cannot be exhibited and creative solutions cannot be found.   It's a dynamic interaction -- a team of two in many cases.  But all parts need to be functioning well in order for the team to thrive. If you enjoyed this article, please share it. Join the conversation on our RTS Facebook page. If you want more stuff like this, plus exclusive content not posted elsewhere, please sign up for our Email Newsletter. About the Author:
About the Author Mike Tuchscherer is the owner and head coach at RTS. He has been powerlifting since 2001 and since has traveled all over the world for competitions. In 2009, he was the first man from USA powerlifting to win a gold medal at the World Games – the highest possible achievement in powerlifting. He has coached over a dozen competitors at the world championships, a score of national champions, and multiple world record holders.