The Monday Mindset: Being Coachable

My best skill was that I was coachable. I was a sponge and aggressive to learn.
— Michael Jordan

Training programs are filled with challenges and obstacles, as they should be, but some of those challenges we bring upon ourselves. As a coach, I know one of these challenges every time I write a new program is how the student or athlete will allow me to help them navigate through the new movements, loads, intensities, and other variables. In other words, how coachable is the student? Receiving criticism in any area is challenging - from teacher in the classroom, bosses on the job, or family and friends in our personal lives - being able to graciously receive advice and mentorship is a necessary part of growth and personal development. It is a skill, and like any other skill that we choose to acquire, it takes practice to develop. 

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Being coachable takes a level of willingness to change. It means that the individual is accepting of honest feedback, even when it hurts the ego some, because they understand that the coach has their best interests in mind. Being coachable is understanding that your vulnerability is a strength when lifting heavy things, because you’re not in the room to be perfect, but to be coached to a better you. A fun proverb says that only stupid men learn from experience. Wise men learn from other people’s experience. First of all, where’s the love for all the women in all the proverbs? Why’s it always about a “wise man”?….it takes humility to learn from others experiences and to be coachable. Humility teaches us that there are things we need to do that we cannot do on our own. Humility teaches us that the most important things we need to learn require fundamental changes in our behavior and outlook. Humility itself isn’t attained by reading a book or taking a class, but requires a change of heart rather than a change of mind. 

Strength is a journey. Enjoy the ride.