The Coach’s Secret

Lisbeth Essays

I have a confession. I don’t really like correcting you.

Really, I don’t. It makes me uncomfortable when it makes you uncomfortable. I would rather you did everything perfectly and I could stand there and keep my mouth shut and marvel at the beauty of your athletic movement. Or just cheer you on. Or just look at your a**. (Hey, I’m being honest here!)

But the fact is I’m your coach. And the truth is you don’t do everything perfectly. And you have to lose reps. And you have to be reminded how to do things correctly. And you want to be reminded.

We all do. That’s why we’re here, and not working out alone at some globo-gym. The road to improvement begins with awareness.

So when I’m coaching you and I’m telling you to keep your heels down, or get the ball higher on the wall, or when I’m taking away reps that didn’t count, or I’m questioning your marks on the whiteboard, it’s not because I get any perverse pleasure out of it. I don’t. I really would rather just be watching. Or doing it myself.

But, see, I have these skills and these standards and this knowledge and so you don’t want me to just watch. You don’t want me to be your workout buddy or your best friend or your girlfriend. You really do want me to coach. To watch you and process your movement against my knowledge and to figure out how to help you get the most out of your movement and your life. That’s what you pay me for — and so I do it. And I do it well. I want to share my knowledge with as many people as I can. And so I do it even when it makes me feel uncomfortable. Just like you keep going in the workout even when you’re not comfortable anymore.

But there’s no joy in Mudville when I have to correct you. There is only duty and responsibility and commitment.

Because, honestly, given my druthers, I’d rather just be looking at your a**.

Lisbeth Essays

« »