I was sitting at a little league all-star game this evening and posted "Little league and youth coaches really need some type of certification and training. They need to learn how to teach basic fundamentals and sportsmanship," on FaceBook. I wrote that because at this all-star game, boys and girls were playing together on the same team. That wasnt the problem. The problem was that the coaches and even parents were making a bit of mockery of the game and certain plays inparticular where one of the girls made a good play on a guy or one of guys made a good play on a girl. Example #1: ground ball to 2nd base. The boy 2nd baseman tags the female running to 2nd out. Good play. But some dumbass Dad yells out "Jeez, you couldnt drop the ball and let on her on 2nd? Maybe she has an older sister!" Really Dad? So your superior slow pitch softball athlete is soooo much better than the girl running to 2nd that he shouldve dropped it? And then top it off with a slightly even more moronic comment? Would the older sister have been impressed? Example #2: Male batter hits a line drive back to the pitcher and is out. As they jog into the dugout, the coach jokes "Aw, you just got schooled by a girl!" A number of things wrong with this one. A) The female pitcher is going to be 5x the athlete the batter is going to be... trust me B) You actually just insulted all the girls on the team you just said that in front of and C) You're setting a fantastic example that BOYS RULE! Idiot. Dear coach and parents, I'm sorry you had a crappy athletic career and you feel a deep desire to re-live it through your kids... but please stop. Actually, please quit altogether. Go to the bleachers and cheer appropriately. Also, I train about 300+ females at any given time... and I havent seen a group of boys yet who could hang with them. Sorry guys.
Its funny because this entire situation also has something to do with some other things that have been on my mind. People in the wrong position and/or people not understanding the value of positions they're in. Lets start with coaches since I'm already on the subject and Ive been thinking about this the entire drive home. LITTLE LEAGUE COACHES MATTER! ITS NOT A POSITION FOR THE BORED DAD OR MOM! ITS NOT A JOB TO HANG OUT WITH YOUR KIDS AND MAKE SURE THEY MAKE AN ALL-STAR TEAM AND GET VOTES FOR "COOLEST DAD EVER"! ITS A REAL COACHING JOB! Yes, it sucks that it doesnt pay, but its still a very important coaching position, if not theeeee most important position. Obviously I'm not grouping every little league coach in this category. Example: I remember I had two tremendous little league coaches when I was 14 or 15 years old... maybe even 16, I'm not sure. I was one of the better players on the team, I think I played 3rd or 2nd base and maybe some left field and batted anywhere from 3rd to 5th. Thats irrelevent. I dont remember one hit. I dont remember one throw or one game. I do remember I was an idiot. I do remember I had a temper especially towards umpires... no clue why. I just felt they stunk and ruined the games. I had a big mouth and would challenge the umps authority over the game.... pretty much every game and eventually the umps knew me and disliked me and it eventually cost us a game because I was such an idiot, the coaches benched me. I remember that. I remember Coach Bender gave a post game speech to the team and said something about "Throwing your glove wont help win a game... yelling at umpires wont help you win a game... throwing a base into centerfield so the someone rounding 2nd wont help you win a game (which is what happened that got me benched). Being a mature athlete will." He was staring at me the entire time. Like I said, I was 15 or 16 and that stuck with me. Coach Lefferts pulled me aside after and talked to me about how to behave from this point on out and I dont remember ever having a problem again on that team. They were actual coaches, not just dads. They cared about how we behaved and the things we did. Actually, Im pretty lucky to have all the coaches Ive had. Ive never had a coach turn me off from a sport. I remember playing for Charlie Farley and his sons in midget football and they would always say something about doing our homework and being nice to our brothers and sisters (we were 5, 6, or 7 years old). Im pretty sure, every single coach Ive ever played for... I played for. Make sense? There was always a connection, thats what good coaches do. I always said I didnt really love playing football.... I loved playing for my coaches. They made me want to want more of myself... thats what coaches do. They didnt let me hot dog and prance around and act like an idiot... because if I did, there was going to be one serious problem when I got to the sidelines and even into the next week. Trust me, there are some great stories... zero appropriate for this blog :) and I would need some help from some friends, maybe a book one day.
Example #2: My current "profession." I put it in quotes because sometimes I wonder. To me, it is a profession... to others, its a hobby and its really getting on my nerves. To me, its right there with coaching. I always feel awkward talking about it, because I'm uncomfortable talking about myself and this... but it is an important position for some people. Before anyone gets bent out of shape, this has ZERO to do with the trainers I work with... I've been in a couple other clubs and studios lately and its irritating that theres so many people claiming to do the same things I do and carry similar initials. I asked a colleague "Doesnt it make you angry that there are so many Joe Blows in this industry?" He said "Nope, makes me shine brighter." I laughed and agreed but theres still the other side. I used to put alot of weight on certifications which is why I have the two I have. I thought "Jeez, I have 2 of the top 5 certs around... I must be good... and trainers with $200 interent certs must suck." WRONG! So wrong and I truly feel like an idiot for ever thinking that and I apologize if I ever insulted you... truly. The certs mean you took your time to take a test... PERIOD. Granted some are harder than others with different qualifications. But just like anything else, the true skills are found in experience and evolution (in my opinion). I know some guys with $150 internet certifications that are absolutely outstanding... and not just outstanding in their training skills but outstanding, caring people who actually give a shit about their clients results and dont just look at it like a pay check. And thats the difference. Yes, we have to put out safe workouts and the education and experience comes into play... but at the end of the day, I want the trainers with heart.... check. I want the gym owner with heart.... check. I want the group instructors with heart... check check. Because "heart," will win... "Heart," doesnt give up. "Heart," cares to learn and grow and experience and care. People that care. People that constantly work at their craft. I knew people were signing up for this years outdoor fitness camp regardless of what I planned... did it stop from planning and working to make it the best I could? Hell no! That actually made me work harder. (Made my Dad work harder :)
And No, buying a corporate chain and planting it in the middle of Beachwood doesnt make you the next Billy Blanks (is that his name?). Having an all-state football player as my son doesnt make me a good coach. I could buy 5 McDonalds and sell 5,000,000,000 hamburgers next week, it doesnt mean I'm the best chef!
Where am I going with this? I went off for a second there...
Certain industries arent about the money. Coaching, teaching, training... what else? Im sure theres more but I'm trying to wrap up. Its not about the money. Its about the product. Its about not ripping people off. Its about not going through the motions. If youre into real estate, do not buy a gym or some corporate bootcamp and act like your changing the world... just be great at real estate. Do what you do. If coaching/teaching/training isnt in your blood, go home. Coach/teacher/trainer, do the job or let someone else. I always said, if the things I do start to suck, I'll quit. Hands down. I know I will quit if I feel flat or this just isnt me anymore. I'm referring to anything. If your heart isnt in this 150%, for the right reasons, go home.
The reason... to serve. This is a service unlike most others. This isnt getting your tire changed. This isnt ordering a new cable package. Things happen in the gym and you could get hurt. The service is to provide a very high (very high) quality of fitness training. The service is also to be a role model for kids in the classroom (teacher, is your facebook profile private?) The service is to teach skills and life lessons to young adults. Thats what sports are for! To teach life lessons at every moment you can... because if you dont, its a moment you will never get back. Eyes are always on you and youre going to be remembered. These jobs are important. Kids are paying attention. Be a role model or go home.
Could I really do that if this was my hobby?