As I was lifting yesterday one of our coaches made the comment that my motto should be "Do as I say , not as I do. " . Its not the first time I have heard this from a coach or athlete. I'm not going to lie, the comment usually pisses me off! As the head coach of PFP Barbell , I always do my best to lead from the front. I was getting ready for bed last night and I started to think about what "leading from the front " really means.
I always thought that leading from the front meant perfection( or as close to it as I could be) , perfect technique, perfect meets, perfect guidance etc. I understand that this is unattainable , but I strive to be as close to this as I can. I work hard , listen to my coach, give my best effort to our athletes in meets . I want to be the example that our athletes look to as how to prepare to advance in their weightlifting.
I think the part I was missing about leading from the front was the fact that you WILL make mistakes ..a lot of them ! I have bombed out of more meets than most of our athletes have competed in, had bad meet plans, been a bonehead leading up to big meets, coached bad meets for athletes, and generally have had some very public mistakes in my learning process as coaches. I always looks at these experiences as something to be embarrassed of or things I wanted to hide. Now, looking back at it I had it all wrong...
I realized part of my role as a coach is to make mistakes so our athletes don't have to. Lead the way and don't be afraid to try things , fail often , and learn . I can confidently tell our athletes and coaches not to do MANY things because I have done them and I KNOW its a bad idea . My experiences as an athlete and a coach save them from having to go through the same negative results that I have had . On the positive end I have had a ton of success as an athlete and a coach and have wonderful mentors helping me avoid more needless mistakes down the road. It allows those who follow me to confidently move forward , knowing that our actions are deliberate and based on experience.
So yes, do as I say, not as I do. Let me lead the way, make mistakes, and take on the consequences. Allow be to lead from the front , learn from my mistakes so you don't have to a make them yourself.
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