Coaching People Who Want to Listen


"They're coming at us in droves..." Ashely whispered to me as she took deep breath and got ready to go into another dissertation on kettlebell lifting. One after the next they stepped up to the platform, either to give it a try or learn about kettlebells.

There was a lot to see and do at the Arnold Fitness Expo, but I wasn't able to get away for more than a few minutes at a time. This year we were coaching people who really wanted to listen, and as AKC coaches, we were all excited to share the knowledge. Of course, many in the crowd look right passed us, as there wasn't much glam or hype to catch your attention. But there was the reality of kettlebell lifting, and how it can explode an individuals' work capacity, reduce body fat and sculpt new muscle, build android tendon and connective tissue strength, take endurance levels to new heights, and on and on... If that kind of thing is important to you.

At a fitness expo that attracts some of the best and biggest bodybuilders, Olympic and power lifters from around the world, we were the skinny guys... to say the least. All the more impressive, as many of our coaches showed their prowess in various ways, but none more so than coaches Andrew Durniat 1-arm jerking three, 16kg kettlebells or Catherine Imes 1-arm jerking the 32kg - and making it look easy.

That day, at the Arnold Classic, I realized I was engaging in coaching triage. Triage is a word used in emergency medicine that's actually a system on how prioritize patient care- who gets treated first, second, etc. etc.. My goal was to connect with the most interested parties, or who asked relative questions, or who didn't seem to know everything, or who seemed open minded and with not much ego, or who just seemed willing to work. I realized these are also the basic prerequisites I look for in a new client.