3/23/15 - Who Deserves a Coach’s Expertise?

This isn’t a coach’s sob story. It’s a real question. When it comes to expertise, how much are we entitled to? I find that, especially in emotionally charged sectors like nutrition and fitness, when people decide it’s their time to make a move for their own good, it’s big. They want everything, right here, right now.

I heard some respected coaches recently talk about this concept. They said that masters, in say powerlifting, hold off before committing to aide them in their respective journey until the athlete demonstrates an ability to show up and work. If I, for example, want to learn to be a chef, and earn an apprenticeship with a renown chef, is it safe to say, I’ve got to clean a few dishes before I learn their secret sauce? As a white belt, can I demand black belt level coaching?

With all honesty, I’m not writing this from some passive aggressive reaction to something that happened to me as a coach specifically. The question, however, is worth thinking about for both athletes and coaches, I think.

I, like many coaches, have taken many thoughtful hours aside to write plans and consult athletes, only for it to be ignored. Should I have demanded more proof of one’s worthiness? I think any coach can empathize with the surplus of people wanting help and the shortage of people who follow through with their end of the bargain, but does that mean they weren’t entitled to the help in the beginning?

Furthermore, what makes a worthy recipient? A paying customer? A motivated soul?

Personally, I don’t know.

As athletes, are we too entitled to think that in the information age, all expertise should be made available? Should we earn it incrementally? I do know that if I sat down and dictating everything I know to everyone I coach, it’d be a huge waste of both parties’ time. On the contrary, I do know that we, at DEUCE Gym, have never had a student ask for too much help. When students ask for shoulder programs or nutrition help, we provide them, often without demanding that they be just as resilient in their follow though.

Is that an error on our part? Do athletes need to prove their worthiness to receive a coach’s expertise? Can this happen by degree? Or, is that “part of the job” to help anyone and everyone?


Logan Gelbrich


3/23/15 WOD

Bench Press

3x 12 Bent Over Row

With a partner, AMRAP 4
Partner A: 50′ Keg Carry (25 o/b)
Partner B: Max Hand Release Push Ups