Thursday, September 25, 2008

Long time coming

I haven't had a little rant for a while....so I'll make this a quick lunch break rant.

Ian said this in response to something I'd posted:

Yep - I'm over the week after next.

What's with Irish coaches not visiting you in Dublin Will? It reminds me of the comments Alwyn Cosgrove has made about his staff attending presentations in Santa Clarita, CA, where he is based, with no attendance by his competition. I'm not even a coach or trainer but I figure spending time in the company of someone with 20 years coaching experience will advance my training.


I just have to say this because it is one of those things that cracks me up both in my day to day working life and on the internet.

Strength and Conditioning, Sports Training, Physical Fitness, Team Training...everyone thinks they have all the answers...they not only think that they understand the 'area' the funniest bit is that they think they are good at it....when any actual analysis of the results of their work would have you realise that they are obviously suffering a psychotic break. I'm talking about sports trainers, coaches, personal trainers, athletes as well as recreational gym goers....hell you can lump in sports fans and sports administrators as well. The majority of these people are so deluded that they are beyond help. I could give you thousands of examples because I collect 10 new examples every single day. I just realised I could go on about this subject for days...I won't inflict that on you though...let me be really specific here and deal with Ian's post and the reference to Alwyn's statement. I visit A LOT of gyms and I go to A LOT of training courses and seminars. I go to them here in Ireland as well as overseas. I consult with A LOT of other coaches...the reason I do this is because 1. I know what I'm good at. 2. More importantly I know what I'm not good at. 3. I realise that the majority of people in the industry don't do these things and that the majority of the people in the industry are completely idiotic hence doing the opposite of everyone else it must be the right and best thing to do.

I was trying to explain to a 20 year old athlete the other day who was contradicting me and giving me the benefit of his years of experience in training with regard to one of his fellow athletes....I basically explained the following:

1. I get paid to do my job...he doesn't even have a job.
2. As an athlete I coached myself to an elite level and competed internationally...he hasn't.
3. As a coach I've gotten A LOT of athletes to elite level and to international competition in A LOT of different sports in A LOT of different countries...he hasn't.
4. He's been actually training seriously for just over 2 years...the total size of his data pool with regard to training experience is just that...I have just over 200 athletes that I currently train...it's been as high as 380 and hasn't been less that 100 over the past 10 years...so even if we were to be ultra conservative and to completely ignore the 10 years prior to that our respective data pools of experience are currently 2 years versus 1000+ years....and that he should spend more time trying to catch up.
5. I tried to explain that he's an idiot because like most people he thinks what has worked for him will work for everyone and that this was the single biggest mistake that all sports trainers, coaches, personal trainers, athletes, recreational gym goers, sports fans and sports administrators make so that while he was an idiot he certainly was not alone there...that all these people like him believe sports performance comes down to a formula...that 1+1= Results or a recipe and that is just a matter of adding the ingredients...these are the same morons that do Arnold's program because they want to be huge, that follow Lance Armstrong's training program and think that they'll win Le Tour...it's just idiotic.
6. His eyes were welling up at this stage so I thought...I've gone this far...I might as well finish him off.
7. I was explaining that although I did maths at school, that I read The Economist, can read the Irish Tax Legislation and use a calculator that I get an accountant to do my taxes for me...I pay a professional to do the job. I don't ask for advice from friends, I don't get some guy in the newsagents who also reads The Economist to do them for me because that would be stupid.

If you don't GET what I'm getting at...you my friend are a part of the majority and it is likely to stay that way.

8 comments:

Hugh said...

I reckon you enjoyed that!!

João Mimoso said...

And he's right.

Hell, i'm dying to go abroad, to learn from people who have REAL experience, with real athletes. I have a ton of people i want to meet as soon as i have the money( finishing University and coaching 2nd division Basketball and some clients doesn't pay that good), Like Will, Lyle, Alan, JoeD,etc, and i really want to do some kind of work with Eric Cressey.

I can't believe that somebody would pass on the oportunity to watch other coaches do their thing. At the very least, you'll learn what not to do.

But yes, most people in the industry are idiots.

ian said...

Good points Will - well made.

I have never gone wrong admitting I know nothing and working my way up from there!

I don't earn a living coaching and know my limitations - that's why I am taking the time and effort to get to Dublin to see Will for hands-on professional coaching.

Ian Mellis said...

I think the problems lies firstly in peoples ego in not taking direction from the educated and most importantly the expierienced (these both go together) and certification processes. For example how easy is it to get qualified as a personal trainer. 12 weeks on the standard courses (which are not the shortest) and then people are experts in corrective exercise, special populations strength training, massage, diet, nutrition etc. Not that degree based trainers are much better- all theory with no real world application and half the people we see at our centre tell me what a VO2 max is but do not know what a deadlift is let alone teach it in to a decent programme (which is my main beef with this industry- very few people can write good programmes focussing upon results- not just "entertainmaint"). All you can say is hopefully the good guys rise to the top and the bad ones sink, but as we know escpecialy in the commercial field it is about sales and marketing and every trainer is one celebrity or sports star away from creating a reputation. It's bollocks basically and you have hit the nail on the head...... again. Keep the posts going it's all good stuff- even the crap bits!

Will Heffernan said...

Hugh said...
I reckon you enjoyed that!!
I know that you know how much I'm actually holding back.

João Mimoso said...

And he's right.

Hell, i'm dying to go abroad, to learn from people who have REAL experience, with real athletes. I have a ton of people i want to meet as soon as i have the money( finishing University and coaching 2nd division Basketball and some clients doesn't pay that good), Like Will, Lyle, Alan, JoeD,etc, and i really want to do some kind of work with Eric Cressey.
Who the hell is Alan?

I can't believe that somebody would pass on the opportunity to watch other coaches do their thing. At the very least, you'll learn what not to do.
Exactly. Every single course/seminar I've ever done I got something out of...every single one...well except from that woman I saw in Arizona that time...whatever the hell her name was...and that time I walked out before Chad Waterbury presented and everyone thought I was going to kick his head in.

But yes, most people in the industry are idiots.
Exactly...it takes one to know one.

ian said...

Good points Will - well made.
Can you send me a mail and point out which ones? Sometimes I'm not sure when I'm being clever and when I'm just rambling on like an idiot.

I have never gone wrong admitting I know nothing and working my way up from there!
I do listen to everybody...and I definitely want input from athletes and coaches....the great majority of work I do is with and for other coaches and I think I have a good relationship with all of them as I think I do with just about all of my athletes. It is just when it comes down to who's call it is when it comes down to strength and conditioning it is my say that counts because that is my responsibility and I always take responsibility for every athlete I coach and am happy to do so...I do get it wrong sometimes but it not often and never for long.

I don't earn a living coaching and know my limitations - that's why I am taking the time and effort to get to Dublin to see Will for hands-on professional coaching.
How much am I charging you again?

Ian Mellis said...

I think the problems lies firstly in peoples ego in not taking direction from the educated and most importantly the expierienced (these both go together) and certification processes. For example how easy is it to get qualified as a personal trainer. 12 weeks on the standard courses (which are not the shortest) and then people are experts in corrective exercise, special populations strength training, massage, diet, nutrition etc. Not that degree based trainers are much better- all theory with no real world application and half the people we see at our centre tell me what a VO2 max is but do not know what a deadlift is let alone teach it in to a decent programme (which is my main beef with this industry- very few people can write good programmes focussing upon results- not just "entertainmaint"). All you can say is hopefully the good guys rise to the top and the bad ones sink, but as we know escpecialy in the commercial field it is about sales and marketing and every trainer is one celebrity or sports star away from creating a reputation. It's bollocks basically and you have hit the nail on the head...... again. Keep the posts going it's all good stuff- even the crap bits!
I pretty much agree with all of that...especially the bit about me producing crap bits.

Ian said...

Will said...How much am I charging you again?

We haven't got round to discussing fees Will - I know it says your expensive on the blog which is a little concerning.

Discount for cash? :)

Kira said...

Good post. I love a good rant :)

But point seven doesn't make sense to me . . .

7. I was explaining that although I did maths at school, that I read The Economist, can read the Irish Tax Legislation and use a calculator that I get an accountant to do my taxes for me...I pay a professional to do the job. I don't ask for advice from friends, I don't get some guy in the newsagents who also reads The Economist to do them for me because that would be stupid.

On the one hand you're always saying fitness professionals are stupid but then you say an athlete that doesn’t get help from a fitness professional is stupid.

That makes no sense.

Personally, I don’t trust fitness professionals. I’ll listen, ask questions and give their ideas a try. But, in the end, the only thing I trust is what I can get to work in my own training. I think I'm a bit of an arrogant bastard like that. (Although I wouldn't be so arrogant as to think that what works for me will work for everyone else).

cheers.

Will Heffernan said...

Kira said...
Good post. I love a good rant :)
I might have to stop holding back on the ranting...it seems to be a big crowd favourite.

But point seven doesn't make sense to me...
That's OK...we're not all born with intelligence.

7. I was explaining that although I did maths at school, that I read The Economist, can read the Irish Tax Legislation and use a calculator that I get an accountant to do my taxes for me...I pay a professional to do the job. I don't ask for advice from friends, I don't get some guy in the newsagents who also reads The Economist to do them for me because that would be stupid.

On the one hand you're always saying fitness professionals are stupid but then you say an athlete that doesn’t get help from a fitness professional is stupid.
Actually that is what I said...but your interpretation is just incorrect....for the reason for this see above.

That makes no sense.
That's only because you didn't understand it.

Personally, I don’t trust fitness professionals. I’ll listen, ask questions and give their ideas a try. But, in the end, the only thing I trust is what I can get to work in my own training. I think I'm a bit of an arrogant bastard like that. (Although I wouldn't be so arrogant as to think that what works for me will work for everyone else).
The point I was actually making was that although everyone THINKS that they know what they're doing that if you want to get the best results you should get help from someone that ACTUALLY knows what they are doing.