Let’s play a game that’s popular in my office: Would you rather _____?
Here it goes: Would you rather learn from someone who is prideful or from someone who is humble?
I know. This game should be challenging. But that’s a serious question and one I need you to consider, Affiliate.
Interning in my Box and working with Box Pro, I’ve seen a variety of coaching styles. Most of the Coaches I know are filled with humility and a willingness to learn. However, I’ve come across a few who have very prominent streaks of pride, to put it nicely.
Now, I recognize some might see humility as synonymous with being meek. But there is a difference between meekness and humility. Namely, confidence. You can be confidently humble, knowing you have skills and the ability to teach while recognizing you can learn from others. Being meek means to be submissive and easily imposed upon.
Where the problem arises is when you become selfish, focusing on what you know and never taking in what others think/can teach you. As a Coach and as a person, you stop growing.
Personally, one of the biggest reflectors of humility versus pride in a Coach is something I’ve seen in shadowing classes. In one session I shadow weekly, the Coach is very open to my involvement and help in the class. He has allowed me to share movement advice and tips with athletes. More than that, he’s given me the confidence to do so.
For instance, the other day the athletes were running through a workout. He attempted to explain a more efficient way to do a movement to a member, but it didn’t click during the WOD. I hadn’t ever heard of what he was talking about, so I asked a question or two to make sure I understood. After the workout, he was answering someone else’s question when that same athlete asked me if I understood what he had been telling her. I explained it as best I could and low and behold, she grasped the concept.
From across the room, I heard my Coach congratulate her and then me. Although I had simply relayed what he had taught me moments before, it was still empowering. He wasn’t afraid I would overshadow him. He didn’t come over and reprimand me for coaching the athlete. Instead, the way he reacted emboldened me and made me respect him and his teaching even more. His confident humility was refreshing and I learned more from that than a Coach who thinks he/she knows everything.
So, what’s the takeaway? Look out for those Coaches who have streaks of pride, especially when you’re pairing your interns with your staff. Hopefully, you’ve weeded out those cumbersome teachers already, but sometimes they slip through. Make sure you’re evaluating your Coaches on more than just their ability to teach the squat. It needs to get personal as well.