We can always try to find ways to get better at what we do, and in the fitness business it almost became a staple step in the process. Our field is in constant evolution, and if you don’t keep up you’ll end up being left behind.
I’m constantly trying to get better, but there are always ways to do more. Which pops the question: What should I do?
Unlike Lebron James though, I’m gonna try and answer my own question. I do think there are things I could do to get better. Whether I don’t do these things (or not enough) because I don’t have enough time, not enough money or because I procrastinate too much, here’s a list of things I could do to become a better strength and conditioning coach and fitness professional:
1. Build a bigger network. I realize that it’s important to build a network of like-minded people in the business. These people can offer their guidance, you can exchange ideas on different subjects with them, get their perspectives on things or they can even put you in touch with new people. In 2012, with the help of the social networks, it makes things much easier to communicate and get in touch with new people. I do have a decent amount of facebook friends in the field, but I think I could definitely do a better job at keeping in touch with them and reach out to new people.
2. Attend more seminars. I already try go to about 2-3 seminars per year, but I feel like there’s room for improvement. But I’m usually confined by the ones that are within driving distance because of my restricted budget to travel. There are some live events that I would have liked to attend in the past that were either in the South or on the West Coast that I couldn’t go to because I didn’t have the money to travel there. Sometimes it only takes a little more planning and saving some money ahead of time to be able to get out there for seminars that are not available on the East Coast.
3. Visit other coaches’ facilities. This one is a little related to both of the last 2 points, and I will admit that I’m not really good at this one. I know that visiting other coaches and see how they do things, talking shop with them and just seeing things from a different perspective (because they live a different reality) can be huge in making yourself better at what you do. Most of the time there are always things you can pick up from another coach and incorporate in your own setting. I say it’s related to the last 2 points because it involves making new contacts AND traveling. This is probably the area I could improve the most. I’ve done it very sparingly in the past, but there is no reason why I couldn’t do it more; besides the cost of traveling, it doesn’t cost anything and you can spend hours exchanging on different subjects, compared to catching a quick hallway conversation with another coach at a crowded seminar.
4. Read more. I write this, not because I don’t read, but because there is always place for improvement. I actually read quite a bit, but there are just so many good resources out there, it’s hard to keep up! I was reading Mike Robertson’s post last week on his website about becoming successful in this business, and there is something that caught my attention. Mike was saying to stop reading blogs, and focus your energy on books and DVDs that you actually need to buy. He was saying that blog posts usually don’t go in-depth on any subject; people usually write blog posts to give their opinion on a given subject or just give a little bit of information about it (and I kinda realize that it’s usually what I do too with my blog). That being said, I probably won’t stop reading blog posts, (or writing them for that matter…sigh of relief: on go!) because they’re free, easy ad quick reads that can give you someone else’s perspective on a subject. I will try to use my time better to read books, and spent a little less time on blogs in the future, though.
That’s what I think I can do to become a better strength and conditioning coach. But the question is:
What should YOU do?