I was talking to a fellow strength coach the other day who relayed a good story to me. Years back he emailed one of his mentors requesting a letter of recommendation. His mentor replied with the following:
“I’m sorry but I’m unable to write you a letter of recommendation because I’ve never seen you train or coach.” I commend this mentor for having tremendous integrity.
In the “Internet Age” people can reach “expert-status” in the eyes of the public by simply writing articles and blogs. I’m very reluctant to completely trust any strength coach who doesn’t have a Youtube account or allow his or her fans to watch videos of him or her (or their clients) training. Shouldn’t that be the bare minimum that we expect?
Here are some questions/thoughts that come to mind when thinking about most “experts” who have no videos to view:
1. I see that you use modern technology (blogs, websites) to make yourself popular, which is fine.
2. Why use some web technology (blogs, websites) but not use other web technology (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.)? You’ve demonstrated the ability to learn how to use the internet so I know it’s not because you’re unfamiliar with Youtube.
3. Is it because you have something to hide?
4. Are you really coaching/training clients and athletes or are you just pretending?
5. Are you afraid that other experts will pick your client/athletes’ form apart?
6. Are you afraid that you’ll be exposed for being “not all that?”
7. Do you have a crappy rapport with your clients/athletes and are therefore afraid to ask them if you can film them?
8. Do you not know how to coach the big lifts?
9. Cool! You just showed me a video of you performing a 135 lb squat (or a 135 lb deadlift)! How does your form look when you go heavy? Are you afraid to film your technique when the weight gets heavy?
10. Are you the coach who has his athletes dance around doing warm-ups all day or do you get your athletes strong?
11. Show me the money!
It’s easy to sit around and discuss popular and trendy topics but if you can’t get yourself or your clients/athletes strong then I’m sorry, but you don’t know what in the hell you’re doing.
Be leery of a coach who offers advice but has no videos to view of him or her (or their clients) lifting heavy. It’s easy to use robotic form when going light, but going heavy is a completely different story.
In this industry, we often speak highly of other trainers and coaches and it’s usually well-deserved. Are there individuals who you praise who could be “posers?” How do you know? Have you seen them train? Have you seen their videos? Isn’t that a problem? What if your favorite guru is this guy?
Personally I like filming videos because they provide opportunities for feedback. I’ve improved upon certain technical aspects of my coaching based upon feedback I received from other coaches regarding my videos. So now I’m a better trainer and coach simply because I’m not afraid to put myself out there.