OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.
"I'll know soon enough if I am a Level 1 Coach."
These were literally my words a few days ago on my 2016 in review. I really didn't think it would be this fast...until I got inspired. Amazing what happen to us when that occurs. If you are new to SIF, in November 2016 (about 2 months ago), I travelled to Allen High School, located in the Suburban Dallas- Fort Worth area to take a 2-day coaching clinic for USA Track & Field. With my ambassador status with the USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance and love for helping runners, this seemed like a natural progression to become a coach. Also, I think it is important to understand a point of view that you are not familiar with. I believe it helps with communication when you can empathize as much as possible with the other party(ies). These factors were my motivation to do this.
I remembered being pleasantly surprised by the presentation. A good takeaway right here - don't assume you already know everything that is going to be said. I was very impressed on how much psychology and physics were involved in the curriculum. Furthermore, the instructional manual did an excellent job in making complex concepts comprehensible. I already have a body mechanics background but it still served as a great refresher and brought more clarity in certain concepts of physics I had not fully understood. The biggest surprise to me had nothing to do with the physical sciences as much as it was about communication. That in and of itself may be the largest value that comes from this. In my opinion, it was completely worth the investment for this. As a review, here are the topics you cover (I don't think I'm allowed to give away everything)
- Positive Coaching
- Coaching & Sport Quality Control
- Bio (Body) Mechanics
- Physiology (Energy Systems)
- Physical Training Scheduling (Periodization)
- Runs (Sprints, Relays, Middle Distance, Endurance)
- Jumps (Long, Triple, High, Pole Vault)
- Throws (Shot Put, Discuss, Hammer, Javelin)
After the 2-day clinic, like anything that has a lot of information, I felt like mush...the old information overload feeling. I received an email the very next morning with the instructions on how to take the test. It is an open book, untimed exam with 3-months from the day of the clinic given to take the exam. You must make at least 80% in order to pass the exam. Outside of some of the finer details of the unfamiliar (jumps and throws), I already felt comfortable. However, you STILL have to put in the work to get the job done. In many situations, we know how and what to do to accomplish something. For one reason or another, we simply don't. Sometimes, we call them excuses or (authentic) distractions. I had a little bit of both.
THE HOLIDAYS -everything that occurs with Thanksgiving and December take it's course (MORE travel, family, and in my case, college football bowl games etc.) and the next thing you know, you're out of your normal routine. In my case, it did.
ONE DAY after the last bowl game of the year, it is January 3rd. I'm happy to say, I remembered my reasons for doing this....how I believe it can help bring both more validity to my business and help those in fitness and athletics. Once this occurred, I got FOCUSED.
Literally, I woke up January 3rd, tuned out everything, went to the public library for psychological reasons (home can be thought of as a place of comfort, relaxation), and dissected the chapters. I started my test on the evening of January 3rd. By the early afternoon of January 4th I finished, submitted my test and the results....
I found the test to be thorough and asked relevant questions to the material. By material, I mean scenarios that have practical applications to dealing with individuals and the sport itself. As far as I am concerned, if it has no practical application, than why learn it?
Speaking of application, where do I see this fitting in? For me, although I did find the details for jumps and throws very interesting (I'm completely fascinated by the physics involved), my focus is on running. The information for sprints will come in handy...even for long distance. Distance runners need to have some way of learning how to "kick" somewhere. 🙂
So my 2 cents on this...do I see myself becoming a coach for high school or college? No. I will be in the private sector. In reference to earning potential, it is something I learned sometime ago...mainly from my professional beginning in the University systems; there is more earning opportunity available in the private sector. I am primarily an exercise-injury prevention specialist who will, for now, be a running coach in the private sector.
IS THIS FOR YOU?
If you are an individual who loves track and field, who is already involved on the junior high, high school, or collegiate level, and looking to get a solid foundation in the basics, this is for you. If you are individual that is looking to focus solely on endurance, there are other options out there. I personally plan on supplementing the USATF Level 1 with the VDOT O2 Distance Coaching Certification. The focus of that particular certification is from 800m to marathon distance (26.2 miles). See book below. There is another out there from Run-Fit.com as well - the Revo2lution Running Certification.
TAKEAWAY FROM TODAY'S BLOG
You do not have to be involved with running or fitness to experience distraction. I wrote about this entire experience to convey that when we become focused, take action, and remain consistent, accomplishment occurs. It surely doesn't happen as quickly as it did in this story but it will happen. Remember, your goal accomplishment(s) rely on 3 things (for the purpose of this sole blog entry),
Like I mentioned earlier, in many situations, we know how and what to do to accomplish something. For one reason or another, we simply don't. One reason could be it is not going to feel very pleasant getting started. If you have the end of objective in mind from the beginning, the start is not as bad. Have an endpoint before starting and it will make the journey easier to get through.
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