As much as possible I try to take on interns. I enjoy the questions, banter, as well as watching their ideas develop.
When doing an internship, I try to arrange for each coach to spend time with some of my colleagues in other sports or professions.
Upon return, there is often a sense of judgment.
This is when I introduce lesson 3:
You can only judge a program when you know an athlete’s training history, past injuries, training phase; the coach’s long- and short-term goals, etc.
Until you know everything about the coach, the athlete and the program, observe the session without judgment. Learn as much as you can.
Personally, I made many incorrect judgements when I was younger and now realise I was wrong. I didn't understand (or couldn't appreciate) the context and what the coach was aiming to achieve.
‘That team doesn’t train very hard’ - Maybe it was a recovery session? Or a tactical session? Or they’re exhausted from the weekly training load?
‘They looked disorganised’ – Perhaps the coach is trying to develop their independence? Or is intentionally creating a chaotic environment so their players are better suited to game-day?
‘She didn’t lift very heavy’ – Is she returning from an injury? Maybe they’re working on her technique?
Point is, we don’t know from a session, a day or even a week of observing; therefore we shouldn’t judge until we know and understand every component of the program. We should just learn.
Grant Jenkins is a Physical Preparation Coach who is trying to practice as he preaches… Follow him on twitter @Grant_Jenkins