We all know the importance of self-critique to advance ourselves as people and coaches. But how many actually do a self-critique on a regular basis? Here are three questions to ask yourself on a regular basis (monthly or even weekly) to ensure that you are not becoming stagnant.
1. DO YOU PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH?
When was the last time you did one of the workouts that you have your athletes perform? Are you a "do as I say, not as I do" person? If so, it may be time for a reality check. One of the best ways to "sell" your program is to live it. This means doing all of the soft-tissue work, mobility work, and stretching that you expect your athletes to do. It also means fueling yourself with proper nutrition day in and day out. Athlete's (especially younger ones) look to you as THE expert. How does it look if you show up to work with two egg McMuffins and a 20oz. soda for breakfast? Or if you are sucking wind after demonstrating a set of Cook hip lifts? To quote Gandhi: "be the change you wish to see".
2. ARE YOU A KNOW-IT-ALL?
Nobody likes someone who thinks that they know it all, and that goes for strength coaches too. You don't know it all, of that I am pretty sure. Have you stopped reading, attending seminars, networking, or questioning your own programs? One of the best things about this field is that it is continuously evolving, and so should you. This doesn't mean that you change your workouts and philosophy weekly. It simply means that there is always something to learn. Get out there and learn!
3. ARE YOU OBSSESSED WITH TECHNIQUE?
You better be! Your athlete's health and performance depend on it. We all know that proper form means a safer exercise, but it also means better results. A great strength coach once said: "Your athletes are a mirror in which you see yourself, and others see you."Make sure that what others see in your athletes makes you proud.
Certainly there are many more good questions to ask yourself, but these are the three that I feel keep me headed in the right direction and keep me loving what I have the privilege of doing for a living.
This article was written by Chris Pietrzak-Wegner, CSCS and featured on the Hockey Strength and Conditioning web site: www.hockeystengthandconditioning.com. Chris is a regular contributor to this website and forum submitting articles on strength training and nutrition for ice hockey.