Sunday, May 1, 2011

He never did - a lesson in gratification

A young personal trainer wrote to me and said something along these lines:

I am a (hopefully) up and coming strength coach ….

He never became a strength and conditioning coach. He later wrote to say something like this:

I plan on returning ... in the spring and will be trying to get in touch with the ….team. I feel that my countries poor showing in recent Olympic Games will cause the government to panic and throw money at sports. Hopefully this is where I'll capitalize. As I plan on 'jumping and hoping the net will appear' ...' I need one more piece of advice. If there was one thing that you would recommend I could do to improve my chances/abilities as a strength coach what would it be?

He didn’t get the job as a strength and conditioning coach.

He signed off a subsequent email as:

(Future strength coach to the elite)

That was not to be his future.

He wrote to say:

I look forward to …. Maybe one day coming to Australia to work for you!

He never did.

He then sends me an email that went something like this:

Please find enclosed my CV - if you get a spare minute maybe you could have a look at it and see where I need more qualifications or experience. It needs to be strengthened somehow as I've been unable to get the type of work I'm looking for.

He was right. He wasn’t. His CV said something like this:

Objective: To gain a full time professional strength and conditioning position with professional sports organization or high level training facility

He never achieved his goal.

He wrote again about his inability to get his desired work:

It is easier for you with an established record to attract new clients than it is for an "outsider" like me to break in. The reason I'm asking is to see where my weaknesses are - what is holding me back in other words as I'm failing to identify it somehow.

He couldn’t understand why he was not succeeding in getting work in his desired are of training athletes. After all, he had been trying for five years now to break into the field. I told him to be patient. After all, I had seen some would-be strength and conditioning coaches battle on for up to ten years to get the kind of work they wanted to, with athletes. I told him he needed to be patient, not driven by the need for instant gratification. I wrote:

A lesson I have learned from watching young strength and conditioning coaches such as yourself is their impatience

He rejected the advice:

I prefer to think of it as DRIVEN as opposed to impatience

I offered to help by make some referrals of athletes to which he accepted:

I would love to work with the Volleyball guys. Please set that up for me. Thanks in advance. You know where I am if you need me.

That didn’t work out.

Incidentally the volleyball team that you put me in contact with didn't return my emails. I guess I'm not important enough yet!!!

After six years of trying he began to become disillusioned:

I'd like to move out of the personal training field and train athletes exclusively but bills need to be paid.

He considered accepting a job as a head personal trainer in the gym in which he was employed:

I've been at this gym since late Sep and was this week offered the head personal trainer position -- unsure as to whether or not to accept it -- I'm just concerned as to whether or not the move to an administrative position would "hurt" my career in the longer term (i.e. the goal being to train athletes similar to yourself). Your input is as always most welcome.

Instead he opened up a personal training studio of his own.

He continued to dream about furthering himself as a trainer of athletes.

Within the next 12-18 months I intend to have become the Ian King certified strength, speed, flexibility and endurance specialist. I think the title you have in mind is co-ordinator of physical preparation - sounds good to me! Just thought I'd share that! Now that the goal is shared I HAVE to achieve it!!

He didn’t achieve this goal. Nor any of the above.

During the next few years he became a student of marketing, and began his publishing and educational services – seminar presenter and course provider.

This really gives meaning to the saying- ‘He who can’t do teaches’….And provides an excellent lesson of decisions we make between delayed and instant gratification.

One of my favorites was the publication about ‘keys to athletic success’….

1 comment:

  1. hmmm, this reminds me of an article I once, after reading this post, googled...