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Barbell Logic

Apr 9, 2021

In the last installment of the Professional Transition Series, Brandon Smith joins CJ to discuss his path to coaching.

He began lifting because he grew interested in cheerleading in college. When college & cheerleading ending, so did lifting for awhile. 

He worked in hospitality services and restaurants, and though he enjoyed it he thought about continuing down this path into his 60s and ultimately knew he needed to make a change. He began to lift & coach.

Brandon found that his hospitality experience and his ability to quickly connect to people made a huge impact on his coaching ability. This is something that has popped up again and again in the series, is that you bring the tools you have from your career and life experience. You have skills that can help you be a better coach: don’t be afraid to use them.

For those who have trouble striking up conversation, Brandon recommends talking about the things you’re passionate about. If you’re not passionate about discussing training and lifting, you might need to think twice about whether you want to be a coach. 

Another thing Brandon recommends is being honest. If you don’t feel like an expert, just be honest. Say that you think you can help improve their deadlift or squat and have some humility and underpromise and overdeliver. 

It really takes a relatively low level of proficiency to be able to help most clients. Don’t suck, and you can help. Use the teaching scripts, improve your eye, understand some basics and you can help someone quite a bit.

When Brandon started coaching people, he programmed lots of bosu ball and other stuff, and began to see a pattern of clients not improving much beyond 6 months. He searched for answers as to why this was occurring, and came to simpler, harder, more effective training with barbells. 

Brandon loves learning & coaching & getting better, and thinks it’s really all about getting a little better everyday. You’re either getting better or getting worse. Getting 1% better every day can make a huge difference. Getting 1% worse every day, similarly, can make a big difference. Choose growth. 

Finally, CJ & Brandon discuss mentorship & getting a mentor. Brandon ultimately says, just ask someone who you would like to be your mentor. Most of the time, they’ll be flattered and say yes. If they don’t want to, it’s probably because of time, and that’s okay, so find someone else. 

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