Tough Love

If I think you can take it, I’ll pick on you. Harass you, harangue you, pester you to lift better, think better, be better. Right up until you want to make a little voodoo doll and stab the shit out of me with some metal pins. You might be angry, but I know you’re strong enough to handle the storm.

If I think that you can’t handle the storm, that you might break or cry or whimper under duress, I’m going to take a totally different approach. Your work might suck but you’ll get what appears to be less criticism. I have to approach you a totally different way. Dole out the lessons slowly, in little bites, over a longer period of time. We’re headed toward the same end, just taking a different, longer road. But the destination is the same: success.

See, success in one path, or many paths, is not easy. It’s not enough to have a gift, or a talent, or a skill set. Not enough to have drive, persistence, and dedication. You need to bring it all — and at the right time. So a good coach can be a big old pain in the ass. They’ll bug you to hit the right points, the right speed, the right bar path. They know if you have the talent and the heart and the gumption and the soul — and they want to see you bring it all. Their job is to to help you reach your potential. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. In the end, you’ll both be better people because of good coaching, whether it’s in the gym or in school or the home or whatever. Good coaches have many names: friend, parent, partner. They’re in more areas of your life than you realize. Anyone helping you to be better is coaching you, whether you think of them in this light or not.

So, whether you’re the one making the voodoo doll or you’re the one getting pins to the head, take heart. A message is getting through. Someone is getting better. And that’s why we’re all here.

(Image courtesy of Nicole Bedard Photography.)



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