Jan 202014

This was originally posted on StrengthCoach.com.

What is one thing you’ve changed your mind about in the past year?

One thing that I have changed my mind about in the past year is the value of making things simple.  This has become a priority for me as the more that I continue to be in this profession, the more I realize that it is ok to simplify things.  It is less about sets and reps (or the ability to know more about sets and reps) and more about providing a good basic program with good coaching skills. In my opinion, a good program on paper is a bad program if it is coached with bad people skills.  At the professional level, if you can’t get your athletes to do what you would like them to do on a consistent basis, then you don’t have much of a program- even if it contains the latest trends in strength and conditioning.

I am guilty of trying to incorporate every little bit of the latest information and protocols that I can learn.  However, when I cut out parts of the program and stick with the basics, I feel that our program is becoming more successful.  Maybe it’s just me but it seems that lifting sessions have become more enthusiastically embraced by my players.  Time is never wasted and lifting sessions include crisper lifts. To me it is better than having athletes who are performing more exercises but might just be going through the motions.  I think any coach who works with teams would be able to relate.

My own training has also been simplified.  The more information that I read from coaches such as Dan John and Pavel Tsatsouline, I realize that it’s not only ok, but a good idea to simplify my training.  I am past the days of assistance exercises and specialization programs.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have specific goals.  The difference today is that my goals relate more to being strong enough and injury-free versus trying to bench or clean 3 plates per side.

I have also learned how to keep my continuing education simple.  In the past, I would feel left behind if I missed a seminar or two because of work or family responsibilities.  Now, I feel that I don’t have to attend every seminar and certification that is offered.  Believe me, I still have a beginners mind and I love learning and applying new ideas.  However, as a husband and a father of 2, I realize that my time with my family away from the weight room is very valuable.  If I only happen to get to 1-2 seminars per year, or not attain the latest cert; I am ok with that.

I can say that simplifying many areas in my life has helped me become a more open minded person and Strength and Conditioning Coach.  I feel like my life is less cluttered and I can see things more clearly.

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  4 Responses to “One Thing I’ve Changed My Mind About”

  1. Amen! Sean, that post is awesome. I couldn’t agree with you more. This is pure wisdom to me, because just like like you I thrive to be the best I can be as a coach, but to the people in my life as well. The more I learn and they to get better, the more I realize that there is something extremely valuable about keeping things simple, and just efficient.

    Great post! Take care,


  2. Great read, Sean. One of my favorite quotes – “the most complicated skill is to be simple.” Love to see it applied successfully to training elite athletes. I have had the greatest success with my own training and clients when I strip away the unessential and really focus on what counts and what matters (quality movement and appropriate intensity).

  3. Really enjoyed this post. This is also something that I’ve had much more success with training clients and stepping away from the fancy stuff. You need the basics first and foremost.

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