The training environment is key when it comes to getting results. How often do you hear about West Side Barbell and gyms such as this getting results because the people in there are pushing each other all the time, day after day. In fact, the training environment is often cited as the reason these gyms are so successful in what they do!
If you want a high-performance environment you need to act like a high-performance coach and this comes from your behaviour. It is your behaviour that produces the culture that you want in your gym.
Ask yourself these questions:
Do you lead by example?
Do you train and push yourself in your work and in your training?
Do you push your athletes when they need it and demand high performance?
Do you let things slip such as ill-discipline and poor technique?
How behaviour can impact performance
Your behaviour can impact performance, and the behaviour that you exhibit directly transfers to the athletes you coach and the behaviour that they in turn exhibit.
Two good examples of behaviour impacting performance are my time at British Tennis and Huddersfield Giants Rugby League. Some of the tennis players were allowed to get away with murder. They turned up to sessions when they wanted, the coaches often let them go lighter when they were a little tired and they received all the benefits of a world beater such as massage, nutritional interventions, fancy clothes etc when they hadn’t achieved anything! Where is the incentive to improve and be excellent when you get everything given to you before you’ve earedb it? Not surprisingly the results were not great either! For me this is a poor training culture and one which didn’t really fit with me at all!
Conversely, at the Giants, the players had to train hard to earn a rest. They had a strong culture from the outset, led by the Head coach which was unquestionable. Ill-discipline was punished and there was a strong desire to succeed. This produced high performance and the club finished 3rd in league after leading most of the season and reached the final of the challenge cup. A pretty good year in all!
Here’s a picture of the behaviour that was expected from the players to achieve the on-field goals that were identified as a team. This is a high-performance team that dramatically improved under this set of behaviours.
Your role as a strength and conditioning coach
S&C coaches are just a piece in the puzzle but we can improve the training environment to get more out of our athletes no question. It does help if it comes from the top, from the head coach/performance director etc, but sometimes it never does and in these scenarios its important to still push for the behaviour you expect.
What is the culture like in the gym your work in or with the team you support? Is there anything you can do to improve it? I’d love to hear your thoughts, do leave me a comment below!
Keep training hard,