I've just got back from delivering my 2-day Integrated Performance Training workshop to a great group of coaches and physiotherapists based in London.
For me, one of the most important messages that I tried to get over was this.
Learn avidly. Question repeatedly what you learned. Analyse it carefully. Then put what you have learned into practice intelligently.
In my opinion, nearly all coaches are really good at doing the first part, they are avid learners sucking up every piece of information available to them through a range of sources (books, DVD's, workshops, internet etc). Some of these coaches actually question what they are learning before jumping straight into a new training methodology, but many don't.
I've seen coaches do a complete U-turn overnight on how they work with their clients and athletes.
Not many actually analyse information carefully and even fewer attempt to put their newly acquired skills into practice intelligently. It seems they get blinded by science, hype, technobabble without considering how it will actually work in real life, and if in fact it can actually impact on performance.
I can normally tell when Men's Fitness or Men's health has hit the news stands simply by observing the training sessions of PT's and coaches in the gym. All of a sudden everyone is swinging an Indian club or hanging upside down off a suspension trainer. They've hoovered up the latest training information but fallen at the first hurdle by not questioning what they are doing, analysing the training methodology carefully and then incorporating it intelligently into their training.
If you want to excel as a coach then you need to think on and listen to the wise words of Confucius.
He knew a thing or two!