sent by Nick Grantham | 2nd March 2021
In 2013 I released my first book, You're Hired, in an attempt to offer advice to aspiring S&C coaches about how to break into the industry. As well as being an S&C coaches career 'self-help' guide, it was a way for me to raise money for some good causes. Over the past 8-years, I've drawn on the content at numerous courses, conferences and during many personal conversations with graduates wanting to work in performance sport. A vital section of the book explores the importance of your network. I'm not talking about the superficial 'grip and grin' that happens at conferences or in your workplace. I'm talking about the people you choose to surround yourself with on a daily basis (in real life and cyberspace). The people you knock about with will influence your future direction, either directly or sometimes just by association. Proverbs 13:20 says, "He who walks with the wise grows wise. But a companion of fools suffers harm." Grantham 2013 says, "hang around with dick-heads, and the chances are you'll also become a dickhead." Your choice!
Source: You're Hired by Nick Grantham
It's not like the olds days where information was a ball ache to find. We live in an information age where we can find out the answers to pretty much any question from a quick google search. Grabbing information is not the hard part; as Keir points out, the key is to take the information that everyone else has access to and applying it effectively.
Source: The Strength and Conditioning Bible by Nick Grantham
I was fortunate enough to work with Gee for a couple of years. In Darren Roberts' fantastic book, Embrace The Chaos, Gee provides an insight into being flexible and adaptable, "a lot of the training we do changes every season, what worked for me last year won't necessarily work for me this year, and it's really important to listen to your body." As a coach, we like to think that we know best, but I've come to realise over the years that we need to listen to the most critical person in the mix, the athlete. They often have a knowledge and understanding of what it will take to deliver in competition that, as a coach, we will never have. Gee and I would often have a discussion (sometimes a little heated!) about training. We wouldn't always agree, but we were both big enough and ugly enough to listen to each other and adapt. A reoccurring theme in these newsletters is the importance of having some structure but knowing when to go rogue and change things up. Coaching is a process, not a prescription.
When I worked with the GB Women's Basketball team, they established some guiding principles relating to training and competing. The principles were distilled into single words, and these words were then put up on a massive screen during training. One of the words that would loop round and round on the screen during practice was FUN...I bloody hated that word! Whenever FUN flashed up on the screen I thought, "sport is not FUN, sport is bloody serious, and we need to take it seriously". At the time, I felt it was such a throw-away word, the sort of thing a coach would say to an athlete or team when they had run out of things to say, "just go out there and have fun"....sod off! I've mellowed, I've come to realise that there are too many people working in performance sport that take themselves and their roles far too seriously! It's OK to smile, and it's OK to enjoy your work. It's OK to have some fun along the way with your athletes. Yes, performance sport is a serious business. It's crap when results don't go your way, and there's often a lot of money at stake, careers on the line, injuries to overcome. It's already bloody serious, without some grumpy S&C coach making it worse! Working with the Atherton's showed me that it was OK to have fun along the way...they permitted me to smile, and I'm allowing you to have a little fun along the way.
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