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How to be a talented athlete

My entire life, I have been fascinated by the process of learning. My career has been non-traditional, but all my jobs for the past 15 years have been some sort of coaching or teaching. The complexities of teaching a skill really can’t be overstated.

 

The responsibility of the teacher is to break down a skill for the student so the student can grasp the foundational concepts, practice them, and eventually master them and move on to the next. The responsibility of the student is to approach something as a beginner, to ask questions so they can grasp basics to build a better understanding, and then to study and practice.

 

We understand this concept when learning to read or play piano, but if you ask a novice gym member who taught them to work out, almost all of them will say “I don’t need someone to show me, I basically know what to do”.

 

Really?

 

How?

 

A few years ago, I had a revelation: people think working out is a talent- either something you are able to do or you aren’t. They liken running a mile less to reading and more to singing- either you’re gifted or you’re not. It’s very vulnerable to ask for help from a professional when GOOD or NOT GOOD are the only two options, especially if you’re going to be sweating and gasping in spandex.

 

The truth is, everyone lands somewhere on a continuum of what they know and what they are capable of athletically. Almost every skill involved can be built, modified, and practiced if you just understand where you are starting and how to get to where you’re going.

 

So if you’re looking to really get stronger or get in shape, consider finding a good teacher- it doesn’t even have to be me! Approach it like a beginner and then practice. You might just start to feel like a talented athlete.

 

P.S. I happen to know personally that most people can also be trained to sing, but that’s a different blog for a different day.

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