Monday’s are devoted to female related topics to help females begin or continue to train.
There were several ladies at the workshop this weekend and they had a large range of experience in lifting. This means that they have different needs when it comes to coaching. Coaching is the ability to communicate with a trainee in order to get them to succeed. I purposely leave the definition a bit vague because I don’t think coaching is only limited to merely achieving desired mechanics.
The interpersonal relationship with the trainee is important; how they are treated and how they interact with the coach will have an effect on their success. In my case, I shift roles depending on my audience. I alter my diction, tone, and choice of words based on the synthesis of information I have received from the person. Sometimes this information is a result of them answering my questions, but it’s also dependent how I passively read their body language and personality. I get a feel for their understanding of the material, their education level, and quickly learn how optimally they receive and understand information. All of this, of course, isn’t perfect all of the time, but it’s what is going through my head.
In the case of the women at this past weekend’s workshop, some of them only needed brief conceptual explanations with some specific cues and they could use their kinesthetic sense to make it happen. Others required further break down of the steps to simplify gross movement patterns into simple actions that their body could easily understand. It’s not that this kind of stuff doesn’t occur with males (because it does), it’s just that the percentage of females that come from a lifting background is lower than males.
When in doubt, things should be kept as simple as possible. One or two simple goals can be set for each training session. If those goals are met, then correct the next fault in the triage. However, if the third improvement causes the primary goals to regress, then cut it out and return to the original plan. Guys who lift regularly have a tendency to try to explain movements when a girl is unable to perform it properly. Explanations may be relevant, but if they occur they need to be whittled down into one, maybe two things to think about when lifting. This goes for all trainees, but especially girls without a lot of lifting experience.
I’m interested in the results of the poll above as it will give a break down of 70’s Big readers and their involvement with female trainees. If a large percentage are females who receive coaching, then I can focus these posts on “doing” rather than “teaching”. Feel free to ask questions or suggest further topics related to female training for future posts. I’m also working on some stuff that includes the help from another female coach/trainee, so stay tuned for that.