Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I walk the line...

Recently, it was brought to my attention that I have an ego about my training.

SURPRISE! Not the first time I have been told, and surely not the last.

This began an interesting thought process, one which urged me to explore the questions that arose from the mindset most professional athletes, successful business owners and entrepreneurs own: confidence in oneself and one's abilities.

But how do they convey their confidence without sounding cocky or having an ego?

How do they make the distinction clear to those around them? Especially if their relationships and/or success may rely on walking a fine line between confidence and cockiness?

Naturally, there can be some confusion, especially with someone who exudes confidence before those who might not understand why or where it comes from. Let's dig deeper - perhaps in the dictionary...

According to Merriam-Webster:

Confidence is 'a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances'

Ego is 'the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world' (layman's terms: how you see yourself as compared to others in the world/your surroundings)

Cocky means 'boldly or brashly self-confident'

Hmm, maybe I have all three? Maybe athletes, businessmen and entrepreurs do as well?


The quarterback who leads his team to a fourth-quarter comeback MUST have confidence in his ability as well as his teammates', who then put their egos aside to win the game together, without being too cocky and trying to do more than their position requires...but losing sight of their own job and the team's job as well...

The quarterback's confident mindset makes everyone on the team better. His attitude of being the best, or striving to be, the best quarterback he can be, leads him to train harder. This leads him to study more film. This leads him to throw more with his receivers. This leads his teammates to practice more...

The quarterback that goes in to practice without the mindset that he can be better than he was yesterday? Settling for less than his best, and his teammates do not feel an impact from his presence.

But wait, how does this apply to me again? Ah, another tangent...

My final point:

1) I think I am one of the best (if not the best) trainer(s) in New York City.

2) I study daily, from research articles, to programs, from the results other strength and conditioning coaches and trainers are achieving with new ideas, methods and books.

3) I program for each and every one of my clients, using scientific principles that utilize proven methods, based on their individual needs, goals and exercise history.

4) I hold my service to be of higher standards than others, and thereby provide a service that is unparralled in my attention to detail and results.

If it was not for point number (1), the chances of 2 - 4 happening would be slim, my retention rate would be low, and my career as a Strength Coach/Personal Trainer would be short-lived.


I stepped foot in my high-school weight room when I was 12 years old, bench-pressed 65 pounds for 3 reps, considered myself weak, and told myself I would never again feel that way.

I stepped foot in a NYC gym in 2006, considered myself new and naive to the profession, yet determined to never again feel that way.

Years later, my bench press 3-RM stands at 315, and my service is close, if not up to, being the best Personal Training/Strength Coach service NYC has to offer...

...All because I walked the line between having the confidence to believe in my product and myself, swallowing my ego to allow myself to be open-minded to learning, and to avoid being cocky in my training style and programs.

And my results?

They speak louder than I ever can.

Coach Kev

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The #1 Tip For Fitness Professionals?

Recently, after much thought and deliberation, I decided to shift gears from management to Personal Training. Although I will miss the 55 trainers at my last location, my learning and teaching others, including 3-4x more clients, is just beginning. This is where today's post comes in...

I was recently asked for the best tip, my best piece of advice, that anyone in the fitness world can use.

My first response? Silence. I was never asked that question before, so specifically towards fitness, yet so vague towards the audience at the same time. My old position required teaching anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, etc. And I could recite that information easily. This question started a thought process...

Then it hit me...I was teaching material from books. Almost like a school environment!

They never taught you this in school...

My #1 Tip for Fitness Professionals:

Be open minded. Do not only read what you know; do not know only what you read.

There are so many trainers, instructors and coaches in the field today who have specialties in one or two areas (marathons or kettlebell training, for example), and who apply their training style and experiences to all those they train.

However, this leads to a disconnect, especially to the clients' goals. From a managerial standpoint, I have seen this more often than not.

A carpenter uses the a different tool for every job, based on that specific job.

A Fitness Professional should use a different program for every client, based on that specific client.

Be open-minded as a Fitness Professional: with your training styles, the books and articles you read, with other trainers and coaches you associate yourself with, and I guarantee your knowledge and expertise (along with your earnings!) will increase.

Coach Kev