When we asked Lasse Rantala to give us an interview on responsible coaching in one hour, he did not only accept the challenge but managed to present a thorough cross-section of the topic. It clearly says a lot about Lasse's level of knowledge, deep understanding, and long experience as a coach and physiotherapist.
Lasse is on the right.
Responsible coaching is like a big umbrella with its multiple categories. There are some universal rules and values that apply to coaching and in life as a whole. It always matters how we behave and which ethical and moral standards we choose to follow.
Every sport governing body has some rules regarding responsible coaching. When it comes to coaching children and young people, a trainer plays a huge role. Sports trainers and instructors are often role models to them. The trainer has the power in the coaching relationship. The way how the coach acts or tells something has a far-reaching influence on the young people. Each coach has to understand the consequences to perform accordingly. In the best-case scenario, the coach can, with his/her healthy example, spark the inspiration in a young person to become an athlete in the future.
The same applies when coaching adults, but the coaches' example weights less when your clients are adults than when coaching children and teenagers. The next point interrelates to everybody as well. Improvement in any sport or skill is a result of good regular practice. It also matters how the individual spends the hours between the training sessions. The four basics; good sleep, healthy nutrition, recovery between training, and a positive mindset, never go out of fashion.
One of the most difficult tasks of a coach is to think about how he/she should deliver this message in the right way to each individual. It is unethical to say that when you buy this training plan, you become great. Buying something is a guarantee of nothing, even though a responsible trainer can help along. At the end of the day, the person training carries the responsibility for his/her improvement and success.
Having a well-programmed training plan and a professional trainer is a great idea, especially then when you are a beginner and want to learn the right techniques or when you want to make progress in your training. During our discussion, Lasse pointed out four things on how to spot a responsible coach.
We cannot highlight enough how important it is to meet every person as any person. No type of discrimination is acceptable, and a responsible coach doesn't cave into favouritism.
It always matters how the coach behaves and how he or she carries him/herself. A coach always sets an example, and he/she must think ahead and understand the consequences of his/her words and actions.
A good and responsible coach is honest. The goals should be realistic and based on the fitness level of an individual. It's nobody's advantage to create a fool's paradise.
A responsible coach always knows his/her limitations, seeks help, or sends the person to another professional if he/she sees he/she cannot help.
The relationship between a coach and the person paying for training is based on trust, and building a trustworthy tie takes time. What you want to look for in a coach is the professional ability, experience, and social skills. The coach should ideally have a degree in sports. Experience comes obviously with time. Also, pay attention to how he/she connects with people. The mindset of the trainer matters.
A responsible coach concentrates on the long-term results and helps to create a long-lasting joy towards exercising. That's why Lasse stands for clean sport and anti-doping sports.
It's the trainers' job to keep the people safe and send them home if they are sick. A good coach also says when you should use smaller weights, take a break, or changes the plan if something doesn't work. The goal is to be able to train for decades.
Lastly, we talked about how it's not the trainer's job to motivate a person to train because motivation comes and goes. Passion, consistency, and discipline are behind the success of the best athletes in the world. It doesn't mean that we should all train like a top athlete, but we can all learn something from this approach. We all can create long-lasting results with the help of healthy routines, and nobody is always motivated. It's normal "not to feel like it" - it's also up to us how we act when this emotion appears. Do we need to skip the training and rest, or can we slow down instead? Even in CrossFit, it's not always wise to go all out. Sometimes, it is smarter to take down the intensity than forcing yourself to go hard.
Coaching is not about motivating. - Lasse Rantala
If you are searching for a functional training program, go and see theAthlete Training Protocol. All training plans of Lasse contain precautionary movements that help you to prevent injuries. Every training description carefully explains the meaning of the exercise and how you should do every posture. You can always choose the tailored variation to fit your level. On the website, you can find two different programs. Choose the one that suits your needs.
Based on the Interview with Lasse Rantala on 29.1.2021.
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