MARCH 5, 2015 // AARON DAVIS
“If you identify with a mental position, then if you are wrong, your mind-based sense of self is seriously threatened with annihilation. So you as the ego cannot afford to be wrong. To be wrong is to die. Wars have been fought over this, and countless relationships have broken down.” –Eckhart Tolle
Is there anything worse than being wrong?
I am stubborn, competitive, and like most coaches I have an ego.
The last thing I want to be told is that I am wrong.
Thankfully I hear it all the time from my fiancé, business partner, mentors, athletes, and even data from athlete monitoring.
But fuck is that not great!?
Yes it can knock the wind out of you. It can piss you off. But it opens doors.
We [train adapt evolve] have one foot in the fitness and health field and the other in sports performance. We believe in having both… period.
Yet we have colleagues on both sides scared to death of new information. It’s hard to have thought provoking conversations with them. They would rather put more effort in defending “their way” than allowing something new to grow or for our profession to be enhanced. Instead they stick to outdated dogma that takes advantage of our body’s capacity to survive, instead of our body’s ability to thrive.
Some Sports Performance “Speed Guru’s” blend their training as one part speed training, one part CrossFit. It’s all for entertainment. A workout should not be judged on how many sweat angels are on the floor or lunches end up in the trash can.
They say its because they care or it’s about community.
What in the world does that mean?
I care for my dad but I won’t perform brain surgery on him. Caring is a great place to start, but by no means is that enough and community doesn’t have to be everyone sharing a trash can after a workout. It can be rooted in sound training theory, enhancement of true health and knowledge, and evolution of oneself as to fortify the whole.
It can always be better. And you get better by being wrong, and learning from your mistakes.
Some see new information or knowledge as useless. They feel it’s more threatening to their existence, the existence of the business they’ve built, the community they pride themselves on having or even the day to day practices that they’ve become comfortable running through. They fail to view new information or knowledge (critical, constructive or complementary) as something to connect the dots within their craft. They feel they can’t be wrong.
What we do as coaches is in everything. Engineering, psychology, physiology, art, mathematics, chaos theory, philosophy, communication, emotions (love and hate alike). All these things can be connected back to coaching. Coaching is engineering. Coaching is psychology. It is physiology, art, mathematics… No matter what it is you study or learn, it can be applied. Nothing is useless.
I am envious of artists of the past. Jack Kerouac or a Bob Dylan in the beat generation from the 50’s and 60’s. Artists coming together pushing their craft; collaborating, competing, and even stealing from one another.
It’s why I enjoy talking with other coaches when information flows, when its so good you want to lock yourself away for days or weeks while you toil away putting the pieces together, searching for context in how others think, not just their conclusions.
This last year 3 realizations humbled me:
1. I don’t have the years of experience working with high level athletes as most of the coaches I have learned or will learn from.
2. I haven’t read as much, I am not as organized, nor have the wealth of knowledge in a variety of fields as most of the coaches I have learned or will learn from.
3. I don’t have as much experience with sports technology or the athlete identification process as most of the coaches I have learned or will learn from.
All three of those realizations (among many more) at different times this year pissed me off. I was wrong.
In defeat I might have taken my ball and gone home more than once.
Then 2 other realizations came soon after.
First; they don’t have the same experiences as I do. We all take different paths and thats ok. I might attack a problem using different tools. I will no doubt steal from them, improvise, share my experiences… though they might not be as fancy or methodical right now, I will be damned if I don’t reach a similar solution. I will never be scared to learn because ultimately, leaning doesn’t only help us but our athletes/clients.
Secondly; to quote a mentor of mine “We are all wrong, its just about being less wrong.”
And for me thats enough to wake up, pour a cup of coffee and get to coaching and reading.
By: Aaron Davis