It’s all about technique

Many trainers, both personal and professional, as well as coaches have great training programs. However, without proper technique development, no matter how good your program is, the client’s true potential will never be realized.

The development of technique requires learning each aspect of a lift or physical event and applying it properly. It also includes the development of a strong mental attitude and mental training. You must develop in your clients the ability to focus on the specific, whether it is a standing lateral raise or a 100 meter sprint. You must teach them to do it right and to concentrate and focus so they can do it right every time.

The Three Keys to Good Technique

  1. Learn the basics properly;
  2. Become proficient with each motion or exercise; and
  3. Concentrate and focus at all times.

Most trainers and coaches will agree that concentration and focus are one key to a consistent technique. If the client is not totally focused on what he or she is doing, if their mind is drifting to that problem at work or school, or to the letter from the landlord, no trainer can help them and their performance will go the same way as their thoughts; a downward spiral! While trainers seldom seem to focus on these aspects, they should. Let’s look at a few sports and events:

  • In weight lifting, trainers focus on body alignment and position of each lift,
  • In tennis, trainers focus on the serve and the ground-strokes.
  • In golf, trainers focus on the swing, whether it is for the short or long game.
  • In basketball, trainers focus on positioning and shot selection.
  • In football, its speed & strength and position specific skills.
  • In baseball it’s hand-eye coordination.

The body is nothing without a mind’s input. Mental training, i.e., development of mental potential should be as important as physical development. How can the trainer enhance a client’s mental development and attitude to the event at hand? This is not an easy task and one that requires some time to develop and master as a trainer. Then, the key is to be able to convey and transfer it to the client.

The Keys to Develop Mental Potential and Improve Mental Power:

  1. The trainer needs to focus on the positive aspects of the client’s performance. To do this, you must be able to do it for yourself first.
  2. The trainer must adapt the physical training regimen and approach to incorporate mental development. This means that trainers may need to study mental development first. For some clients, this may take some time, a year or more. Get inside the clients head! What makes them tick? How can you challenge them?
  3. You must gain an edge over other trainers. To do this you must first improve your own mental development. Next, you must allow the physical and mental to work together to make a well rounded individual, first for yourself and next for your client. Be ever watchful about how you instruct and development of technique and concept for the individual.
  4. Now, how can your client gain an edge?
  5. Teach the client to relax. With relaxation comes a reduction in stress and greater confidence.
  6. Always compliment. Find something positive to say about the client’s performance.
  7. Use criticism wisely. It must be constructive without being demeaning. It must also be sincere.
  8. Hold nothing back. As a trainer your goal is to produce the best possible client, whether they are the average or the Olympic hopeful. If you know a technique that will help the client, divulge it. Remember that each client represents you. If he or she performs poorly or greatly, you will assume some responsibility for it.

To obtain a state of concentration, mental development and focus, all at the same time, is something many of us have not been shown how to do. Consequently, you may find it difficult and, it will be challenging to develop this within each client. As an example, we can look at any sport. The true secret is to focus precisely on what you’re doing and block out everything else. If its baseball, mental development and learning to focus on a great swing while shutting out all other thoughts, the roar of the crowd, with only the ball bearing down on you is essential if you want to emulate Barry Bonds. You must worry less and focus more.

In a nutshell, the mental component is as significant for technique development as is the physical part. Build the physical edge with the mental edge together; your clients and you will perform better!

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