But can he COACH?

I ran across an interesting line in a blog the other day. The writer was praising the skills of a former D1 decathlete while he talked about his (very nice) black iron gym. I don’t know the writer, I don’t know the person he was discussing; all I know is that one line caught my eye. The gym owner believes ‘a good lifter can easily become a good coach’ but he believed a coach struggled more becoming a good lifter.


Walk into ANY  gym and watch trainers/strength coaches who’ve watched redunkulous videos on the internet or trained in the past in the most ineffective, unsafe way and you’ll see them repeating the exact same thing! Do they get a pass because they were a D1 athlete or (worse) played sports in high school and haven’t competed since? Any coach worth muster understands the fact that even if someone has an uncanny ability to DO, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have the ability to TEACH. Duh.

It’s even likely that the higher ability of an athlete who learns quickly, visually, and is extremely coachable may have a harder time being able to understand how to simply break down movements to a novice who does not pick things up quickly. I’ve seen it. It’s painful to watch. I’ve even had other coaches ask me, “Why aren’t they getting it!?” with a LOT of frustration. Because coaches who are worth a shit understand that this stuff takes time, patience, and the ability to COACH.

I know. I’m hard on the coaches of the world. Deal. There are so many useless coaches/trainers and many of you become their victims based solely on the fact that they once (or even now) compete(d) at a high level. Are ALL high level athletes useless? Of course not. I personally know some very talented coaches who compete at a high level (higher than I ever will) and have aquaintance with a few others. It could be that the person mentioned above is one of the good guys/gals. I dunno. That’s not the point.

The point is: it may be fun to be trained by Captain America, but only because he’s an excellent coach, not because he is Captain America. Duh!


“The Batman can’t die. He feeds on evil like yours.”


About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to jep6095@gmail.com At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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2 Responses to But can he COACH?

  1. You need to come back to WFAC!

    This is so true I can’t even breathe! Great stuff as always. 🙂

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