Am I a Teacher or a Coach?
Many times “Teacher” and “Coach” are interchangeable and refer to the same thing. In my profession as a teacher, coach and a trainer I have been guilty of using them the that way. However as I grow in this profession it is clear to me that there is a difference. I want to take this time to try and explain what I think the differences are.
I make a living by being a teacher and a coach; at first glance I, like many people I assume, probably describe them all the same. But when I really look at it and take a step back they are very different. When I teach someone a new movement I generally will give the person a quick demonstration while at the same time describe the movement to them and give them what I think are some key things to remember while they are executing it themselves. This to me is a simple explanation of the teaching process.
When I “coach” someone I initially just watch them do the movement and I am looking to see if they properly perform the exercise based on what I have been taught as correct. Based off that observation I can correct things that don’t match-up with what is correct form. Sometimes the movement is blatantly “bad” and other times the movement is pretty good but a might need a minor “tweak” to make it better and more effective. This is having the “coaches eye” to see these things, but that is not enough. To be a real coach I need to find a away to correct the movement that I just observed. Finding the right way to communicate this to an individual can be difficult as the correction I use with one person may not work on the next and I may need to try multiple techniques before finding the one that works with that individual and it then just “clicks” and the lightbulb is turned on.