This week on Barbell Shrugged we have the pleasure of welcoming back the fabulous Diane Fu, one of the most engaging and remarkable weightlifting coaches to come out of the Crossfit scene.
If you missed her the first time around, then please, go back and check out episode 90 of the podcast. You’ll be very happy you did. Diane is pure barbell zen, a patient and highly skilled teacher, and she’s as sharp as any razor we’ve come across. In short, she’s one of our favorite coaches. We always come away from these chats with some new pearls of wisdom, and a refreshed perspective on training.
This kind of coaching quality takes more than knowledge, it’s more than programming talk and the ability to teach the lifts. No, the very best remain wide open and wholly receptive to new ideas, which is a rare thing. They freely share and mix what they find, creating those refreshing new perspectives that serve to move the sport forward. They recognize that the learning process never stops, that the next great insight or teaching tool is just around the corner. Better still, they are constantly looking for ways to inspire and be inspired, to showcase the art and craft of coaching.
Of course, Diane’s got plenty of great programming pearls to share. The best might might be her take on seeking out the “right way” to train. It’s pretty common to hear athletes and coaches compare, contrast and critique methods, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the real wisdom is in understanding that there is no right way. Training is more of an evolutionary process. Everyone must develop the same fitness base and essential skills, but beyond that optimal performance means continual experimentation. It means seeking out what works best for the individual, period. From there nothing is set in stone. That’s exactly where the art and craft of coaching comes in.
To be one of the best you have to chase those novel experiences. Never, ever stop learning, and don’t be afraid to seek out knowledge from unexpected sources. Never turn down an opportunity to have a conversation with a potential mentor. In fact, do that as often as you can. That’s what makes a great coach.