In early August I read the book InsideOut Coaching By Joe Ehrmann. Joe Ehrmann is a former NFL player and has served for many years as a high school football coach. I have long admired his work and his coaching philosophies. In fact, I speak about Joe Ehrmann in my presentations on The Pursuit of Personal Excellence and Your Life IS Your Legacy. There are many takeaways from this book but I believe one of the most important for trainers is Ehrmann’s breakdown of two styles of coaches: Transactional and Transformational.
- Use players as tools to meet their personal needs for validation, status and identity.
- Hold power over their athletes to elicit the response they want.
- Players obey them out of necessity but never accept their belief systems or buy into their programs.
- Put themselves first and the team second and the player’s growth and needs last, if at all.
- Use their coaching platform to impart life-changing messages.
- Other-centered and use their power and platform to nurture and transform players.
- Put the players first, team second and the coach’s needs are met by meeting the needs of the players.
- Dedicated to self-understanding and empathy.
- View sports as a virtuous and virtue-giving discipline.
In the book Ehrmann encourages InsideOut Coaches to spend time in self-reflection and interior work. As a part of this he encourages all coaches to ask four critical questions:
- Why do I coach?
- Why do I coach the way I do?
- What does it feel like to be coached by me?
- How do I define and measure success?
Here is my challenge to you:
- Reflect on the influential coaches and trainers from your past. Were they Transactional or Transformational?
- Reflect on your style as a trainer.
- Take the time to ask and honestly answer each of the above questions. The answers will help you to determine if you are a Transactional or Transformational trainer.
- If, in honest reflection, you determine you lean more towards the Transactional style then determine what you need to change to become a Transformational trainer.
- Read the book.