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I don’t respond well to yelling….

How about you?

I had a new client in the gym this week for a one-on-one appointment. We met and she told me a bit about what she was looking for. She had done quite a bit of strength training during the week and was looking to try to get in some good cardio. I decided on a great high intensity interval circuit with “high” and “low” stations. I helped coach her through the drills; where to place her feet, where to focus, the speed to keep through the interval, etc.

When the workout was done, I asked, “How do you feel?” She said the workout was exactly what she needed!  She said that she “hates” cardio  – but the biggest reason that she knew she needed to get it done. I agreed that often the things that we find the hardest to accomplish are where we should focus more of our effort and attention – even though it can sometimes feel pretty horrible. She also mentioned that she was trying out lots of local gyms and had seen the style of many Seattle and Eastside instructors. She said that one of them yelled – and it was loud – and they had a microphone. She couldn’t understand a thing and between that and the loud music, she felt intimidated.

In a particularly large class, I may increase the level of my voice, but I wouldn’t say that I “yell at people”. I encourage. I support. I challenge. But I will never “yell”.

I don’t respond well to yelling. I feel it implies judgement, expectations that we are not meeting, and anger. I don’t appreciate being yelled at – and that is why I train the way that I do. 🙂  I think that a lot of coaches turn to yelling at their clients as a cop-out, a way to try to bully clients, or scare them into doing “more”. I believe that people should do more when they are ready and that they should feel supported when they do. As a coach, it takes more patience, better coaching skills, and more thought to help someone get through a situation calmly and on the client’s terms than it would to just bark or shout orders. I’d like to think that I’m improving myself at the same time. And for the clients who notice, appreciate it, and make it safely to their goals  – it makes all the difference.