25 Frustrations of an Irish Strength Coach

I’m writing this article because I enjoyed the one my good friend and excellent S&C coach Sean Ross wrote with nearly the same title, and like Sean I don’t write this as a negative piece, I want to empower all you fitness people out there that are fighting the good fight, sometimes it can be a lonely place. Don’t give in…


Here it goes;


1) Frustration is after all the courses, perform better seminars you attend, best practice modalities you adhere too, Mike Boyle mentorships you attend and Athletes performance certs you take nobody really cares. In Ireland if the coach knows someone that’s “Into fitness “ or there is someone that is handy or cheap the best person will never get the job, sadly this happens even at the county level. 


2) Frustration is seeing gyms pop up all over the place with under qualified, poorly trained staff, training the tar out of office workers and then injuring them, doubly annoying is the office workers not seeing the correlation. 


3) Frustration is seeing the Olympic lifts constantly and frequently getting butchered by people who can’t perform them correctly, when all they would have to do is book a session with Harry Leech, Alexandria Craig or Peter Stewart for example and never look back (there is more but they are my buddies).


4) Frustration is seeing young teams in your area doing stupid body building style workouts when there are 20 great S&C coaches in the area dying for work. 


5) Frustration is training a team and the laziest player still gets his game despite the coach agreeing with you.  


6) Frustration is my profession getting underappreciated, under paid and over worked. Yet the people I see getting into the profession now do a course and expect to train athletes from day one. Newsflash athletes have no money so train normal people too.


7) Frustration is when you win you get no credit, when you lose you weren’t fit. Add to this no new coach ever coming in to a team says that a team are fit. They sack the old fitness coach 99% of the time. 


8) Frustration is people doing dumb classes when there patently is better and more scientific ways of getting fit without wrecking yourself. Alas it seems nobody wants to listen. 


9) Frustration is the best marketers in fitness earn the most, I know trainers that are world class in Ireland that haven’t got two shillings two rub together. 


10) Frustration is some people in Ireland still think weights make you slow. 


11) Frustration is training a club team and them barely giving you a tracksuit or letting you in a team photo, even though you are paramount to their success. 


12) Frustration is arriving in a team and a fitness coach is a squad member and he bad mouths you before you even start. 


13) Frustration is the bad mouthing, sneering and general horrible professional conduct in my industry. We are changing that hopefully in the ISCI. 


14) Frustration is players that are getting world class treatment and they still moan when you make them do something.


15) Frustration is training someone around horrible injuries only to find they do dumb shit on their own – that you told them not to do about 100 times.   


16) Frustration is no one bringing in post workout shakes – no matter how many times you ask them too. 


17) Frustration is people leaving an online fitness course (they have trained no one yet) but they call themselves S&C coaches on their webpage and blog!


18) Frustration is coaching a team that wins something big and you get no medal, no handshake or no recognition.


19) Frustration is people emailing, texting or tweeting you for a free program or generally a free something, I can’t think of an industry where this is more prevalent. 


20) Frustration is telling someone 1 million times to go to a physio about their injury and they never do, yet still consistently ask you about the injury at every session. 


21) Frustration is seeing educated people judge where they should go train or rehab based solely on price. If you don’t pay you don’t pay attention.


22) Frustration is seeing educated people and trainers sell or use Herbalife or similar bullshit products. 


23) Frustration is having a player telling you how to train the team, I will add to that a client emailing you an exercise they want to do because it looks cool.


24) Frustration is having a potential client say “yea I will definitely be in” and never ever turn up. 


25) Frustration is teams still buying treadmills, machine weights or other crap for big money yet not giving you 500euro for med balls or a TRX.


Please don’t take this as a negative article, I love this industry more than words can describe but I think it’s important to know the flaws in the industry. What cheers me up is talking to the likes of Martin Kennedy, Barry Solan, Gregory Bradley, Harry Leech, Byron Clarke, Robbie Bourke, Adam Speers, Mike Boyle, Sean Ross, Nick Winkleman etc. and even they encounter such problems, so basically even when you get close to the top you still have the same issues by and large.

My advice to young people getting in to the business is to never sell out, visit facilities and network with other coaches. This will make you shrug off all the negativities above and focus on doing a great job.

If you are a potential team coach or maybe a client reading this spare a thought for us lowly S&C coaches fighting to do the right thing.


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