Over the past few years, mistakes have become something I've come to enjoy rather than take negatively, because learning from my mistakes has not only made me a more solid coach, but a better human as well. In my career a few things stick out in my head that I wish I had known earlier in my journey as a strength coach.
#1 - Emphasis on Consistent Programming
The human body is constantly adapting and adjusting, and the stresses we place on the body through exercise are what trigger adaptation. When I first started weight training in high school, I was lifting weights 4-5 days per week and eating literally anything I could get my hands on (thanks, Panera for the gains). Soon enough, I learned that I could not just randomly come into the gym and do a few push ups, then some seated pull downs with the cable machine. There had to be some sort of consistency, some sort of "game plan."
This went on for a year or so until I began my transition to becoming a coach. I researched everything from bodybuilding routines to max deadlift programs and then tried them out on myself. That was when I started to get results; from the consistency of following a specific, smart, and well thought-out program with an end goal in sight. Think of someone who is "fit" or "jacked" in your eyes - have you ever asked them how long it took to get there? It took me 12 years of consistent weight training and eating lots of proteins and veggies. Consistency always reigns king. Do your research into a program or hire a coach, but most importantly stick with something long enough to yield results.
#2 - Keep it Simple
I really like to make things more complicated than necessary. This is something that I am always striving to work on. Ill admit it, when I was a novice coach I made my clients perform squats on a Bosu ball( happy that I got that off my chest). I realize now that there was no benefit to having them do that. When I think about my own training at that time, I wasn't doing any of those things. I was squatting heavy, deadlifting heavy, and pressing heavy shit over my head and seeing results. Yet, for some reason, I subjected my clients to over-complicated, unnecessary, and fancy exercises for the sake of variety. When in reality, the basics were enough.
You can apply this to anything in life, whether it's your training, nutrition or even your mindset. Stick to the basics, be consistent with them, perfect them, and then perfect them some more.
"An old trick well done is far better than a new trick with no effect" - Harry Houdini