Another question people approach me about frequently is: how do I become a handstand coach? Once again, this question could be answered in various different ways, depending of who I’m talking to. But there are some pointers to consider in my opinion. And I hope that this video helps you to get an idea of some of the essential things in coaching. And of course help you decide on the next steps you should take!
The thing is, the handstand hype is pretty new and there isn’t really a clear path if you are aiming to teach handstands. Most people I know in the field slipped into the role, just by being obsessed with handstands, practicing, nerding about them and becoming good at the skill themselves. But I do have to add that all of the people I know either were already teaching in some other movement field, or at least had been immersed deeply into another discipline or sport.
So here go my thoughts on the whole topic, in the hopes that they are somewhat of a guide for you:
- Educate yourself physically and in theory
Lets take a step back and think about what students are going to want from you, or the things that you are going to have to provide in order to be a successful coach:
You are going to structure and program a training and deal with different kinds of people and body types. You are going to be asked questions around injuries and pains, and if you have savvy students who are nerdy you’ll oftentimes get the question: “what is this drill good for?” or “why do we do this in this particular way?”
So a good place to start for yourself is to just build your own mind around the training process and question your own methods. Don’t be a blind follower of concepts, but rather view them critically and learn to go to the roots – in most cases that is scientific literature or real life experience by case studies. Join discussions with other coaches, observe them and learn from their experiences too.
The other thing you will have to provide is the ability to perform the skill yourself. Not only for credibility, but also to gain experience of going through learning the skill yourself. But this one seems like a no-brainer, right?
- Expose yourself authentically and share your knowledge
This one takes courage! But if you want to find students, the first step is going to be to share your knowledge and communicate that you’re open to helping people. How you go about this is a different question. But the bottom line is that finding students will be hard, if nobody knows about your skills and knowledge and what you have to offer!
- Shift your perspective from a self-centered one to a student-centered one
I think this is my favourite topic to talk about and reflect upon: once you have a student, how do you help them reach their goals? How do you manage to influence them positively? I’ve been coaching people for so many years now. And being around a lot of other coaches I’ve seen this again and again: the struggle of begining coaches to shift their perspective from being focused on themselves to being open for the students needs in moment-to-moment situations. Which exercises and advice do you apply? How do you respond to your student? What tone do you use when you speak to them? Again, this is a whole topic in itself and can take up a whole episode. So if you’re interested in more of this, let me know.
I hope this contributes to your clarity on which steps you should take next, in order to become a successful handstand coach. Let me know what your next steps will be in the comment section below!
And thanks to Ashlee (@handstandsandhappiness) for her hilarious inspiration!
The world is your playground, so just go ahead and do whatever you love!