At SBG you will always find coaches who have walked the same path as you.
You will always find coaches who have fought the same battles that you have with training, dieting, improving habits, learning from mistakes, or the let down of not medaling in a tournament.
Not only that, but even when your coach is a black belt, they will still be fighting those battles right alongside you.
We have a saying around here, lead from the front. Leading from the front is about leading by example. When a coach competes, they’re setting the best example students can expect from a leader.
As I prepare for competition, it gives me an opportunity to show my athletes that I’m willing to take the same measures they make to prepare for competition. I’m willing to give up sweets and cut out alcohol. I’m willing to go to bed early in order to get up early. I’m willing to add strength & conditioning to my regimen. I’m willing to do the very things that I ask them to do in order to prepare for competition.
We go out there, give it 100%, and try our best. We make the same sacrifices they do and compete in front of hundreds of people. We run the risk of exposing ourselves to students who come in to learn the very thing we just lost at. We do all the things that we ask them to do for us and then let the chips fall where they may.
The students can see first hand that you are more interested in effort than results. They saw you go out there, busted your butt to lose weight, train, and spent money on travel and registration. You may have lost the match, but your life didn’t come to an end. You didn’t blame or make excuses but did your best and showed that competing in and of itself is a victory.
Maybe you don’t end up on the top of the podium or on the podium at all. All the same, you shake our opponent’s hand, congratulate the winning coach, and walk off the mat with your head held high.
It’s not enough to tell a student to be loyal to you or to respect you. You have to show them what makes you worthy of that loyalty and respect. You have to do that by being in the trenches with them, making the same sacrifices, and fighting the same battles.
All the things you want of your athletes you come by through your actions rather than your demands. Show – don’t tell – them what to do. Only ask of them what you are willing to do yourself.
It’s not about the glory. It’s not about being the best, even though we train to be the best. It’s not about being the Michael Jordan or Barry Sanders of BJJ.
It’s about doing the thing that will truly earn people’s respect, trust, and loyalty. It’s about leading from the front. It’s about being SBG.