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Ryan Mcumber, Signing Off…

posted on July 29, 2019

Here is the last UF blog post I will ever write. As dramatic as it may sound, I am just going from full time to part time at Union Fitness. But it has been amazing to get the support that I have received from everyone before leaving.


I have decided to go back to school (CCAC) to redo some prerequisites to make myself more competitive to apply to Physical Therapy schools in a year. Physical Therapy schools become more and more competitive each year but I am very excited to go for it to see if I can get in. 


After working for Union Fitness full time for about a year and half, I have learned a lot about being coach. I believe every coach should strive for these three things. 


  1. Constantly try to learn more  
  2. Stay humble
  3. Make people feel welcome 


Striving to learn more:

Every coach should be actively trying to learn more. This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how complacent some coaches get. This doesn’t mean that a coach should bring a new exercise to every workout- the basic’s work. But I always love to learn new ways to teach the basics. This allows the coach to be prepared when his/her favorite cue doesn’t work. Learning different cues, set-ups and warm-ups can be beneficial when people are coming to your classes with all sorts of health and injury backgrounds. If I have a football player and a professional speed walker, there is a strong possibility that I need two methods to teach the squat. I have been fortunate to steal a lot of ideas from my fellow coaches at UF.


Staying humble:

This is one of the harder things for any coach, especially me coming  straight  out of college. Of course with my degree and only 6 months of experience I was the best coach of all the land. Even though I was willing to learn, I wanted to show everyone how much I knew. 


Now things are much different. It takes a few coaches to show you really how little you know. After this realization I made sure to ask every coach numerous question’s. I wanted to see how they set-up class, how they taught a certain exercise, how do they approach a large class size vs a small one, how they structured their programs and a lot more. It benefited me drastically to ask every coach I can find questions. Union is fortunate to have some knowledgeable and experienced coaches that I have annoyed with my questions. 


Making people feel welcome:

After my experience at UF, I now believe that this is the most important part of being a coach. 


At one point of working full time I had the opportunity to hire someone new. I was thinking about the criteria that I wanted and questions I was ready to ask. The first things that came to mind were: did they have an exercise science degree, years of experience, and what type of weightlifting background they had. As important as these are, if you are unable to convey the information or even worse not be very welcoming in the gym then none of the credentials matter. If the coach is not a nice person then this knowledge is wasted. 


A coach must help people feel like the gym is a place where they can try all new things without any sort of embarrassment. A coach must create an environment that not only people wanted to come back to but are looking forward to coming to class. Maybe  not  the Cardio Lab, since that class is rough, but most classes. If anything else I hope that I created this environment for everybody. I hope that people felt excited to take my classes and more importantly come to Union. 


I believe after spending the last couple weeks coaching and working hands on with Curtis that he has all of these qualities and I am excited to have him take over my position at UF. I will help by working on the weekends and doing a little personal training here and there. If you start to miss me, come see me on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday!


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