Training Abroad!! Elevate's Impact in Korea
Our mission at Elevate is to make an impact on everyone that walks through our doors. We are proud to help people with completely different backgrounds and goals. We have built incredible relationships at the same time. I’d like to share one of the most impactful success stories I’ve had the privilege of experiencing and its way more than just training fitness.
A little background about myself is that I am a performance coach that specializes in golf movement, fitness, and biomechanics. I've had the opportunity to help golfers of all ages and abilities. Golf has always been one of my biggest passions and it has connected me with so many people. My golf experience led me to an opportunity to work with a Korean Golf Academy called the International Golf Institute, IGI, led by their Director of Instruction, Robin Symes. Its Winter time in Korea and the snow and blistering conditions bring a lot of Korean golfers to the states in search of a warmer climate to practice. This is IGI's first trip to Las Vegas for their winter camp and we are very excited to be apart of their experience.
There was one detail that was left out before we began training them and it ended up being the best part of the entire experience. Only one of the athletes could speak or understand any English and I had a group of 11 total athletes to coach. My initial thought was that it wasn’t possible to help or train these athletes but I really wanted to give it a shot and help in any way that I could. After training them for a total of 8 weeks, it ended up not only being one of my favorite coaching hours but I left them feeling like they taught me more than I taught them. Here are a few lessons that I’ve learned from getting out of my comfort zone.
The KISS Principle works (Keep it Simple Stupid!)
When we are trying to communicate, I think we naturally like to overthink or overanalyze information and make things complicated. We all know how complicated training movements can be and how much cueing and coaching can take place. By simply demonstrating with action and only giving ONE detail about each exercise, I was able to have a massive impact on their training experience. I think this can be applied to any environment really and it comes down to how we communicate with one another. The KISS principle (Keep it Simple Stupid) is VERY powerful and I was quickly humbled and impressed at the same time to see how well it worked! Don’t forget that some of the most brilliant questions are answered with the most simple answer. We over complicate things and make it harder than it really is. I challenge you to attack life that way more often.
Human Connection & Communication is more than words
This was the coolest part about this entire experience because these athletes don’t speak or understand English. One study done found that communication is only 7% verbal and 93% non-verbal. The non-verbals include body language and tone of voice which mean people already know what you are trying to say before you even say it! Some of the ways I was able to build relationships is actually through natural emotions like laughter, games, and even dancing to similarities in music. I was able to feel a strong connection as a friend and coach without talking with filler questions such as “What do you do for work?” or “Where are you from?”. This was a great reminder for me that we all enjoy the same feeling of human connection and we tend to let the fluffy stuff get in the way of that. I’ve learned to give more than the surface level is comfortable giving and it made the training experience that much better.
This one seems obvious to think about but it can be the hardest to apply in action. This great group of people taught me to enjoy the smaller things in life. Like the fact that we all have the same obsession with Ice Cream or that we are the most competitive people on the planet when playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. These are the things that I will embrace and remember most when they leave. Not how well I coached them, how well they progressed, or what their future holds for them as professional athletes. These aspects of work will always be there and are important to focus on but at the end of the day, how much fun did you have doing it? Sometimes focusing on some of the lighter things in life and making the best of a challenging situation was how I was able to enjoy my “work hour” and truly be happy. I can’t wait to get another chance to work with these great people. Safe travels back home.
Next time you are in a difficult situation that truly challenges you, I hope some of these lessons can help. No matter what our title is in life, we are people first that look for connection and a sense of belonging, even if you don’t speak the same language. Embrace the challenges and try to have some fun at the same time.