Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I Plan To Learn More About In 2012

Last year around this time I wrote a post (I cannot believe I have been blogging for over a year!!) about what I wanted to really focus on/learn about in 2011.  I stated in the post that it is a good idea to choose one or two areas that you want to really dive into and learn about for the year.

I got this advice from Mike Robertson, and I put it into practice last year for the first time and really improved my understanding of physiology and energy systems as well as the anatomy of the spine and its pain and dysfunctions, which were my two areas of focus for 2011.

I have decided to continue on with this process this year.  However, instead of two areas I am going to dive into one fairly broad topic.  I truly believe it will help me become a much better coach.  Plus, I love learning about it.

The topic is behavior change/psychology.

This area of study is fairly new to me, but it is something that I have realized I need more knowledge of the longer I coach people.  I have a post coming out on this topic soon, but basically, when I first started out as a coach I read strictly science-y stuff such as anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, etc.  These areas are all very important and have helped me to offer sound nutrition advice, spot and correct movement error, write solid programs, and have helped me gain a good understanding of the training process.

Basically, these topics have given me the answers as to how my clients can reach their goals, but they have not taught me how to get my clients to follow and implement these solutions.  I have realized that I need to not only have the solutions and plan for a client to reach his or her goal but also a way to inspire him or her to follow that plan.

How can I convince her to choose the one in her right hand?

I believe by digging into behavior change and psychology resources I can get better at this.  Below are some books that I plan on tackling this year to learn more about this topic.


Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Cialdini

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely (I actually just finished this one and highly recommend it.  Dan Ariely is also a great speaker and has some good TED talks I would recommend - HERE and HERE)

Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change by William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick

Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney (reading this one right now and it is really good)

Thinking Slow and Fast by Daniel Kahneman

The Blackmail Diet by John Bear

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath

The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition by John Berardi and Ryan Andrews (I have read most of this, but it is a great resource to come back to on this topic)

As you can see, I have a lot of reading to do.  Luckily, I am a big nerd so it should not be hard.  :)

So, what are you going to learn more about this year?  

Also, if you have good resources for this area of study please let me know. 

Have a great week everyone!


  1. I've read Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, Motivational Interviewing, and was lucky enough to get a copy of "the blackmail diet' from my library on inter-library loan... it's pretty funny book, quick read.

    I've heard the others are excellent, particularly "influence" and "switch"

  2. What did you think of the PN text and Motivational Interviewing? Also, what are you reading/learning about right now?

  3. The PN Text is really good. I incorporated a lot of what they have in there, especially initially. After doing this for several months, I've noticed my method has evolved quite a bit, but the PN method is a really good starting point.

    Motivational Interviewing is really good, mostly it just takes practice applying it. I'm still working at it!