Coach Will here to say: I have absolutely no problem with making up new words.

No matter how ridiculous or nonsensical, the only criteria I maintain is that the listener must understand the word in context. If they do, you’re good to go. (...and occasionally they look at you like you’re stoned--be warned).

In fact, the process of making up “shared words” is that you create a little bridge of understanding around a specific, new thing.

That’s exactly the kind of scaffolding that helps our brains form new memories, even while it releases a nice little hit of feel-good brain chemicals. It feels good to connect.

These are the simple, day-in/out interactions that effectively construct that magical thing called “community”.

In our business, our effectiveness at building these emotional interactions is directly reflected with concrete numbers--hard evidence--like…

  • More regular attendance in class

  • Improved performance on specific training metrics

  • Less injuries*

...and a bunch of “soft” evidence too, like the way someone seems more at ease, more settled, more able to be whoever they are when they’re not stressed-the-fck-out-all-the-time.

I was reminded of this recently. After my initial consult call with a new client (F), I found myself re-organizing our usual introductory assessment and session plan to better suit… him.

I realized how individualizing a program is as much about actually interacting with clients, asking questions and listening deeply, as it is about adjusting what you “have them do”, especially at first (of course, they do all the real work...💪).

As a coach, taking the time to listen to people, to make as strong a connection with the person in front of you as you can, is so valuable, for so many reasons, that there’s no real reason not to. You gotta do it.

And we all know what the alternative looks like. Call it “mansplaining” or “being an a**hole”, but the temptation for many of us (and let’s be honest, especially men) to react as quickly as possible to solve the fcking problem just, well… doesn’t help that much.

Even as I made our intro material more specific to F, I shaped into a form that he would understand better, and not just giving him what we give everyone. Cuz he’s not everyone. 🙄

And I found myself using a new word: in, what your joints need to effectively out-maneuver injurious positions. Usually we use the awesome word “Variability”, which is the technical term for this quality that is magic for joint mobility.

It’s all about building flexibility, and not necessarily in terms of how far you can stretch (your Range of Motion). Nope, it’s actually way more important than that.

It’s about the flexibility of your approach, how ready you are for the next, unknown thing. So when your joints have a whole menu of various movement options--and not just one, overused path--they can spread the load more evenly.

They’re more variable. And armed with that variability, your body can learn how to do some truly amazing things.

Variousness (2).png

But it starts with building the bridge of shared language, understanding, and trust, so that we’re ready to learn from our environment and each other.

Go make up some new words ;),

Coach Will