What Does Your Certification Mean?

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Let me get real with you.  I want to talk about the value of certifications to me as a coach.  They are just pieces of paper for the most part.  A wall full of them means that I spent a lot of time listening to someone talk about training.  It means that I spent some money and someone gave me an attendance award.  Maybe I passed an exam; that means I understood some concepts or memorized some information.

But for the most part, a certification does not equal a quality coach!

As a coach, I display a certificate because I am proud of attending, but know that deep down each certification that I have is a starting point for growth.  If I stop there and do not put anything into practice, then it is worthless.

So how do you decide what certification to get?  There are two things to take into consideration.  First, think about is it required for you to do what you want to do.  That is the primary reason that I have several of my CrossFit certifications.  The L1 is required to be on the floor of the gym I train at.  The additional ones that I have were solid starting points for development and growth.  These are what I classify as foundational certifications.  They are there because you have to have them.  That is their primary purposeIMG_1966USC-Cert-Logo2

The second type of certification is what I would refer to a value certification.  For me these are the one’s that you hang on the wall and are proud to do so.  These certifications talk to your character as a person and as a coach.  I recently completed Zach Even-Esh’s Underground Strength certification.  This is one that I would call a value certification and that is because much of what it talked about, is about who you need to be as a coach.  What we coach and what we teach people is secondary to being better people daily.

This second type of certification is one that hangs on the wall and you say I represent this brand or I represent ZEE and his brand.  I better keep up the standards that he has set and attack life the way that he does.  And in reverse to some degree, by putting this out ZEE represents me.  That means that we are accountable to each other.  His motto of “Live the Code” is a call to lead your life in a way that makes people take notice.  Those are value certifications.

So what do I recommend when you are trying to decide which certifications to get.  First and foremost get the ones that you must have to run your business, but then start looking for the one’s that best represent who you are and who you want to be.  Get the one’s that when someone sees it on your wall, they get a sense of exactly who you are.

But above all else, remember that the certifications do not make you a great coach…you do that!