You Probably Don’t Need Us to Yell at You

by Michael Plank

I can’t tell you how often I meet with someone and, when I ask them what tools or resources they feel like they need to reach their goals, I hear “I just need you to yell at me.”

That’s funny. I get it. But almost no one I talk to needs that.

Don’t get me wrong. Yelling at someone to get them to do something can be extremely successful, but only in the short term.

The vast majority of the people we work with – I mean 95% or more – want to be healthier. They want to feel confident and strong and full of energy,and they want to be able to do stuff with their kids and grandkids and friends.

Are you ready for the secret for how to do that? Here it is: find the right gym (or program), and then keep doing it for as long as you live.

That’s it.

I don’t know a single person who wants to be yelled at for as long as they live. It’s miserable. Like I said, it’s effective short term. If you’re a parent, you know that yelling at a kid will generally get them to change their behavior. But how’s the relationship with that kid as an adult going to be if all you do is yell at them?

You don’t need me to yell at you. What you probably need is for me to hold your hand. I’m not saying that we’ll never tell you things you don’t want to hear: that’s part of accountability. I’m not saying we’ll never help you find intensity: that’s part of coaching.

But what you probably need is not yelling; it’s for me to point out to you what you’re doing that’s legitimately great. You probably need me to open doors for you to new behaviors, new habits, and new groups of people who are on the same path as you. You probably need me to listen and understand when things get tough and to help you see that tough days are a part of the journey too. You probably need me to be the kind of person that you like to be around enough that you’ll put up with me for years on end.

Is that kind of “soft” or woo-woo? Maybe. I don’t really care. What I care about is getting you as fit and healthy as possible for the rest of your life. And maybe someone out there can do that for you by yelling at you, but I’m sure that I can’t.