A Weekend With StrongFirst In Atlanta
My review from SFG-I Jan. 26-29, 2017
Amazing! I’ve had the privilege now to attend seven different events events with StrongFirst and of these, five were kettlebell certifications. Two were as an attendee, SFG-I & II and three as an assistant instructor. All of them have been great and they’ve all taught me tools and techniques that have made me a better coach and easily used immediately with my students. With that said, this particular event was far and beyond any I’ve ever been apart of. I’ve sat back a few times over the past week now and reflected on the weekend. Every time I come back to the same place, knowing I’m a better coach for having been there. These are the three areas that stand out to me.
First, Jason Marshall is an awesome coach. This was his first event as the Master Instructor for StrongFirst, but you would have never know it. Jason was also the team leader of the group I was assisting. There’s always something special about working with someone on a project when it’s new; new to them and new to you. They tend to have just the right amount of nervousness which pushes them to prepare more and to stay focused on the goal. Right out of the gate, Jason far exceed all my expectations from previous events. In the past, I’ve had my team leaders discuss technique modifications and tweek my style and they’ve helped me improve, but Jason did more then just modify and help improve my technique. See, I like to know why and how this change is going to help me, not just be told to do it, and he did that without me even having to ask. At that point I knew this weekend was going to be a lot of fun, both teaching and learning with and from him. It was easy to see how much he loves what it is he does with StrongFirst. On Thursday, he spoke with our team about how these events are more than just certification events, but places where life-long friendships are born. It’s as the the motto says, “Strength has a Greater Purpose” This weekend showed me another layer of that greater purpose. It showed me how the iron brings us together as a family. Jason’s knowledge on the subject was exceptional and his style of leading was stellar. In my short time as an assistant I’ve never had team leader approach the process this way. He is truly a gifted coach and leader, StrongFirst is in great hands when Jason is leading events. Great Job!
Second on my list of what made this weekend great was the students! Not just those attending the event as attendees but instructors and staff alike as we are all students of strength. It great to see how so many people had takeaways from this event. I’ll spend a little more time on the students, because they really had to get out of their comfort-zones. I really liked watching this event unfold and how the students responded to changes. In past events, students would team up with “likes,” same height, weight, general strength and so on, many times these students would stay together all weekend. In my view, this didn’t allow for total interaction of the group and learning. At this event students were asked to change partners after every session. Over the weekend every students worked with at least six different individuals. It was cool to see how they interacted and coached people of different skill levels. It also did more than just allow them to see and work with different body types and skill levels. It allow them to bond and grow new relationships. At the end of the weekend we did the official student introductions. This was a little different order than past certifications, but by doing it this way, after everyone had time to bond with each other through iron & sweat, it made this event special. Everyone felt more comfortable sharing why they were there and how this event had changed them. It was a unique experience and something I would like StrongFirst to continue with at events. I’m not sure how many students will read this on our blog, but to those who do, Thank You for making this such a great event!
The third aspect that made this event so great was the people! When I say people, I mean everyone from the students, team leaders, instructors, and StrongFirst staff. Without them this course would not have occurred and I would not have had this amazing weekend of learning. So, Thank You all for making this one of the best events I’ve ever attended. Attending this type of environment has a contagious energy to it and you can’t help but get excited when you see the lightbulb go off as someone finally realizes they can do something, physically or mentally, they thought impossible only days earlier. Everyone who was there allowed their minds to open and accept the knowledge that was being taught and they all excelled at learning to work with kettlebells while ultimately realizing strength has a greater purpose. As the weekend progressed you could easily see everyone becoming closer as each session past. It goes back to what Jason said to us on that Thursday, “StrongFirst develops more than strength and kettlebell skills. It develops a family of lifelong friendships.” To me StrongFirst is family built around a solid foundation of strength, both physical and mental. We just use a kettlebell, barbell, or our bodyweight to bring everyone together.
In closing, I’d like thank everyone one more time for making this a fantastic weekend and one of the best I’ve every had with StrongFirst. I look forward to many more events with all of you.