Leo Frincu: What is the definition and purpose of a fitness/athletic trainer/coach?

Coach Leo Frincu with his star pupil, UFC women's bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey
Coach Leo Frincu with his star pupil, UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey
The purpose of a trainer is to provide the athlete with the necessary tools to improve his/her performance. A trainer’s goal is to create an environment where an athlete acquires effective behavior rapidly.

During training, a trainer must make it a priority to create opportunities to expose a particular weakness and enhance physical/mental strength in their athlete. Since you (the athlete) is the one performing, their job (the trainer’s) is to increase your ability to make fast and effective decisions under stress. NOT to make the decisions for you.

It is quite the opposite of what most trainers do. As Comenius puts it, “The more the teacher teaches, the less the student learns”. Most trainers, subconsciously and involuntarily are stripping individuals from their ability to reach their highest potential. They diminish athlete’s problem solving skills.

A trainer’s job is not to tell you what to do. His job is to layout a customized training regiment based on individual needs. A trainer should provide you with the right information and attempt to emulate a particular setting, with the goal always being, to help you learn more about yourself.

Their goal is to help you reach your peak performance. But how do you do that? The training regiment should be designed to provide you with insights about your own resources and to eventually help you learn how to successfully manage them.

It is never about the exercise. It’s always about the one who performs the exercise. It’s never about the trainer; it’s always about the athlete.

Since the purpose of an exercise is to provide you with feedback, your performance should increase with time, not decrease. You should get better, not worse, as your workout progresses.

How many times have you heard “I did my best” while failing to finish a task? How many times has your performance decreased as your exercise went on? How many times have you said, “I got tired”? Typically, your number one goal is to get the job done not to give your best, whatever that is.

A trainer’s job is to create an independent individual able to efficiently react under pressure. His goal is to create an athlete capable of standing on his OWN. Most trainers are proudly creating codependent zombies … strong ones indeed.

This happens because their goal in training is to get over it and not into it. They zone out versus zooming in. Trainers brainwash athletes into followers but expect them to act like leaders once in competition.

Believe it or not, trainers train athletes one way and expect them to perform another.

For example: When competing in a fight, an athlete has a very little chance of hearing his corner’s advice. What makes you believe an athlete is consciously listening to his corner and trying to perform at the same time?

Furthermore, in between rounds, a trainer will even make sure his athlete understands (and hears) what he’s saying by asking the athlete to verbally confirm what he has been told. There might be times when an athlete will make eye contact with his corner; only then might he acknowledge, but not necessarily follow, their advice.

This explains why athlete’s corner/staff are hopelessly screaming during their student’s performance.

They do this because they subconsciously don’t trust that their athlete has the ability to make good decisions under pressure. They’re not giving instructions. Rather, it is due to the guilt of sending a crippled athlete into combat/competition.

The trainer’s doubt about his athlete’s ability to perform is coming out under the form of a hysterical scream. They don’t scream at their athlete, they actually scream at themselves. Don’t ask them to admit this…they won’t, because they’re not even aware of it.

I’m not saying not to get excited about your athlete. I’m just wondering if you truly believe your athlete is actually listening or acknowledging what you have to say while trying to punch someone in the face?

Your number one priority is to provide your athlete with the necessary tools and the right training regiment while having only one goal in mind: self-improvement. His body will get leaner, stronger, and faster, however, if not properly taught; an athlete will not know how to fully take advantage of his own resources. He needs to actually acknowledge the mental growth after every training session.

A trainer’s job is to create an environment of self-awareness during training camp giving an athlete the opportunities to self evaluate and grow. An athlete shouldn’t walk out of the gym the same way he came in. You’re equipping him with strength, speed, power, agility, and many other skills… shouldn’t you also teach him how to manage them wisely? I’m not saying for you to just believe me; it must also make sense to you.

My training philosophy’s results from last year can speak for itself: Ronda Rousey, UFC Champion, Romulo Barral, Black Belt Jiu Jitsu ADCC/World Champion, Diana Prazak, Boxing World Champion and Christian Bello, Jiu Jitsu Black Belt World Champion. These are just a few cases among many others.

We all need structure. Whether it is for growing up, growing stronger, or growing smarter, it is possible due to your ability to self-improve. It’s all about investing. Whether you invest money, or time, or effort, you must have a profit in order for it to be worthwhile. You need to grow in order to gain and you need to gain in order to grow.

It’s about what you put in and not what you get out. It’s about what goes in and not what comes out. It is about what stays and not what leaves. It is all about winning. So next time you’re about to train your athlete ask yourself, what is it that I ultimately want to accomplish with this training session? Thank you.

leo frincu photosLeo Frincu came to the United States from Communist Romania with $10, a back pack and four words of English. Now, he’s a businessman, renowned trainer and mentor for UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Among his many athletic accomplishments, Leo is a six-time Romanian wrestling champion, four-time European champion and was also trainer and coach for the 2003 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team. Leo is the author of a new book, “Choosing Freedom,” which details the steps he took to leave the oppressive Romanian society through wrestling and how his experiences have helped him in the United States – going from a bus boy to successful entrepreneur. You can learn more about Leo Frincu on his website www.LeoFrincu.com. Also, follow Leo on Twitter @leofrincu and “LIKE” his page on Facebook.