Coachable vs. Uncoachable Athletes

Coachable vs. Un-coachable Athletes

Written by Taylor Greenwood  

     I’m sure you have heard of an athlete who has been deemed “un-coachable”. But what does this mean? To understand what makes an athlete either coachable or un-coachable, it is important to understand specific personality traits and specific personality states.


First and foremost, let’s explain the difference between a personality trait and a personality state. A personality trait is a behavior that is relatively stable overtime whereas a personality state is a behavior that is determined by circumstances. Now that we have differentiated between a personality trait and a personality state, let’s get into determining which personality characteristics create coachable and un-coachable athletes.

Beginning with characteristics that create coachable athletes, having a personality trait referred to as openness is key. Openness can be described as one’s interest in learning new things or experiencing new things. Theoretically, when an athlete is more open, they are more inclined to learn from their coaches as well as more likely to try new techniques pertaining to training. In addition to the trait of openness, coaches are high on athletes who demonstrate the personality trait conscientiousness. Conscientiousness refers to an athlete’s eagerness to perform a skill well. Ideally, athlete’s who are conscientious possess a high level of self-discipline, are thoughtful, responsible, reliable, and efficient. Having placed high values on their personal and team commitments, coaches seek out athlete’s who demonstrate these qualities. To add, the personality trait agreeableness is highly sought after as it can describe someone who is trusting, kind, and seeks cooperation. Athlete’s who are seen as more agreeable are often seen as more professional.  


The three above listed characteristics are considered to be trait based. A coachable characteristic that is considered state based would be extroversion. Extroversion pertains to an athlete’s level of comfort within certain settings. When an athlete is more comfortable in a certain setting, they are likely to be more energetic, display higher levels of warmth, be more active, and exhibit more assertiveness. This personality state is most beneficial when circumstances require higher levels of energy as other athlete’s can feed off of this. The opposite of extroversion is introversion, which can describe an athlete who chooses to work in smaller groups, are less outgoing, and are critical thinkers. Introversion can be beneficial in circumstances that require an athlete to think thoroughly about things.   

Characteristics that are seen in athletes who are deemed un-coachable may include neuroticism and/or narcissism. Neuroticism refers to an athlete’s inability to regulate their emotions. Typical descriptions of a person who displays neuroticism would be moodiness, impulsiveness, jealousy, and frustration. This personality could be categorized as a state because sports tend to bring about more neurotic tendencies due to the pressure filled environments. Narcissism is an egotistical approach to things where an athlete may have a limited awareness of others, and instead thinks primarily of themselves. 

There is no doubt that coachable athletes are more desired. This is not to say that every personality characteristic listed above is an end all of determinants for coachable and un-coachable athletes. My hope with this blog is to give you a brief understanding of typical characteristics that can easily explain what makes an athlete either coachable or un-coachable. I encourage you to reflect on your personality characteristics and try and incorporate some of the listed coachable characteristics that you may not currently display.


Perry, John. “Understanding people: psychology of sports.” Sports Psychology: A Complete Introduction. 22 March 2016. 3-24. Hodder & Stoughton 

SoCal Weekly Newsletter 09/18

Hey Team,

Get ready for an exciting next couple of months!

October 12th: SoCal Brunch
October 25th: Pong Championship/Costume Party
$10/team buy in, winner takes all!
November 2nd: SPLWC Meet
November 9th: SoCal Grand Re-opening

More details will be coming your way as we get closer to each event, but mark your calendars!



The first ever Southern Pacific LWC Meet is just around the corner! Get involved however you can, if you are not competing then come support athletes from our region and help volunteer.

Volunteer/Athlete Registration

SoCal Winter Classic

Registration is now open for our Winter Classic, December 14th-15th.
Talk to your coach about registering!


Information about signing up to volunteer will be provided closer to the date of the event. Thank you in advance for all your help!

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Re-Cap: Concordia Cheer Combine

On Saturday, some of our coaches and athletes set up a table at a local cheer event to show the athletes what weightlifting is all about and encourage them to consider extending their athletic career to pursue our sport. We have a few ex-cheerleaders at SoCal, so it was cool to see them connect with the girls and show them that cheerleaders make great weightlifters. Any opportunity for SoCal to get involved with our greater community and tell people about weightlifting is a win!


Blog Post

Any one of you can attest to the mental challenges faced as a weightlifter. If you overlook this aspect of your training, you are doing yourself a disservice. Taylor, our intern from Cal State Fullerton, is here as a resource to you to work on your mental game. Pay attention to her blog posts and try implementing these things in your training.

Well guys, have a great rest of the week and we will see you in the gym!

- SoCal Staff

SoCal Weekly Newsletter 09/11/2019

Upcoming Events

October 12th: SoCal Brunch
October 25th: SoCal Water Pong Championship/Halloween Party
November 2nd: SPLWC Meet
November 9th: Grand Re-Opening
November 10th: Sarah Smith's bridal shower

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On Sunday, Megan competed at Rep Max Performance as a train through meet. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported her! She snatched 82 kilos and clean and jerked 107. Good job Megan! She is gearing up to compete at AO Finals in Salt Lake City, and is 12 weeks out.

New Blog Post

Taylor's blog post this week is about mental imagery. It's something most of you probably use in training and competing with out realizing it. Taylor offers some great pointers about how to utilize this skill. Check it out...

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November 2nd we are throwing the first ever Southern Pacific LWC Weightlifting meet in Irvine. This is a huge step towards unifying our region and growing our sport. Registration is now open, and we will also be needing volunteers! Talk to your coach about registering for this meet, and if you are available please sign up to volunteer.

Register to compete


New Members

Please take the time to get to know our newest members! Say hello, make them feel comfortable and at home here with us.


Nutrition Challenge

We are doing a 28 day nutrition challenge starting on Monday, September 16th. The last day to register is Friday, September 13th. $99 gets you 28 days of meal plans, weekly check-ins, and support from your coach.


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Thank you for being a part of our community!

- SoCal Staff

Mental Imagery

Utilizing Mental Imagery

Written by Taylor Greenwood, our Sports Psychology Intern

One of the most widely used and most effective sports psychology techniques is the practice of mental imagery. Whether an athlete practices imagery before training or before a competition, this technique has been proven effective for elevating an athlete’s game, by improving confidence and motivation.

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The human mind is a powerful tool; one that can often be tricked into thinking an individual is experiencing a real life situation when in fact it is not. This trick is what ultimately allows mental imagery to enhance the performance of athletes. In fact, Dr. John Perry, author of Sports Psychology: A Complete Introduction, states that imagery that mirrors a life like situation allows an athlete to practice a skill without needing to participate in the skill itself (Perry, 220).

First and foremost, it is important to know that imagery is not simply the imagining of a still situation; imagery is the mental play back of a situation in its entirety from start to finish, including the movements.  From there, there are a few ways an athlete can utilize mental imagery for their specific situation. An internal mental imagery perspective is beneficial when an athlete wishes to imagine their situation through their own eyes while an external mental imagery perspective is beneficial when an athlete wishes to imagine their situation as though they are looking through the eyes of another individual watching themselves. Dr. Perry states that the internal mental imagery perspective is effective at connecting an individual’s thoughts and feelings- i.e. getting in the right mood for the skill- while the external mental imagery perspective is effective for a strategic, technical outcome- i.e. wanting to hone in on the technical aspect of the skill (Perry, 221).

Taking those two perspectives into account, there are a few key factors to include in order to make your mental imagery most effective:

·       Physical movement

·       Environmental specifics

·       Task undertaken

·       Timing of movement

·       Learning of the movement

·       Emotion association with the movement

·       Perspective of the individual


When engaging in imagery, you want to make sure that you are in the position that replicates the position you are trying to imaging. For example, if you are wanting to imagine yourself completing a lift, you want to be standing in the upright position, similar to how you would be standing in the lift itself. In addition to the position, you want to aim to have your environment during the imagery match your imagery real life situation. With the example used above, imagining yourself lifting while in your bedroom would not be as effective as imagining yourself lifting while in the gym. Next, your mental imagery practice should be fairly equal in length to the length of your actual situation. You should imagine your entire lift in its entirety; ideally the same length it would take to actually complete the lift. Look to add emotions similar to those you would feel while partaking in your real life situation as well. For example, if you feel energized before a lift, try and replicate that feeling. Finally, determine which perspective you wish to use for your mental imagery: either the internal or external perspective.

 By putting together all the above information and practicing mental imagery frequently, you may find your game elevated in the form of an increased confidence and motivation. Give mental imagery a try and if you have any questions on any of the above components, don’t hesitate to ask!

Perry, John. “Psychological Skills Training.” Sports Psychology: A Complete Introduction. 22 March 2016. 220-225. Print. 

SoCal Weekly Newsletter 09/06/2019

We hope everyone had a great long weekend and feels back in the swing of things.
To those of you who came out to Chris and Sarah's on Monday, we had a blast with you!

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Megan Bradley will be competing this weekend at Rep Max Performance! If you can, come cheer her on. She lifts at 2p.m. on Sunday.

Rep Max Performance:
410 W Grove Ave Ste 110, Orange, CA 92865


We are doing a 28 day nutrition challenge! It will start on Monday, September 16th and is $99 for meal plans, support from coaches and weekly check-ins. The deadline for signing us is Friday, September 13th.


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Taylor, our intern from CSU Fullerton, has begun her internship with us! You will be seeing her around the floor shadowing our coaches, and she may drop in to your Hybrid PT's. She is studying sports psychology and is going to be a great asset while she is here. Taylor has started by creating a blog about the psychology of training, so make use of what she has to offer and check it out.

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Thanks for a being a part of our team!

All our best,

SoCal Staff