In Art Of Coaching Podcast

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On Episode 31 of The AOC Podcast, I am excited to be joined by an instructor and academic advisor Christian Larson of Kansas State University. I met Christian while an undergrad at Kansas State University and he has always been someone I have looked to in the past for encouragement and guidance. Christian was the first person that came to mind when I knew I wanted to do an episode on formal education and whether or not it is failing coaches and leaders.

Topics Covered:

-Christian’s Background

-Defining ‘Exceptional Teaching’

-Keeping students’ attention in lecture

-Christian’s lecture style

-Importance of remembering someone’s name

-Intelligence and sense of humor

-Demoing movements in lecture and enabling students to learn more

-Knowing your audience in lecture and presenting

-Christian’s methods to know his audience

-Creating an ecosystem of material to learn from

-How I wrote Conscious Coaching

-Research-based learning

-Themes to the core of communication

-What mediums are becoming available to help improve methods of learning and communication

-Kansas State’s Online Global Campus

-University programs not teaching how to think

-Why critical thinking is such a scarce commodity

-Christian’s line of personal accountability

-Knowing when to challenge someone as a teacher and coach

-Being prepared as a student to enter formal education

Reach out to Christian:

Via Email:

Via KSU website:

Learn More About My Courses, Clinics and Live Events At:
Read My Book:


Brett Bartholomew  0:06  

Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew. I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior, and communication. I want to thank you for joining me. And now let’s dive into today’s episode.


All right, and we are live with Christian Larson. Christian Larson is an instructor and academic advisor at my alma mater, Kansas State University. He’s been somebody that I have looked to a lot in the past, just in terms of not only guidance, but encouragement Christian, we met when I was an undergrad didn’t really know what I wanted to do yet. I knew I wanted to be a strength coach. So actually, that’s not true. I just had no idea what that path entailed. And so it’s been pretty special to be able to keep in touch with Christian all these years. Christian, welcome to the show.


Christian Larson  1:12  

Thank you, Brett. Thank you for having me on. I’m super excited to be on here with you 


Brett Bartholomew  1:16  

No, it’s my pleasure, the first person that came to mind when I knew I wanted to do an episode on really why education, formal education seems to be failing some coaches and leaders. And of course, that can seem kind of dramatic and generalized and above the fold. But what I mean by that, and I think you’d agree, just based on our conversations is sometimes formal education, as great as it is, and all the phenomenal things it gives us in terms of really a baseline and foundation and some things doesn’t always prepare people regardless of their vocation for the chaos of the real world. Would you agree?


Christian Larson  1:48  

I totally agree. Yep. I totally agree. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:51  

On that, like, just to kick off, can you give people a little bit about your background, so they have context as to, you know, how you got into what you’re doing? And then some of the topics we’re going to explore?


Christian Larson  1:59  

Sure. So when you and I met, I had just started back at K State. So I did, well, broader background, I guess, I think this will help. I’m an Army kid. So I’m from Wisconsin originally, but I moved all over. So that behavioral piece of having to know people and meet people and make friends quickly, kind of, I developed that over time. And so by the time we met, I had just come back to K State, I got my bachelor’s and master’s degree in kinesiology, with an emphasis in physiology at K State. I then went out to the private sector, and I worked in a big box gym, I worked in corporate wellness, I was the GM of a racquet and fitness club. And then I was also on CrossFit seminar staff as well for a while. So I think you and I bonded really well, because I’m not a traditional academic, I had been kind of out into the world and seeing where my education helped and where it didn’t. And so I think that’s kind of speaking to what you brought up.


Brett Bartholomew  2:54  

Yeah, I mean, and that’s excellent context. Now, you’re definitely not the prototypical academic. That being said, you know, you have been rewarded for years of exceptional teaching. I remember you got the way it was the commerce, correct me if this is wrong by the Commerce Bank, Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award at the all University Award Ceremony. With that, how do you personally define exceptional teaching in regards to that spectrum of this classic view of kind of a rigid academic? And then where you kind of sit on that spectrum? What does exceptional teaching in that context mean to you?


Christian Larson  3:30  

Sure. Now, that I was very honored to get that award, by the way, and yeah, you got that, right. So I came into education, from a background of interpersonal skills and needing to develop relationships with people to be successful. And so I didn’t come in to the classroom thinking, These people are going to have to listen to me because I’m the expert. And because of that, what I say goes, and they shouldn’t ask me any questions. I also came into that arena, thinking that I need to learn people’s names. So I can call them by name when we talk, so I can develop relationships so they can trust me. So we can walk through this together. And so I think when I got that award, it was more in that context, and that my students know me by my first name, I asked my students to call me Christian and not Mr. Larson. You know, there’s all kinds of these barriers that we can put up, or we can not have them be there if they’re unnecessary. And so, because of that, I could develop relationships with students and actually figure out you know, what they want to do. So I can hopefully guide them, but it also informs my teaching. So if we’re covering you know, bioenergetics that’s not the first thing a freshman in college wants to learn and that’s what I’m one of the classes that I teach, we start getting into that. And so I give real world examples and say, hey, everybody does this. You know, when you do this, you feel this way. Here’s what’s going on. And so I think that helped as well. Not coming at it from a scientific, bent, but coming from an applied bent and then applying the science to that application. And I think that helps me connect with students as well. Does that answer your question?


Brett Bartholomew  5:14  

Absolutely. Yeah, probably. There’s never a issue of whether you hit all the points in a really thorough and easy to understand piece. And I think that’s what lends me to the next question I had for you is, you’ve taught courses ranging in size from 20 to 220. Students. And I remember just a brief aside, it’s bio behavioral bases and Exercise Science is that the course the main course you were talking about with, with intro freshmen, and every year, 


Christian Larson  5:39  

yep, that’s it. 


Brett Bartholomew  5:40  

I remember this. And I told Dr. harms This, despite my like, my affinity for the interpersonal and psychosocial side and everything and how that’s evolved, what really fueled my desire for the technical and kind of Periodization Program Design, part of Strength and Conditioning for well, more than a decade, and still now was that course and some of the other physiology courses, without a doubt, I mean, and part of this episode is going to bemoan a little bit about the impracticality of formal education. But I can say this, from a physiology standpoint, Kansas State had the best undergraduate program, one of the best without a doubt that I’ve even talking to anybody else that I think there is in the country. But with that, going back to you teaching courses, ranging in size from 20 to 220, in regards to varying your teaching methods, or even just getting in keeping students attention in courses that big, what have you learned over the years works and really doesn’t work? Because that’s a wide spectrum of people to teach?


Christian Larson  6:37  

It is. Yeah, there’s a book called Brain Rules. Do you know that? You know, that book, 


Brett Bartholomew  6:42  

No, I haven’t read it. I wrote it down, though. 


Christian Larson  6:44  

Okay. That book was very kind of integral and how I kind of developed, how I would sequence a lecture if we’re talking about a traditional lecture course. But really, it just, basically, as human beings, we don’t have long attention spans. And because of that, if we sit in the lecture, and it’s a PowerPoint lecture, and I stand up at the front, and I read lecture notes the whole time, I can pretty much count on most of the students checking out about 15 minutes in. And so whether it’s a class of 220, or it’s a class of 30, to 50, my style is pretty similar in that I’m always walking around, I’m always giving examples. I’m asking questions to the class, and making people respond, right. To what 


Brett Bartholomew  7:34  

imagine that you don’t just want them to sit there and mouth breathe, 


Christian Larson  7:37  

and reorder, you know, they’re on Facebook, they’re still on all, their PDAs and electronic devices,


Brett Bartholomew  7:42  

but they were passing around notes.


Christian Larson  7:45  

It’s always been something and I joked about this, I flat out fell asleep and one of my undergraduate classes when I was at K State, I don’t blame them for it. I just tried to make it. So that’s not what they want to do. Yeah. And so I use a lot of breaks in classes. So I’ll do 10 minutes, and I’ll break, I’ll set my my lecture up. And I’ll have 10 minutes worth of content, give them examples, and then we’ll have some kind of question that goes in. Yeah. And so that has really lent itself to being able to engage with students and have them you know, and this is bad. So my class at 220, I’ll, be walking on campus, and somebody will say, Hey, Christian, and I’ll recognize their face, but I don’t know their name. So that annoys me. So then I’ll go learn their name. 


Brett Bartholomew  8:28  

Do you have any tricks for that, by the way, because I always think that’s huge. You know, when somebody’s name, and it seems quotidian? Seems like something everybody kind of, yeah, we understand the importance of that. And Dale Carnegie always said in his book, you know, there’s no sweeter sound to another individual than the sound of their name. Do you have any kind of similar devices or things that you use to really lock that in?


Christian Larson  8:47  

Yeah, well, it depends on the size of the class. And then so in everyday life, I do in everyday life, I just have stolen other people’s ideas, which is, as soon as I would meet somebody new, I will repeat their name in my head, as many as a bunch of times. And then throughout the conversation I have with them, I’ll try to use their name as many times as I can. So in my head, it gets drilled in, right. And you can get into the you can nerd out on that and talk about, you know, neuroplasticity, and all that kind of stuff. But really, it’s just application of, memory and trying to get that drilled in seeing a picture of their face and their name popped into my head. That’s how I do that in everyday life.


Brett Bartholomew  9:23  

Sure, no, there’s really Oh, go ahead. So I didn’t mean to cut you off. 


Christian Larson  9:27  

No, no, well, if I know I’m going to have a group of 20 to 30 I cheat so I get photo rosters of my classes. And so 


Brett Bartholomew  9:35  

that’s just being smart. 


Christian Larson  9:37  

So yeah, so I print them out and I learned their faces and names and so when they walk in, I call them by name and that kind of freaked them out. But it’s in a good way.


Brett Bartholomew  9:45  

Jacob hesterman me mean so if I get this right, just to recap before you go on with this because you’re giving great stuff. You know, Brain Rules was a huge resource for you. So anybody listening check that out. When you You looked at using that how to sequence a lecture, you do 10 minutes worth of content and then you start calling on them to apply really interacting with that material. Where do you go from there,


Christian Larson  10:11  

then I’ll go back to the extra content. So in the courses I teach, there’s a lot of content to get through. And so those breaks are purely to get their mind on something else for a while. So they can refocus again for another 10 minutes. Now they are, you know, in those breaks, I’m asking them to apply content, some classes, you know, there’s not much application, it’s just kind of memorize regurgitate, but in mind that it’s more applied. So I can ask those questions, but I will do things like just throw in something funny, just to get them, you know, off of dead center. And, you know, I like, really dumb movies. So my wife doesn’t


Brett Bartholomew  10:48  

you and I are friends.


Christian Larson  10:50  

So I’ll show clips of really, you know, a Happy Gilmore clip or a zoo lander clip, or I’ll stay more relevant, do something, you know, more recent for the students. But anything to get them off of their, you know, their path where they’re starting to not listen, starting to not be on task?


Brett Bartholomew  11:05  

Yeah, well, I think the funny thing is, is you mentioned humor, and there’s a good research to support that I mentioned it in conscious coaching, you know, when you look at education, giving people something relatable and everyday situation, and then kind of having, you know, this little punch line in between, but ultimately finishing it off with some kind of unexpected twist, there’s three real elements of humor that they show are really effective in communication. So if you guys anybody listening has their copy of conscious coaching, go back to that chapter. Because again, that’s something that people commonly skip over, but there is peer reviewed research on it. And you’re spot on Christian that mean that does, anytime somebody can kind of catch me off guard with that I’m like, okay, because I correct me if you won’t tell me what you think, because I wouldn’t say anybody’s wrong and their assertion or how they feel about this, but to me, a sense of humor is the highest form of intelligence.


Christian Larson  11:56  

I’ll,  like being around people who have good senses of humor, I’ll definitely the intelligence piece, that’s that comes to wittiness, right. And so.


Brett Bartholomew  12:09  

So if you can remember, or just recite facts and figures, you’re smart, or you have a good memory, when you have social intelligence, when you have self awareness, when you understand elements of humor, a lot has to go into that you have to be able to look at things from different angles. Now, I’m not talking about like sophomore humor, fart jokes, things like that. But I just think that there’s so many negative people and being negative doesn’t take any intelligence at all. It’s just looking at the world and being a cynic. So that’s why I think anybody that’s got a sense of humor, if you can find the funny or you know, something relatable in everything that you do, I think that means that you’ve had to think a little bit above and beyond the classic way people view things in life.


Christian Larson  12:47  

Totally agree. And that’s been a huge learning curve. For me. When I joke about this with people all the time, when I was younger, I knew everything. If you want to argue about something, or you had an opinion, I’m sure I could, you know, tell you why I was right. And you were wrong. I took myself extremely seriously. Right. So if somebody would joke with me, it would offend me. You know, and that has been a huge growth area for me just not taking myself so seriously. And, understanding that I have something to learn from everybody I talked to, and nobody’s perfect. So if you can relate to people on hey, I blew this, then this is how I learned that because I did this. For me, that’s been a huge bridge with people to really develop a relationship.


Brett Bartholomew  13:30  

Yeah, no, without question now, when you talk about content in the way that you deliver, and this is more just curious curiosity for me, having presented a lot doing more of that, to me, it’s almost this thing that I’ve developed on the side of coaching, I love coaching, speaking, I kind of fell into then I realized that speaking makes me a better coach, coaching makes me a better speaker. But presenting is hard. And you do it every day. It’s part of your vocation. And I think one thing that’s always been so this is probably just the weird OCD nature is I’m always trying to find the most effective and efficient way to get my message out for the audience. So they’re not bored, you know, like you were talking about. Now, when you look at tools, there’s PowerPoint, there’s Google slides for a while Prezi was really making its presence felt pun intended. What do you guys use? Or what do you use in education now? And how much time do you really spend on your slides, your PowerPoint, because we know that looking at tons of bullet points while trying to listen to you while trying to write notes is not an effective way. And that’s why there’s books like talk like Ted that say make things pictorial, but you can’t really do that in a class like bio behavioral basis of exercise where you’ve got to show them bullets, and you’ve got to give them percentages and numbers. So can you walk me through a little bit of your process of that content creation and then subsequent presentation?


Christian Larson  14:47  

Yes. So the content creation is really start with student learning outcomes, for course, and then then that will boil itself down into individual lectures. And so obviously, that lecture content you want to be congruent in each lecture, so you’re not jumping all over the place. So the you have an overall structure, and then that structure gets broken down into the content, per class or per lecture. I’m constantly tweaking what I do, because you’re never perfect, right? We’re always trying to get better, there’s always a way to improve. And so I have a foundation of a PowerPoint because of the just the volume of content that those students need to know and learn in that class. So but I don’t do any kind of fillable PowerPoint. So my PowerPoint, my instructor, PowerPoint is posted from day one in those courses, so they can go and all the content that I’m eventually going to ask them about is there. And so I view that class time as an opportunity to explain that content. So it comes to life for them. And so they can apply and understand it. And so I use, we have the PowerPoint up, but I’m constantly pulling that PowerPoint down, putting up a PDF putting up a table explaining a table to them, like the general adaptation syndrome, right. So I have that posted in the notes, but then we pull it up. And okay, let’s talk through the general adaptation syndrome. Okay, this is an acute stimulus, here’s what this is, what’s that actually mean? If we’re squatting, this is what it means, right? So, they can apply, because I’ll work out they’re all kinesiology majors. So I know my audience. But then I also show I’ll do video stuff, if there’s stuff on YouTube that I can pull that will give an example of something like, I’ll combine humor with that, because we talked about levers and biomechanics. And so I use a first class lever with the teeter totter, but I found some really good stuff on YouTube, just helping them understand what a first class lever is. And so I’ll use PDF, I’ll use video content. I’ll use PowerPoint. I’ll use my own personal examples. So if I’m talking about when we get into the biomechanics section, or I teach a course and biomechanics, one of the it’s one thing to understand what flexion and extension is, it’s another thing to be able to look at somebody jump and see if they have good mechanics and jumping. Right? 


Brett Bartholomew  17:02  



Christian Larson  17:03  

And so I’ll demo I’ll personally demo and this is hard, because I’m sure you’ve done this as a coach, you intentionally show a fault.


Brett Bartholomew  17:11  

Right? Yeah. I mean, you have to you have to show what, you know, I almost live with them now, to demonstrate what I want. Now, Mike, let me tell you what I don’t want you know, because the primacy effect, it sticks in their head. Go right? Oh, sorry. Go ahead. Well,


Christian Larson  17:24  

I’ll use my own values myself as a demo. So I’ll get up into the front of the room. And I’ll say, you know, Hey, have you guys been watching people closely on jumping technique? And they’ll all say no, and I’ll go, Okay, I want you to tell me if I’m using good technique, even though you’re not practiced at this, and I’ll do some really silly jump, which is totally out of sequence and looks horrible, no laugh. So I’ll use myself I’ll use any tool that I think will draw them in and allow them to learn more.


Brett Bartholomew  17:52  

And drawing them in is key, I think you touched on something, and you did it passively. But it’s important. And I want to make sure the audience doesn’t miss it. You said Know your audience, you know, you have to know your audience. And there’s so many times in this. This is something I’ve even struggled with as a presenter because I’ll go to, you know, some clinics that are more sports science based and there’s some strength and conditioning based, then there’s some corporate what I even had to do after a while just to make sure you can align expectations, because that’s important, I think, no matter. You know what level that you’re speaking at, eventually, even on, I put together a speaking questionnaire, and I just ask people, it’s, I’m happy that you want me to come and speak, I can’t wait to get out there. But essentially break down your audience for me, what’s the size? What’s the average experience level, because what I was doing Christian is, for example, I was out in Australia earlier this year. And I was putting together a plyo. Practical, and I’ve taught so many of those. There’s some things that I feel like, there’ll be bored, as all get out with this, I’m not going to go through that. And it’s never like taking out all the fundamentals. It’s just making sure if something’s super rudimentary, that you feel like well get rid of that. But what I realize is, we started going through a few of those towards the end of my practical just as an honorable mention. And somebody from the crowd, I think there’s, I can’t remember how many, let’s call it 30 people. And they said, We would like to see more of those. And I realized, gosh, like, you get so bias as a presenter, because I think you project your own insecurities on what might be boring for people, or you know, what you feel like you’ve taught a lot. And there may be, there’s already so much information out there. But if you don’t know your audience, you’re gonna skip over those things. And you’re missing some critical touch points. So when you get to know their name for you, and these classes that are, you know, 20 to 220, when, you know, understand the curriculum, and you have an idea of the certain student learning outcomes, the key performance indicators of what you need and what they need to pass a course. What are some other way you get to know your audience? I know learning styles is kind of a odd topic and education. So you don’t necessarily need to go there if you don’t want but what are some things you actively do throughout the semester to just make your curriculum even more adaptable?


Christian Larson  19:54  

That is a great question. So it will, it kind of depends on the course. So the larger course I don’t have as much flexibility and just because of the sheer volume of numbers of students, and you know what we have to do there, the smaller course I’ll kind of try to get a feel for their attitudes. And so let’s take, for example, I teach a principles of exercise training class. And that’s a very applied class, but it’s built off a foundation of understanding you remember 335? But that’s our undergraduate physiology course.


Brett Bartholomew  20:28  

Yep. So physiology is split up for different teachers throughout the semester.


Christian Larson  20:32  

Correct. And that’s the one where you nailed it. Our physiology faculty here are pretty much known around the country and the world, honestly. Their level of expertise. So we get that really, really well. And then then I then through biomechanics, they have a movement, a somewhat of a movement Foundation, and then we apply it with exercise. And so not only adaptations, but So those classes, oh, long story short, those classes will be anywhere from 15 to 20. And they will definitely have a different field per semester. And so as I get to know, these students, you know, we might have one class, it’s full of pre physical therapy, athletic training majors. Well, I’m going to start, you know, kind of using examples and applying things in a way that are more medical based, right. So injury based or recovery based, you know, if you had this injury, ACL injuries are super common. Shoulder subluxations. And dislocations are super common, then we’re going to apply, okay, what movement strategies are going to help that joint post injury, right post surgery? Why, how’s that joint structure? Why would we want to use, you know, flexion, extension, and circumduction. And, you know, just all of those things. But I basically, I’d like to get to know the feel of the course who’s in it, and then I will adapt my, application of that content to fit them. I try to anyway, 


Brett Bartholomew  21:53  

Yeah, you try. It’s a constant struggle, because you’re never going to make everybody happy. I mean, I’ve learned that to just go in the majority of conferences I speak out, they give you 60 minutes, which seems like a lot, right? If you can’t explain something to a degree in 60 minutes, you would imagine, well, you don’t know it really well. But the problem becomes, and you faces tenfold as a teacher, for example, if I go give a lecture on periodization, or program design, or medicine, ball training, or speed or acceleration, I can usually get out in 60 minutes, no problem, even 30. Because the audience that’s having me out to speak generally has a lot of background context on that, or at least some kind of foundation. These are usually people that have already graduated with a related degree in the field. They’ve been practicing strength coaches, physical therapists, or what have you for a while. However, what I learned is when I started going, speaking on more psychosocial aspects, behavior, influence power dynamics, micro political interactions, I would really struggled to get it out in 60 minutes, not because I didn’t know the material, but because you felt like you had to build at least 20 to 30 of that into just people understanding why the hell is this guy talking about it? Because there’s a lot of audiences out there that hadn’t read my book, and still haven’t, you know, you’d like to think, oh, the books been out for two years. 65,000 copies, everybody’s read it, but no way. And I would never expect that. And so I know, I really struggle sometimes to get that message out and 60. And if you do, you walk away a little bit, I feel at least like a failure, because I’m like, there’s so much more I want to go into. And this is going to lead into my next question. But I want to give you context. What’s helped me a little bit Christian. And as somebody who has been a teacher for a very long time, I like your feedback on it. What I learned as I write the book, I’ve got to treat the book, like one thing, because if I try to make the book so deep, you know, nobody’s going to read the damn thing. Then I have an online course, which is kind of step two. Then I have another resource, which is kind of step three. Now, you find that if you can spread things out through a course through a book through presentations, you create this ecosystem of sorts where nothing has to be bloated or bloviate it or overly verbose like I always am. Is that effective? Or do you think you really should try to squeeze as much as you can, given the limited nature or limited attention span of people today? What’s a better way to teach and get your point across?


Christian Larson  24:10  

I don’t like the second one. It hasn’t worked for me 


Brett Bartholomew  24:12  

Trying to cram everything into 69. 


Christian Larson  24:14  

Yeah, that’s. And I think you just, and I have as much to learn from you on presentations as you do for me. So I’m going to actually we’re going to need to schedule a call after this, because they’re probably already based on what you said. But no, I like foundations. I think people need it. And I blow that a lot. Because people will ask me questions outside of class, just in everyday conversations, because kind of, you know, people figure out what you do. And so they ask you questions, and I always find myself in a situation where and this happens all the time still where I have this expected level of baseline knowledge that I’m assuming just because I know it everybody knows it. Right? And then I figured out really quickly that they don’t. And is it really necessary the deep material? If they don’t know that what I found is it’s not if they don’t know the foundations, then the deeper stuff isn’t going to mean anything to them anyway,


Brett Bartholomew  25:13  

you’re spot on there. But the issue right is, and we talked about it a little bit earlier is the reality of things versus the expectations. Now, at the same time, people feel like, No, you should have been able to tell me this, why couldn’t you give me that? You know, another example is when people say, hey, we want you to come talk about the book, well, I’m not going to be able to tell you everything in 60 minutes, you know, and by the way, I don’t have a presentation that just talks about the book. That’s what the books for, you know, I have presentations that build off the book, but you wouldn’t want me to try to give a 60 minute lecture of a book that took me three years to read, right? Because otherwise, it’s just going to be bastardized. So this kind of all coincides with where I want to go. Next is an all in


Christian Larson  25:53  

okay, I speak to that. Yeah, and so this is, I think you’re nailing something here. This is the expectations versus reality. And then the reality of the situation of, what people expect you to have. And then trying to hedge those expectations is hard, because that’s what you’re saying, right? I mean, you got a book that took you three years to work, right, you could talk probably three hours just on archetypes. And that’s what I when I read your book, and I was reading through, I was like, holy cow. These are a lot of different kinds of people. Right. And so just somebody’s their thought processes and thinking that you can squeeze all this information to a short amount of time puts you in a really tough spot. And I totally, I see where you’re going. And so how do you can I ask?How do you dealt with that? Yeah, how have you dealt with that


Brett Bartholomew  26:48  

I’ve gotten comfortable.


Christian Larson  26:49  

Besides the questionnaire, the questionnaire is great. I want to get that a copy of that, by the way, because I think that


Brett Bartholomew  26:54  

It’s right on my website, if anybody I mean, guys, I’m pretty open source. If you’ve followed me for a while this talking to everybody now, but if you want to get an example of the questionnaire, just go to or, one’s my business website, one’s, my personal site, but both of those have speaker request forms, and oh, my goodness, I wish I would have had it from day one. Because it’s just, I could have done so much better at getting to know the audience and aligning expectations. I mean, I’ve just always been such a fan of strength and conditioning. And I’ve always wanted to carry the flag for people that came way before me. So when I got asked to speak, I was just like, excited. You know, I was like, Oh, I’ve got to do great, you know, I just locked down. It’s almost like, one of your idols asking you to dinner or something. So anytime somebody asked me, I just focus on one to blow that out of the water. And I’d get there and I thought I did a pretty good job because I just to me, it means more right to do a good job, it means more because I know that I wasn’t, I almost died. And I think that just increased the urgency of everything I’ve approach in life Except long division. I’m not a big math guy, aside from strength and, conditioning and calculating percentages. But anyway, you know, if you go to those websites, you’ll find the speaker request form. And it just helps me get to know everybody a little bit better. And I’m even getting a little bit more detailed with it. I just want to know, at the end of the day, what do you want me to talk about what would make this an overwhelming success. And I will say this, and I don’t mean to be rude to anybody listening, or who host conferences or clinics, because I’m in the same boat with you. But it is important to hear this, I find that a lot of people that host have no clue what they want. They just want somebody to come out. And they’re like, Yeah, you’re the conscious coaching guy, or, you know, we know we heard you speak on agility, so and so. And I’m like, great. And I love talking about that. And I can’t wait to speak, you know, with your audience and learn from them. But what is going to make this an overwhelming success. And what I found is when people it still wasn’t a good enough question at first, because people would say, well, could you go over some program design? And could you go over, you know, a session? And then could you show us a bunch of drills, I’m like, Yes, but please note, you have me there for 45 minutes. So you’re wanting me to take 150 people through a dynamic warmup, through, you know, explaining these drills through them doing the drills, like this just isn’t reality. You know, like, it’s reality, if you have that many athletes, and they’ve trained with you, and you have a routine. But when you’re going, you’re flying across the country to Bismarck, North Dakota, for example, to work with 200 people that you’ve never met before, they all want to go to this practical and they expect all that information and 20 30 40 minutes, it’s just not reality, you’re either gonna get all that information and not coach them up. You know, and that leads likelihood of getting hurt, you’re going to rush. So what I just realized is I’ve had to get very clear, like, what is the number one takeaway you want from this talk? What would make it an overwhelming success specifically, you ever really got to ask people what they’re looking for. And you’ve got to realize most of them have no idea that’s not a knock on them. They’re just usually stress professionals like you and I, and they’re trying to get things going. But if you want to see the questionnaire, by all means, just go to the website and you’ll be able to see it.  And it speaks to the point of you know, you said it well and I think there was Owen and Harvey there’s a book I read in 2015, maybe it’s 2011. I think they did an update in 2015. But when it talks about the skill of explaining, they phrase it as there’s this electronic blizzard of information that basically is just now multiplied based on the internet. And it produces this unending flow of material, whether that’s facts, theories, speculations, any of those things. And so I think people also have to be a little bit more realistic of understanding, when you go to conferences, clinics, courses, anything like that you shouldn’t be going with the expectation of I’m going to learn everything. That’s not the purpose of going to see somebody do a lecture. If anything, it should stimulate one idea, no matter how good or bad the lecturer is, you know, they would almost be like, Hey, Christian, I’m going to set up your course. And I expect after three courses in my kinesiology degree, I’m going to know everything I can about physiology. No, it’s a foundation. Right? And so I think people have to get a little bit more realistic about the expectations of that as well. And it’s, a mix, would you agree?


Christian Larson  30:58  

Totally agree. And yeah, cuz I’m constantly trying to learn more, and that’s my, and I probably read that the same place you did, but I read, if you’re gonna go learn something, try to learn one to two good things from whatever conference, you’re attending, whatever your class you’re attending. And that’s a win.


Brett Bartholomew  31:15  

And then you just see deeper, I mean, so if somebody whenever I go watch a presentation, I see something, if it’s really good, I look at it as they’re trying to show me a snapshot. And this is good advice. Anybody in the audience, when you see a presentation, that’s a snapshot, don’t go in there expecting to hear somebody’s overarching philosophy, and all the detail you want. And really Christian, it’s gotten so sad, that at the beginning of most of my presentations, I put a Captain Obvious slide. And it’s literally the guy from those commercials, Captain Obvious. And it’s like, Hey, this is a snapshot like, don’t, assume, just ask, you know, it’s really hard to get everything across in 60 minutes, including the fact that I don’t know all of your backgrounds or what have you. But take a peek. And let’s have this and it’s made me a better presenter, I think putting that in there is a security blanket. And I will use that term purposely because it almost makes me relax a little bit. Because otherwise I’d go and I’d feel pressured, I have to tell these people everything I know I have to go. And it was just impossible. It was impossible. And it led to a worse experience for them. It led to a stressful experience for me, and I wasn’t enjoying it. And you know, once I kind of just said, Hey, you know what, I got 60 slides here, we’re going to do the best we can to get through some of this stuff. Hopefully, it’s spark Some discussion, have a full website and a book if you want to learn more. So that’s what you got to do to. But when it comes to getting across, and this data might be old as well, this was accurate as of 2011. Though, they say 1 million new books are published every year, about 1 million, obviously, that’s hard to nail down to get just 1 million. And there were over 60,000 academic journals publishing numerous editions annually. So when it comes to these academic journals, I’ve always looked at this and I got a little sour on it. I think when somebody tried to come at me after my book telling me to stay in my lane, which I think is a super dangerous phrase. You know, it’s one thing if you’re diagnosing or treating diseases, but if you’re exploring information, I think stay in your lane is a pretty silly thing to do, especially if you’ve got experience there. But academics constantly bemoan people that popularize information. They constantly say, Oh, this is bastardize, the media got this wrong, the media got this wrong. And of course, we we acknowledge and that gets done sometimes in extreme circumstances. But what would you say to those kinds of academics, on the other hand, like, don’t they kind of have a duty to make all this esoteric information, they produce a little bit more accessible or a little bit more relatable to the general public? Because most of these, most of the people out there, whether it’s Instagram, whether it’s people on social media, just the casual person who maybe watches Nightline or whatever, and doesn’t read these academic journals, because they don’t have our background. What should these academics be doing to make their information more reachable and accessible to these people?


Christian Larson  33:56  

Yeah, that’s a great point. And I know, I know what you’re talking about and agree. And the interesting part is, so every, university faculty department is different. And I think what you’re starting to see now is higher education starting to adjust to all the things that you just mentioned. And for really, because of monetary reasons, the cost of an education, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree is so high now that it’s just rough, right? We’re in that kind of situation. You’ve coupled that with the ability to go and access information pretty much anytime you want 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, all you have to do is have an internet connection, and you’re going to be able to find some information. And you and I talked about this a little bit earlier now is that information good information or not? That’s the question. And that’s something that faculty here at K State and kinesiology has started addressing or trying to figure out how to address and How do we get the information we have to people through a Twitter setting or through an Instagram setting or through some kind of social media setting? How do we become more relevant? So people understand that we have this base of knowledge. And there’s something that we can there’s a benefit there for them. Right? And that’s a great question. I think we’re working through it, I think you’re going to see that become more and more standard for forward thinking educational facilities, or institutions. And if they’re not forward thinking, I think they’re going to be in trouble. Because of the state of affairs right now in higher education is just lack of money.


Brett Bartholomew  35:40  

Hey, everybody, we’re gonna get right back into this episode. I don’t want you to miss any of this. But I did want to remind you that as part of the art of coaching audience, if you use the code Brett 20, again, that’s my first name, b, r, e, t, t, two zero, Brett 20. At checkout at Anything may have there, you are gonna get $20 off your first order. If you’re not familiar with Momentus just a reminder, Momentus is the premier sponsor of The Art of coaching podcast. In short, there the reason I’m able to bring this information to you guys for free, they helped me cover the cost of the podcast and all the other content that I’m able to get to guys. So you know, their support is huge. Now, if you’re not familiar with their products, they have a wide range, everything from their absolute zero grass fed whey. And again, guys, this is all whey isolate, the purest form of whey ArtFire grass fed whey, not only that they have a 100% plant protein, for those of you that can’t do whey, they have strength recovery, and they’re always coming out with us new and unique products. Now, one of the reasons I partnered with Momentus is I am a minimalist when it comes to any of this stuff. I’m a big believer that consistency in your training, sleep, hydration, and just good nutrition are the most powerful supplements. But there are certain staples that we can’t get around. And we have to be able to source in the most responsible way possible. And that we also have to just be able to add in through supplementary form whether that’s because we’re busy lifestyles, because we have digestion issues, any number of factors. And so, you know, protein and fish oil is really the only thing that I take every now and then I might experiment with some other stuff that’s all natural, but I’m not really I’m from the Midwest. So there’s a running joke that we kind of grew up on steak and milk. But Momentus is absolutely something I unbind 100%. And again, if you just use the code, Brett 20, at anything on or you can check out The Art of coaching Momentus link on the show notes. You’re going to be hooked up. Thanks again for your support. And now back to the episode.


I mean, it just gets tricky, because, you know, they, can bemoan this all they want, but the reality is, you’ve got to, like you said earlier get to know your audience and, it’s always well, these people are idiots, they’re not paying attention. It’s so negative and sometimes vitriolic, and it’s like your point, the thumb, like half the time you read research, and this even affected me this was a transition for me when writing conscious coaching. I was writing it like a research article at first, you know, the book was very different when I first started, and then an editor, you know, kind of he said, Why are you stating this, you know, you have to assume that the audience knows something. Because you know, when you write a research paper, you have to constantly define everything you’ve got to make sure I acknowledge I mean, it’s very verbose, very verbose in terms of, but that’s because you have to acknowledge all the literature and that’s a way that, you know, things have been done there. But it’s just at some point, these people have to get a little bit more adaptable and recognize that, hey, if somebody’s quote, unquote, popularizing your work, maybe that means they know your audience better than you and you can learn from them. And at the same time, reason why we’re having you on the show. One of the reasons is we can learn from you, you know, now you’re anything from, you’re far from, you know, one of these kinds of academics that gets territorial and anything that you’re nothing like that. But I just you’re in that setting daily, is it something that you see people actively addressing? Or I know, you guys are, but what about the greater community?


Christian Larson  39:15  

Right. The greater community? Yeah, the what you mentioned definitely happens. And the interesting part is it doesn’t just happen with academics, inside and outside of academia. So meaning that I’m an academic, and I’m going to go after somebody who is not an academic or hasn’t achieved my level of formal education. You know, and it also happens within, right. So in, this happens in peer review, and stuff like that, but it happens within departments. And so I’ve seen that and you’ve talked about this in conscious coaching. There’s politics in any kind of large organization. And now there’s competing people are competing for resources. Well, what are those resources? Well, those resources are students And if you can’t develop a curriculum that pulls students in and makes them want to be there, they’ve got a lot of other options, including not just physical location now to write because you can go online and get an education and get a bachelor’s and master’s degree. And so within the university, and outside of the university, there’s competition. And you see that same type of argument, meaning that you are less than academically than us, therefore, we are better than right. And because of that, people should come to us because our information is better. And, so it’s, really interesting, you see that within institutions as well. And I think it’s just, yeah, in its, if you’re going to move forward, and ultimately, if the goal, in my opinion, the goal of coaching or higher education is to serve your audience. And if your goal is to best serve your audience, then the other things have to be adjusted to serve your audience the best way possible. And if that means you have to adjust your, how you get information to people and adapt and move forward and use social media or do more online content. That’s one way that we, as a department, as a college have have started adapting is allowing or providing more online opportunities for students. And not only helps them work and mom work and dad don’t have enough time, or geographically, they’re not here, we can serve those people. But I think if you keep the student at the center in our situation, if you keep the student at the center of what you’re trying to do, then those other arguments are they need to not happen. We need to figure out a way that we can find agreement between one another and I talk about this in biomechanics, because I have pre physical therapy, I’ve pre orthopedic surgeon, you know,  pre med students, strength and conditioning. And at so you have, you know, the the medical side, and you have the application, I would call it health fitness application side, one of the big issues we see is lack of communication between athletic trainers, physicians, PTs and strength conditioning coaches. Right, and why does that happen? Well, one group thinks that they know more than the other and they put that themselves ahead of the athlete where it shouldn’t be, are we all communicating properly, so we can make sure this athlete is prepared to go back and compete? Yeah, that makes sense.


Brett Bartholomew  42:31  

It’s what I’m getting my doctorate in right now, you know, in terms of looking at power dynamics, politics, interpersonal communication, and the role that plays because no matter whether you’re a firefighter or you know, a fortune 500, company owner listening, you know, to this, that’s a primary issue, and you bring up a really good point, going back to your scarce resources mentioned is when we were just Neanderthals and again, competing tribes. So I’m not, I know, technically, we’re not Neanderthals through DNA and everything that’s going on. But the point is, is when we were just kind of in tribes, and we’re very simple species, and, we were really still developing our ability to communicate scarce resources, then we’re like, hey, I need that woolly mammoth, or I need to learn how to create fire those people over there have fire, let’s kill them, we need their fire. It’s funny, because we look at ourselves as so much more evolved. And now yet, we’re really fighting over the same thing. Like you said, Now, it might be students, you know, if you’re a teacher, sometimes that’s just acronyms after your last name, well, your Bachelor’s isn’t good enough, get a masters. Now you need a PhD, or you have a D prof that says not as good as a PhD, but then a medical doctor might laugh at your PhD, you know, how these things are? Just at what point is it enough? You know, there’s so many people with alphabet soup behind their name, and they don’t know a lick about what they’re doing? Because they’re so caught up in the wrong game and chasing social rewards instead of true competence. So yeah, everything you’re saying makes sense for sure.


Christian Larson  43:52  

And I appreciate what you just said. And that’s actually why I’m pretty grateful that I had the opportunity to go through the kinesiology department here at K State because I remember my professors even as an undergrad, as a as like a junior senior level where you’re taking 600 level classes that are more discussion, research based, you know, you’re reading an article, and you’re breaking down the article. Well, we got encouraged from you know, as people without even a bachelor’s degree, to think critically about the research we were reading, and, to respect the letters behind the name, but don’t over respect it and think that you don’t have a brain and you can’t think and understand what’s going on in that research and have critiques for it if there’s false and so that I know that does that’s not the case, every place right. So some places you know, the letters mean the most well here, you know, I got taught by a lot of professors who are still here. Hey, Christian, you’re smart. What do you think? Right and Well, I think that they’re in is really small. And this doesn’t seem they’re trying to test for this but I don’t think this is a good test for that. Here’s why. I, and they’re like, that’s awesome. Good job. You know. So there’s people like that in every profession, I guess that’s what you and I have broken down in the last year


Brett Bartholomew  45:12  

well, and even within that, breaking this down, the point of it is this when you look at communication, when you trace that word back to its Latin roots, and the verb to communicate, literally means to share or to make common, you know, these meanings reflect much, and that’s within the current literature. It’ll say that right. And then there’s an article, I think it was done in 1995, by a guy with a last name hues, he had looked at their two central themes of what is the core of communication intersubjectivity. And the simplest way to put that is, that’s really striving to understand others and being understood in turn. And then there’s the impact of communication. So that’s the extent to which a message a message brings about change in thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. So when you look at somebody that says, Oh, you’re a popularizer, or you’re doing this, well, if your idea is so great, and it hasn’t taken effect on a wider scale, and you’re mad that somebody else’s has, then you failed by definition of the term to communicate, you haven’t shared it well enough. You haven’t, nailed the intersubjectivity and the impact well enough, so we should really applaud those who do. But all this is a bigger part of really, the idea that why is formal education really failed, in a sense, the budding professional or coach, and it’s, just hard because they’re getting the foundational knowledge, and in some respects, although it can be in a vacuum, and I think you’d agree, but it also just doesn’t prepare him for the chaos of the real world, because anybody that tries to communicate those things, that sharing kind of gets siloed. Because again, it’s it’s politics, it’s who’s the stakeholders for this information? So what? What can be done for and we’ve talked about evolving a little bit, what is education? And what should these people do? What mediums do you think are emerging that are going to allow people to share and collaborate and do these things a little bit better? Things like read like research, for example, right? That’s, one such medium. And that doesn’t have to be a pure example. But I just mean, that’s a little bit more open access, the average individual can access it, you see more of those things coming about?


Christian Larson  47:21  

I think so. And, and professors are gonna have to also and we’ve started seeing this, like David Poole wrote a really good article about teaching and being a good in the classroom,


Brett Bartholomew  47:32  

And you’re gonna send that to me, right? And I’ll make sure, I’ll pause okay with it. I’ll link it in my newsletter. So everybody on the newsletter can get it too, and, benefit from that.


Christian Larson  47:43  

Sure. And his frustration with that was he there’s an academic that said, you know, you’re going to you’re either going to be good at science, or you’re going to be good at teaching. You’re not. Exactly. And that’s what Dr. Poole saw. That was his exact thought. Right. And so David went, wrote an article on that he’s actually being asked to speak on that subject. Now, but I’ll get that article and link it for you. But I think there’s, gonna have to be more people who are in that situation in the academic world, who are willing to put their information out. And it’s hard to put information out, I mean, and you’ve, talked about this, if you put information out there, you’re gonna get attacked, right. So you have to you have to be willing  to be attacked, and handle that. And I think the more academics who are open to, application to the applied side, especially when it comes to strength and conditioning, and because the thing about strength and conditioning is, people in the field coaches in the field will figure stuff out. And the scientists in the lab haven’t. 


Brett Bartholomew  48:44  

They’re behind it without a doubt 


Christian Larson  48:45  

right there. Yeah, man. So because of that, you have this tension. Well, instead of having that tension, you know, both sides, figure out, Okay, here’s why. And then here’s how we communicate that. And so I think, more on from the research side, the science side, and I don’t actively do research, so just, you know, around a day, I’m around it. But researchers willing to put their information out into mediums that can be that can be accessed by the general population by strength and conditioning coaches, by practitioners. And being more willing to open those lines of communication, I think is the way to do it. And it’s going to be through some kind of web based, you know, social media based. Probably not just one, there’s probably multiple ways that it happens. But yeah, that’s I don’t know if that answers that question, Brett. But that’s where I


Brett Bartholomew  49:39  

So talk to me a little bit more about the unique things you guys are doing at Kansas State that anybody whether they’re a local student, or even if somebody internationals listening to this, and you guys are building some more outreach methods, what are you guys doing to kind of evolve internally as a department and you mentioned some of them, but I’d like to hear a little bit more about this. And I think it’s good for people who are interested in formal education side or just because on Instagram a lot, I’ll get DMS and people saying, hey, you know, I don’t have a background in exercise physiology, I’m not sure what schools to go to what programs are good, what options are available? You know, I may live in Serbia, you know, can you talk a little bit more about what you guys are doing internally there and what opportunities might be available in the future for someone listening?


Christian Larson  50:22  

Sure. So K State has a global campus. So that’s basically our online. It’s a separate department, but all of the online courses go through that department. So no matter if you’re a kinesiology, biology, you know, architecture doesn’t matter. If you put together a fully online course, it’s going to be offered through Kansas State Global Campus. So yeah, so people want to go there. There’s a lot of offerings. We don’t offer as a department a full online bachelor’s degree at this point. I think that could happen somewhere down the line. But there are a lot of and I’m, you know, I’m biased. But I think there we have multiple, fully online courses that are accessible to anybody in the world to take through K State Global Campus. So biomechanics. That course that you referenced earlier, Brett behavioral bases of physical activity. And there’s some very high level physiology and behavior courses that are offered online,


Brett Bartholomew  51:15  

I noticed that in the past, you and I even talked about you and asked about bought in because you had taken my online course? Are you going to be integrating more things like that into your curriculum? Or is that something you guys are still in the exploration phase?


Christian Larson  51:28  

No, we’d love to. And actually, I wanted to talk to you about that. So you know, a later conversation, I want to talk to you about integrating your course, and offered


Brett Bartholomew  51:35  

The point being that you guys are really integrating with outside? Yeah, 


Christian Larson  51:38  

We are Yeah, yes, we’re so we’ve already integrated with the NSCA on prep course for the CSCs. And so the benefit of that is the student, obviously, we have a lot of students who want to take CSCs. And that takes some time to get to prepare for that. And if you do it right, and you want to pass the first time, right, so we offer the NSCA CSCs prep course, which is all online modular, but people can take it for two credits, and what the what the NSCA has done is severely discount the the cost of the course for those students. So they’re, having to pay for credit coursework, but it’s working towards their graduation. And it’s prepping them to immediately schedule and take that CSCs once they’ve completed, 


Brett Bartholomew  52:26  

I think the important thing you mentioned in there too, for anybody listening is you’re without collaborating with outside content creators. So you’re able to bring that into the classroom. Now, of course, a validation, and verification process. I remember all the stuff I had to send you guys for bought in. But the point is, anybody listening to this, is an opportunity that if you don’t think formal education, and you don’t think some of these things are done well, and you have something to offer, put skin in the game. It’s something we talk about a lot on this podcast, but you cannot sit on the sidelines and bitch and moan if you’re not going to do some and some of you listening, have tremendous skills, advice, things like that. So Christian is Am I right in that assertion? Are you guys gonna be opening that up for collaboration more and more obviously, in a limited basis? But is everything I said? They’re Correct? For the most part?


Christian Larson  53:12  

It is yeah. And so as we continue to evolve, we that’s something we’ve talked about in our meetings and our faculty meetings is, how do we attract SMEs or subject matter experts, right? Who are very strong and are already offering something, and potentially integrate that into and give our students because it’s about our students, right? The reason we added the CSCs course is we had lots of students saying, Hey, I’m already prepping for this, is there a way I can get course credit, so I can buy towards my degree because it’s a big party. So that’s why we added it? Well, that’s going to the same thing. As we were looking at bought in it’s the same thing. It’s okay, we have students who this is a need, and it would be very beneficial for them. Is it content? Who’s delivering the content? What’s the content look like? And I’ve already taken your course I just need to take the exam.


Brett Bartholomew  54:02  

My turn, take my exam. 


Christian Larson  54:05  

Yeah. And I was excited to read it. By the way, Brett, so nice work on that new you and I talked about that. But, so yeah, as there’s more, we would love to continue to integrate people who are subject matter experts and out there in the applied world, if they’re willing to put that kind of that kind of time into putting together that content. If we can collaborate and we find good collaboration, we’d love to do that. And we’re already starting to do it. So. And I think I mean, and I know your course is offered through another university. So I know other universities are starting to do that. But I think that’s going to be another trend.


Brett Bartholomew  54:41  

And this was a world that was really new to me. I mean, after the book came out, and I gotta give credit to Victor Kaiser here from Maryville University, who I know he listens to a lot of these and he’s been a great mentor from an education standpoint to me as well. He just said, Hey, would you create a course for our university? We’d love to have you as an adjunct. And that was a tremendous learning experience. I mean, I’m sitting there looking at, well, I know how to be a strength coach and I’m getting to speaking thing, I’m getting a little bit more comfortable with that. But you want me to be an adjunct for a university, but done it for two years now. And it’s been a really rewarding experience to be able to pull up. Who sorry, sneeze coming on, really rewarding experience a really is show I had so many inadequacies as a teacher. And sometimes you just see, it’s not always the content. Some of the students and their lovely students are great folks. But nobody’s taught them to think critically, you know, for example, we’d have we’d have an assignment and you see, this is your daily life. But we had an assignment and it would say, I’m going to come up with something really simple here, because it was just recently described the effect that good communication can have on somebody learning a new skill, right? And that’s a pretty that gives a lot of freedom there for an undergraduate to elaborate. And no, we got more technical later on. But you know, what one of the answers would be good communication is important, because people need to understand what you’re saying. It’s like, oh, yeah, okay. Yeah, a little bit. But why is it important? They understand what you’re saying, what is that going to do for, you know, skill, building it? Or we’d have another question, I would say, describe three ways that understanding metaphors and analogies can make you a more effective teacher, and you would get answers that would be metaphors and analogies are simpler ways to understand things. And you’re like, and what I found is I could sit here and be like, Oh, my gosh, kids lazy. But you as a teacher have to go in and be like, Alright, I’m gonna give you some feedback here. You’re on the right track. But I need examples. I need your support your claim, I need your support this statement. And sometimes people just say, I think it’s important to communicate well, because you’re a coach, and you need to communicate. And that’s almost more scary question. And something I want to ask you about why, if it has, why is critical thinking such a scarce commodity? Why is it degraded? And I don’t believe it’s social media, a lot of people are well, you get used to thinking 140 characters. So everybody’s default now is social media. The critical thinking was not that I’m sure, I think there’s been a lack of it for the long run. I think there’s baby boomers listening to this that are like, Nope, I knew an idiot or two. All right, not even an idiot. I knew somebody that wouldn’t elaborate. And there’s some times where it’s just youth, right? It’s youth and they haven’t had good, teaching. And that’s the case with with the students in this course, without a doubt. They’re all well meaning. But there’s, definitely a lack of just self exploration, self awareness. But you can’t just say, I like pizza, because it’s warm. Right? Okay.


Christian Larson  57:41  

Yeah, it’s I think that’s a really deep question, honestly. And we can kind of, it’s probably, 


Brett Bartholomew  57:47  

oh, you gotta give your best days, 


Christian Larson  57:48  

A lot of it self image, as though I think a lot of itself. That’s interesting, I think, because I think people don’t think they have something to offer. And that’s just been, you know, there’s this quote that I read once a guy said, yeah, he said, If I could buy you what for what you think you’re worth, and sell you for, I know your worth, I’d be an instant millionaire


Brett Bartholomew  58:12  

Wow who said that, and repeat that, repeat that 


Christian Larson  58:15  

I don’t have it for you. If I could buy you for what you think you’re worth. And then I can sell you for what I know your worth. I’d be an instant millionaire. So when and I deal with a lot, a lot of people and this might not be the case everywhere. But just anecdotally, the people that I deal with on a day to day basis, they just don’t believe in themselves as much as they should. And therefore they don’t communicate in ways because they think they’re wrong, or they don’t think they have something to offer. And, I think a lot of that’s, you know, like self efficacy, self image, self determination theory, you know, what’s their background? Like, you know, what, did people tell them growing up? Did they tell him they were smart and they had something to offer? They tell him to be quiet? Not saying


Brett Bartholomew  59:01  

what is a teacher where you draw that line? Because I’ve caught myself getting frustrated of just being like really almost thinking they’re trying to get away with something and say, Where do you draw the line between listen dipshit that’s not going to cut it? Or hey, you know, there’s more in ya? elaborate a little bit because you got to find this fine line, like I’m huge on personal accountability and making sure that, you know, where’s that line for you?


Christian Larson  59:28  

It’s, well, I haven’t been able to draw that line well with somebody I just met with somebody just met, but as soon as I have a few interactions with somebody, and I think I have a feel for them. I’ll just straight out ask them, you know, they’ll say something. I’ll go you know, you probably have more to add than that. Correct. Or, you know, somebody comes into my office they did I look at who’s coming in to talk to me. I look at their grades on assignments and exams. And this is somebody that I’ve talked to multiple Times, and you know, so I just say, you know, what’s what’s going on? I’m looking at your scores. And I know that’s not indicative of, what kind of work you can do. Is there something going on? And, so I think it’s like you said, it’s this fine line, you have to know when you can challenge or when to challenge someone because we all need to be challenged. Because, you know, we don’t work as hard as we could or we don’t do things that we know we should, because we think we can get away with it. I put myself in that category as well, in certain times. So I think that’s a people skill that has to be developed. And but you as a coach, that’s something that’s extremely important, right? I mean, in the coaching world, if somebody’s humans are lazy in general, you know, so that’s how I look at myself and other if my default is doing less work. That’s my default. Now. I’m putting that on other people. But how do you do it? I’ll flip it back on you.


Brett Bartholomew  1:00:51  

Well, here’s what I think. I think it’s an interesting dichotomy, that sometimes you have students who need to be challenged, and then you have coaches that are in the field that don’t want to be challenged. And what I mean by this before I answer that question, because this is wrapped into one is one thing we have going right now is art of coaching apprenticeships and I’m a big believer that I think coaching comes down to improv game theory and communication. So improv being, you know, obviously, we you don’t always know what’s gonna go on. It’s an unpredictable process, you’re constantly gonna have to respond and adapt, no matter how well planned, do you think you have a session or anything, there’s going to be shipped that hits the fan and game theory in terms of decision making under uncertainty, right? Hopefully, that’s self explanatory. There’s a lot of decision making and complexity and coaching, and then communication for obvious reasons, because coaching is a social endeavor. So within these workshops, and these are things that I’ve been doing for a while now, when people ask me to, we go out there, and we do a variety of role playing scenarios. I mean, it’s really not that different than if you join an improv troupe, and it gets coaches out of their skin, it gets coaches in these situations, and they get assessed and evaluated. Now there’s no perfect right, because I could go to I’ll use one of my friends, for example, is named Jim curity. He’s out at Kennesaw State, he’s got a unique situation where he kind of has to coach a certain way, given the the nature of the kids, he works with the environment, what’s worked well, and they’ve had a lot of success. Now, if somebody went out and watched Jim, let’s say there was this like, Evaluation Group, oh, coaches that goes out there, and they believe they have the one right way to be a great coach. And they try to change, Jim, based on what they think makes an effective coach. They’re not understanding that that’s dependent on environment, right? Like what made you a good coach and Major League Soccer is not going to make you a good coach with 13 year olds, what makes you a good coach with inner city kids in downtown Atlanta is not going to make you a good coach with a Nordic skier, you know, in the Olympics. So great. Coaching is very contextual. And but what I find is when people come to these events is you know, younger coaches are usually a bit insecure, it takes them a while to warm up, you kind of get them to laugh, older coaches, or if they get a score that they’re not happy with. They feel like well, I’ve done this 30 years, who are you to tell me I need to be better at this. And I think that’s a dangerous dichotomy. Because when we don’t open ourselves, and we don’t realize that, well, we all suck to a degree of communication. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see, you know, divorce rates be where they are, we wouldn’t see you know, all depression rates, we wouldn’t see suicide. And everybody’s got problems, right. Even people that aren’t divorced or with significant others, they’re going to have arguments like everybody listening to this has had an argument or a misunderstanding in their life. That right, is that fair to assume? Like everybody? I right? Everybody has, yes, understanding. So by nature, communication, none of us are going to be great at so awesome. Why not go to a school of sorts that helps you with that. And that’s what these are the coaching apprenticeships are? Well, when I try to draw the line with his students who I think they think they’re taking an online course because I don’t get to interact with him directly. In the case of my adjunct role at Maryville, it’s all online in this case, that’s how I’m able to do it. In addition to coaching and everything that I do, I just don’t think they’ve had that interaction. And that’s where I think you hit the nail on the head. I don’t think anybody’s ever talked to them about it. I don’t think anybody has told them, hey, you’re capable of thinking a little bit more critically. And I don’t think I think that they’ve received a lot of criticism without direction. Shouldn’t this is the hallmark point I’m going to explore Now, when you criticize somebody and say, This isn’t good enough. I expect more elaborate, but you don’t provide examples, then you’re in trouble. You’re in trouble because you’re expecting somebody without the context that you have. And without the life experience that you have, I mean, some of these kids, I realize they’re volunteers at the local rec center for Maryville, you know, or they maybe do part time personal training for, you know, some some kids that want to learn tennis because they were a tennis player when they grew up. And so they don’t have this context where they’ve never probably failed as a coach or if they did fail. They didn’t recognize it because they don’t do the inward reflection afterwards. They’re just starting their journey. Essentially, imagine somebody riding a bike For the first time, they’re off training wheels, right? You have children. Imagine the first time they get off training wheels, and they fall and they fall and they fall. Well, eventually, they might learn. But it also helps if you kind of help them understand how to use the handlebars, it eventually helps if you teach him like, Hey, you still got to do the pedals like this, or you got to anticipate that. So I tried to challenge him, I tried to give an example. And then what I did is this, I did video follow ups. So I can’t sit there, I can type out a bunch of announcements to the class but and say, hey, you know, I’m seeing a bunch of lazy answers, Quit messing around, whatever. But what I find is their platform allows you to record a video, so now they see you. So even though they can’t react, interact with you in person, they see you. So you’ve bridged that gap. And you can talk to them. And you can tell them some stories. And you can give them more thorough examples. There’s so much more context that can be done verbally. And then I just follow up with some bullet points. Here’s what I’m expecting. Here’s examples of what I don’t want. By the way, I’m here if you have questions. So I knew that a couple of times, and then I turned into a hard asset. I’m like, Listen, this bullshit, you need to think you guys will get fired if you’re this lazy. And of course, I don’t say that the whole class and I don’t lead with that. But there are some times where you got to drop the hammer a little bit. And some people get cute, and they don’t turn in four or five assignments. And then you can totally tell they turn in one that’s almost identical to somebody in their class. And those are people I dropped the hammer on and I go to bed at night fine, because if they don’t hear it from me, they’re going to hear it from some future employer, George Carlin would say that, you know, he, one of my favorite comedians of all time, and he’s not for everybody. But he said, you know, you don’t want the first time your kid to hear you’re a loser, Bobby, you’re fired, you know, to be their first job, at some point, you’ve got to put them to the fire and say, Hey, you’re gonna adapt or die here, man, because no, no employer, once you get out of the university setting is gonna allow for this kind of laziness. So do the best you can interact with them directly, as much as possible, give adequate examples? And then if you need to put them to the fire.


Christian Larson  1:06:57  

Sure, no, I totally agree. Yeah. And you set up a framework for him. Right? So you didn’t just hammer him right away? You gave him expectations, right? Yeah. They but expectations. Same way me, you know, multiple people have gotten lots of zeros on assignments and things like that. Because they, just haven’t done what they need to do. And the expectation was set. You know, the goal is not to give people zeros, right? I tell my students that like, look, my goal is for you to learn in here. But you have a responsibility to do the work. And you know, we have a conversation once and things don’t get fixed. Well, the next time the conversation


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:35  

We’ll end with this because I know I’ve taken a lot of your time. But just we always tried to do call to action for the audience. anybody listening? Hear what he said, you know, do the work. Even when I do and ask me a question thing, a little bit of interaction on Instagram, I’ll still get people that will say, how do you write a training program? Or what should I do for my athletes? Well, I don’t know you. I don’t know your athletes. And that’s super vague. Like at some level, you got to understand? How is anybody supposed to answer that question? And it goes into doing the work of saying, What am I trying to achieve? Like you said, going back to the very beginning, when you look at content creation? What are the learning outcomes? Right. So if I’m going to ask somebody a question, I think we could do a whole podcast on how to ask good questions. That’s something I continually learn about because some of mine suck. But if I’m going to do that, I’m thinking, what am I trying to get out of this? How can I give this information context? And then I’m going to ask a question. But we have people that just like you said, Christian, they don’t want to do the work. And there’s no excuse for that. So going into the whole theme of this as Why is formal education, sometimes failing to prepare people, leaders, coaches, what have you. There’s also the two way street of you have to go into formal education as a student with appropriate expectations. And you’ve got to do the work both on the inside and the outside to round out that experience. Cristian, if people want to follow up with you, if people want to get involved, if people want to learn more about Kansas State University, and everything you guys are doing as a department, what are the best ways to reach out? I’ll put all this in the show notes.


Christian Larson  1:09:04  

Sure, emailing me at my K State email address. And so I’m on there all the time. What is going to be actually it is crlarson. Christian 


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:22  

Larson with an O. 


Christian Larson  1:09:23  

with an  O at KSU,


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:24 Anything else you want to touch on before we let you go?


Christian Larson  1:09:29  

Well, I just I hope this has been beneficial for your listeners, man. I was excited that you’re having me on and my big thing was, I’m not a strength and conditioning coach. So I hope that some of the people listening will will benefit from this. So I hope 


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:42  

this is not just strength coaches listening to this, I happen to be a strength coach, right. And so that’s why it’s called The Art of coaching podcast because coaching in my opinion, is anybody that deals with people, and that’s why the symbol is not a barbell. It’s not a guy sprinting through a 40 yard dash. So without a doubt, I mean, you’ve taught you continue to teach me things. We’re going to do a follow up For sure whether in 2019 or next year and I can’t thank you again for your time everybody will link the show notes here reach out to Christian he is extremely gracious and giving with his time and aside from just the education stuff, one of the sharpest entrepreneurs and just best overall people I know so if you’re in the Manhattan Kansas area, go see him buy him lunch, buy him dinner and meet his family if he can, Christian thanks again.


Christian Larson  1:10:24  

Yeah, shout out to my family to Avery Delaney and Lindsey. I gotta say shout out to them because they’re gonna be listened to this at some point. So appreciate you. Coach. I appreciate the time.

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