Personal experience helps him mentor athletes
By Evelyn Daood
Kendrick Bachman, a coach at the Crossfit Credence gym in Rochester, currently attends RCTC for a few classes.
Although this is his first semester, Bachman previously had attended college in Wyoming, graduating from there in 2009. As he wasn’t really enjoying himself out in the sticks where human interaction and diversity must be sought out, he decided to integrate back into human society in Rochester.
“I kind of hopped back into the real world for a little bit,” Bachman said, comparing the isolation of Wyoming to his return to Rochester, which is home to him.
While taking classes at RCTC to finish out his degree, Bachman pursues coaching at the Crossfit Credence gym in Rochester as a passion and job.
“My passion definitely lies in sports,” he explained, “so I kind of want to stay in that realm and see all the different kinds of things I can do with that. I really love working here.”
This January, Bachman will have coached for five years at Crossfit Credence. He’s also finishing off his fourth year coaching the girls’ swim team at John Marshall and is starting his fifth year coaching the boys’ swim team there. In addition to getting a lot of coaching years under his belt, he also hopes to advance in what he wants to do by obtaining his degree here at RCTC.
Bachman hopes to take the knowledge he has gained from working as a Crossfit coach and swimming coach, and what he’s learned in classes, and take that out into the world wherever he goes. He hopes this could someday lead to a position as a strengthening and conditioning coach at a college or even possibly an athletic director somewhere.
In addition to coaching swimming, Bachman has also spent 16 years as a competitive swimmer, and he noted how much he enjoys it.
“I love going to the pool every day and coaching the swimmers, because growing up, that’s what I did.”
During his career in swimming, he has participated in many national meets and events, including going to the World Championship Trials in 2009, his senior year.
An interesting fact about Bachman is that he has gotten to swim against and hang out with swimmers like Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps, Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen, and Aaron Peirson (the last two were Olympians in 2004 and 2008).
“Swimming was one of those experiences that really allowed me to explore,” he said. “It allowed me to hang out with these guys and girls that you see on TV every four years and you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, that person is amazing!’ and you just come to find out that almost all of them are actually very down to earth, humble, super fun, great people to talk to.”
Looking back, he reflected, “Those years were definitely some fun life experiences that I will never ever regret, and I will forever be grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to experience.”
Some of the biggest things Bachman has taken from his experiences as a swimmer and incorporated in his coaching originate from his steady, even-keeled, level-headed nature. Finding the balance between coach and athlete can be difficult for many coaches, but for him, it came quite naturally.
He easily empathizes with athletes because as a fellow athlete, he “knows how it feels” but he is also able to add some coaching, feedback, input, and instruction or guidance for the athlete.
“Being able to put in that teaching and analytical aspect, and melding that all together,” he said, is something that helps him be a good coach.
He noted that one of his greatest challenges is directing the attention of athletes back to what they are doing. When there are around 20 people in a room, it can be hard to gain all of their attention. One must learn the “feel” of the group to understand how to deal with distraction and managing the overall group. According to Bachman, individual direction or change in voice intonation or speed is necessary at times.
His favorite thing to teach or coach when in the gym is Olympic lifting.
“It’s so nuanced; there’s so many technical aspects to it, and it’s something you can always help people with.”
Not only does the Crossfit program he coaches offer Olympic Lifting, but it also extends to handstands, pushups, bars and rings, runs, normal lifts like squats, bench pressing, dead lifts, and gymnastics.
To sum up the Crossfit experience, Bachman says, “We are trying to be good at everything and nothing, all at once.