I just want to share some stuff about being a college strength coach and training athletes that I learned over the past 30 years. Most points here seem like common sense, but I'm not so sure. There is more, but this is a good start.
1. Be on time. Be early. By at least 30 minutes.
2. Have a plan, and explain the plan before the session begins. Explain it so the kids can understand, not to show how smart you think you are at it all. And if you don't know something, tell the kids. Don't look stupid by acting all knowledgeable about stuff you don't know about.
3. Let the kids have some ownership in the whole thing. Let them pick the curls , triceps and shoulder assistance. You'll be amazed at the athlete's enthusiasm.
4. Be strict but not a jerk. Athletes can tell if you care about them. They crave the discipline, but if they don't trust you or like you (why do coaches want their players to fear them?) you ain't gonna get the best from them.
5. Be careful with calling a kid out. You better be damn sure that the kid can take it. I had no problem saying, "We are doing up downs because Johnny was late." But I would never go further than that, because you are trying to make them accountable, not trying to crush their spirit.
6. Don't make them into robots. If you are blowing a whistle to start the reps in a set or to signal the changing of exercises, you may not be a very good teacher, but you may be a control freak. The athletes hate that shit. Nobody gets strong hurrying through a weight workout. But some coaches think that's effective. It is if you want them to dread the weight room and stay weak.
7. Explain everything that you are doing and why you are doing it. Write it down with the points of emphasis on the exercises. And tell them things like, "We are going to squat heavy today, because it's a long season and we need to stay in the 80% range so we can stay strong and keep injury free. I have cut the volume down, but bumped the weight up. You need to push through today, it is important." Stuff like that. You aren't a dictator, you are a teacher. I knew one head strength coach who, when asked why the athletes box squatted, answered, " When you get as strong as me, you can question what I do." What the hell kind of answer is that?
8. Never compromise your ideals. I'd rather leave a place than have some dumb ass administrator tell me what to do with my athletes. That stuff is rampant these days and the best coaches are going into private business because of constant meddling.
And back to the athletes:
I don't know, man. I just figured out a long time ago that college athletes are grown and that they want to succeed, but if you are just a continuance of the asshole coach that they just left at practice, they are not going to reach their potential. Just be cool. Be strict and have rules, but just be cool with the kids. Have them trust you, let them assume ownership, and listen to them.