By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
Sport Manitoba Performance is one of the premiere training centres in the province. Our Performance team includes sports scientists, strength and conditioning specialists, mental skills coaches, dietitians, physiotherapists, and our performance coaches who just got a new addition to the team.
Anthony Lawrence built a strong foundation for his career. He has a bachelor’s degree in Health Science from Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario, and got his Personal Trainer Certification right after graduating.
For a few years, he worked as a trainer in fitness gyms in Ontario until he moved to Manitoba in 2016 to become a fitness trainer at the Canadian Armed Forces where he stayed for seven years.
Now, Anthony is one of Sport Manitoba’s dedicated team of experts shaping Manitoban athletes into their full potential.
Pursuing Coaching as a Career
It did not take long for Anthony to figure out that coaching is something he wanted to pursue as a career. “I’ve always known I wanted to be involved in sports in some capacity,” Anthony said. “When I was in high school, I spent all my summers in summer camps.” He also coached team sports, and got into personal training and coaching during summers when he was in college.
When he worked with the military, which he acknowledges as a great stepping stone for his career, he got the chance to travel to many different bases all around the country. That reinforced his belief that a career in coaching would offer professional growth and lots of rich experiences.
Anthony says his passion is what brought him to coaching. However, there are a few people who guided him into it in his younger years.
One, is his dad, who was one of his coaches when he played soccer as a young kid. As he grew, one of his friends from undergrad pursued a career in basketball. Seeing how coaching and training opened doors for his friend, Anthony was inspired. He realized that coaching is a great way to make a lot of connections and a way to put yourself out there.
Physical vs. Mental Coaching
Between physical and mental coaching, Anthony said that for him, physical training is easier, and mental training is more challenging. “It’s getting people in tune through good days and bad days.”
Anthony finds it tough to get someone to focus especially when there are other things going on in their own lives, but he gives them time and space to bounce back and still be successful at the end of the session.
To be able to piece together what positive reinforcement works for every individual, Anthony makes sure that the foundation of his relationship with his trainees is friendship and a strong rapport.
His Top 3 Attitudes for Success
Anthony said in order to succeed in sport, he believes these are three attitudes to have: “Discipline, definitely perseverance, and adaptability.” He shared that it is important to know “how to slow things down and put your mind into a decent space, knowing that you are in control of what you do.”
He does not deny that, in reality, people sometimes fall from the sidewalk to where the road is rough and bumpy, but the important thing is how they regain footing, focus, and balance.
“When it comes to their games, there’s going to be a lot of times where things are just not going well for them. What’s important is that they give the same high level of performance every time, and remember that other people are relying on them as well.”
Keep Lines of Communication Open
“I think an ideal strategy is where you communicate who you are and what your expectations are,” he shared. “I always let [trainees] know that I am available to chat with them to discuss their expectations on the training and how it’s going to benefit them, and not just tell them what to do.”
Anthony is sure to convey the “why” in what they do – especially when it comes to certain workouts and exercises. He makes sure to make it known that whatever they are working on, it’s geared towards top performance.
Best Part of His Job
The best part of Anthony’s job is the connections he has formed over the years, and the fulfilling feeling of earning trust as a trainer. Along with this, the highlights of his career are seeing results, seeing progress, and seeing people who are fully invested in the plans he prepared for them.
Aside from playing soccer and basketball, Anthony was also part of a choir when he was in elementary and high school. He says most people don’t know this now because he doesn’t sing anymore, except when he’s in his car doing karaoke.