One year ago, Tyler Villarreal enrolled in the OPEX Coach Certificate Course (CCP) because he wanted to become a professional coach.
A year later, the now 20-year-old discovered CCP was as much about his own personal growth as it was about coaching education.
(Note: Learn the basics of program design, nutrition, and the business of coaching here.)
Villarreal’s personal revelations started when he traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona for Immersion at OPEX HQ last fall. He left the weekend feeling more inspired than ever. Not only was he inspired, Villarreal suddenly realized he had the ability to put himself out there and take a risk to get what he really wanted from his life.
“I realized how passionate I was about coaching and it gave me the drive to seek opportunities and just go for it,” he said.
A college student in San Antonio at the time, Texas Villarreal reached out to Jesse O’Brien, the owner of Central Athlete in Austin, Texas asking for an opportunity. He was in the process of completing his CCP at the time.
“And it went really well. I guess he just sensed something in me. We had a really great talk, and then another one, and then I started a sort of informal month-long mentorship with him,” Villarreal said.
Villarreal started traveling the 75 miles from San Antonio to Austin every Monday to sit in on client consultations and assessments with O’Brien, as well as on education and strategy meetings. By February, 2019, Villarreal made the move to Austin and began working with his own individual program design clients.
Currently, Villarreal has 7 individual program design clients. He also covers four to five on-floor coaching shifts each week, all the while continuing to finish his undergraduate degree in Communications.
Villarreal said he knows none of this would have happened without being influenced by OPEX and CCP.
“I honestly can say I wouldn’t be living my dream (on the way to becoming) a professional coach if it weren’t for the CCP,” he said. “I certainly wouldn’t be at this stage of development in my career.”
Before doing CCP, Villarreal’s plan was to obtain his kinesiology degree first, and then save up enough money for the CCP, and then reach out to an OPEX Gym.
“But something inside me just said go for it now,” he said.
Villarreal is sure glad he did.
“I developed at an astounding speed in terms of my maturity and have gained a better understanding of life, of people, of how people think and of connecting with people,” he said.
Villarreal added: “I truly believe anyone who is a CCP coach is a step ahead of anyone else in the industry. It’s a lot of time to invest and it’s a huge effort, but it’s a process that weeds people out who don’t want to be professional coaches, so the people with a true passion for this can shine. And the CCP gives you the tools to be able to do that.”
One of the biggest reasons he believes CCP coaches are a step above others is because they know to remain humble and open-minded about what they know.
“It’s about the pursuit of excellence and continuing to push the envelope and never being ok with what we currently know. I think James (FitzGerald) is a great figurehead for this because he teaches there’s no be all, end all. There’s always something to learn. Always questions to be asked,” he said.
Villarreal added: “It’s not dogmatic. Dogma is the death of mastery and I think OPEX embodies that perfectly.”
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