He was destined to fail.
He was being relied on, but time and again he just kept letting them down.
He thought it was everyone else, that they couldn’t be bothered or that they weren’t fully committed to transforming their own lives.
But he was making a fatal mistake…and his clients were suffering because of it.
“Dan” is a fitness coach who loves helping people transform their lives.
He thrives on it.
He thinks that if his clients have got the will, then he has the way – and together they can do amazing things.
In a way, he’s not wrong.
He CAN get amazing results for some people. The problem is that many more people come to him for help, but they DON’T get results from working with him.
Because he’s making one HUGE mistake.
It’s nothing to do with his technical abilities, he’s actually very good at that.
It’s his belief that a client needs to motivate THEMSELVES.
Coaching isn’t just about knowing your area of sport or fitness inside out. In fact, GREAT coaching has very little to do with that at all.
Great coaching is having the skills to move your clients forward even when they don’t know how, or even what’s stopping them in the first place!
And I know that sounds like you need to become some sort of mind-reader, but really, it’s a simple shift from acceptance to questioning.
“Dan” accepts what his clients are telling him about their state of mind.
He listens to the words.
His clients say things like “I’m really tired” or “I didn’t have time” or “it’s been a really tough week”.
He interprets this as being a lack of motivation or a lack of committment. Well, if they were really committed to the programme, they’d FIND the time or the energy wouldn’t they?
Unfortunately, this is where “Dan” starts to let his clients down.
At first, he’ll make adjustments to their training plan, but when they start to miss things out consistently, “Dan” and his clients mutually agree that the pragramme isn’t for them and they part ways.
That’s not helping those clients to achieve their goals.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that coaches should work with incompatible people, but in many cases, simply shifting from acceptance of what the client says to asking a few little questions would help those clients keep moving forward, feeling positive and achieveing their goals.
On pages 17-18 of my upcoming book, “The Coaches Guide to Long-Term Injury Prevention Success”, I outline 4 questions every coach needs to ask themselves when it comes to getting more information from their clients and better feedback about their current situation (after all, it’s this feedback that drives your decision making process):
1. What are the clients saying?
2. What do they really mean?
3. What’s stopping them/getting in their way?
4. How can I help them break through this?
What feedback a client gives is influenced by many factors, including their age, their life experience and their personality type.
Are they shy mid-teenage girls who can’t really explain changes in her body?
Are they men in their 50s who have a “buckle up and get on with it” type attitude?
Each of these two groups would give entirely different feedback about aches and pains in their bodies and their ability to complete your training plan. The teenage girl might just quietly get on with it, secretly struggling with pain, or she might simply say she doesn’t want to train anymore because she doesn’t want to have to explain/draw attention to herself. Whereas the man in his 50s might be full of bluster, faking strength and motivation so that he doesn’t appear to be “weak”, while he’s secretly struggling.
That’s why fitness coaches need to take a step back, to questions what’s really going on – and to do that, we need a way of getting more information from our clients than they are either willing or able to give.
And that’s where using simple clues from our clients bodies come in.
Most coaches won’t recognise the clues that human bodies give when they’re struggling either emotionally or physically with a problem, but that’s exactly what GREAT coaches do.
Recognising the signs allows you to make tailored and effective decisions about your clients, despite what they say – and believe me, this makes you look INCREDIBLE!
You’ll be able to deliver exactly what your clients need, so that they come to each and every session, even when they don’t want to because they TRUST that you’ll know exactly what to do.
Developing connections like this with clients is privilege and an opportunity offered to each and every fitness coach with every new client or group of athletes they train.
Don’t squander yours.
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