Why do you need a Coach? Pt 1/4

Why do you need a Coach? Pt 1/4
4 Part Blog Series – Why Do You Need a Coach?
This blog will be part of a 4 part blog series on Why you need a coach. Step one will be defining what a coach actually is to you. It will differ from person to person but we’ll cover the basics to start with followed by:
  • Coaches for Wellbeing/health
  • Coaches for Athletes/Performance
  • Coaches for Coaches
Simply put, no matter what industry, a coach can simply be defined as a guide. They provide you with structure and a path to follow to arrive at your desired goal. Usually, they provide one of many different ways to arrive at the goal, and their METHOD is often determined by their levels of the following criteria:
  • CARE
Starting with care, it’s as simple as if a coach doesn’t care about the person in front of them, they should have left the industry a long time ago. If your coach is more interested in themselves than they are in you then their levels of care should be called into question.
Care should be at the forefront of what drives a coach in their career. Whether that is by developing a platform that allows them to reach more people or whether it’s simply by listening to every intricate detail about the person they are coaching at that moment, it’s easy to determine whether a coach is more interested in their following/likes than the person in front of them.
This does not mean a coach with a large following is necessarily a bad coach, but some of the best coaches I’ve worked with personally either don’t have Instagram or it’s a secondary thought. What it absolutely does mean however is that the number of followers a coach has on social media does not directly correlate to how much they care about the clients.
Technical Knowledge
Technical knowledge is going to be second to care in most situations, but not all. We will delve into this a little more when it comes to coaching athletes/performance and to some extent coaches.
Walk into any gym in the world and you’ll likely hear someone talking about how “the collapse of the arch is directly causing a valgus knee leading to medial knee pain, which could be further exacerbated with a lack of external rotation in the hip”.
Frankly, no one cares. Technical knowledge is a blessing and a curse.
Used wisely, often internally, a coach can draw on their technical knowledge to help create both an excellent assessment of the individual before them, leading into an excellent programme. However, often coaches baffle clients with technical jargon that they don’t understand. This is often used as a way of sounding smart when in reality, a much more intelligent approach is being able to translate your technical jargon to layman’s terms for the client. How much do you care about your coach’s technical knowledge; does it fall superior to their ability to get you results? It’s unlikely. 
This being said, a coach MUST know what they’re talking about, and often technical jargon is a great way to disguise a lack of knowledge to the unsuspecting client.
There will be times when life gets on top of you and your motivation to train or desire to follow the programme waivers slightly. This is normal, a coach who leads you also understands you as a person. Do you grow on the border of challenge or support? Personally, nothing could be worse for me personally than feeling like someone was holding my hand all the time, however, there are many folks who respond exceedingly well to this kind. A good leader is able to identify the traits and personalities within an individual and tailor the way a programme is offered to suit their lifestyle.
In my opinion, this often is the determining factor when choosing a coach. When you look at experience, you’re not simply looking at how long they’ve been in the industry, but whether they have dealt with certain types of training more than others, do they explicitly programme for what you are looking for on a regular basis? Have they generated the results you’re looking for?
The reason experience is so important is that human beings are not simply a one-dimensional system, and the only experience can inform a coach of how to best handle someone who has multiple different factors affecting their training. Long hours, low sleep, poor nutrition, high stress, IBS, missing menstrual cycles, medical issues, are all a small handful of the factors that can affect the way a coach should programme for that individual, and if those conversations are not being had, then chances are that the coach you’re talking to isn’t experienced enough to have them yet, or they are unwilling to refer out.
So what am I looking for?
The horrible answer of, it depends on the person. Me personally, I want to be able to have an open and honest discussion with all of my clients, if we can’t sit and have a coffee (or beer, you can have one of those too..) then chances are we are not going to be the right fit. This is not the approach a lot of coaches take, but it’s certainly worked wonders for my current individuals.
The first step is to understand what it is YOU are looking for. In order to do this, we want to understand your priorities as a person. Be as honest as you can with yourself.
Ask yourself questions such as.
  • In someone who I have previously looked up to, what were their most redeeming qualities?
  • When do I feel most passionate about what I’m doing? (could be work, training, family time)
  • What drives me in my training? Answers could be numbers, it could be a feeling, it could be aesthetics, it could be the opinion of others – none of these are right or wrong answers.
  • What goals have you set yourself recently and in the past few years that you’ve enjoyed working towards most?
  • What do you absolutely love talking about?
If you want to discuss these questions and how they affect your training, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.
- Mike