As most fitness professionals eventually learn throughout their career, being successful is more about being a great coach than it is about how many exercises you can demonstrate. The best programs are the ones that have high compliance and that can only be achieved through efficient coaching. While being an effective coach takes years of practice, I have listed four tips below that you can implement immediately to increase your results.
We all say we do it, but most of the time we really don’t. At least not the way we should. Ask questions that will force self-evaluation. Open your mind and ears to really let your client put themself out there. What do they really want and how can you get them there? Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know why they are working with you. Take a genuine interest in each one of your clients and the details of their lives. Once you know what makes them tick you will be able to motivate them far more effectively. As the old saying goes: “You have two ears and only one mouth for a reason”.
2. Change Your Perspective
Often we always think about how we would handle a situation or react to something. When dealing with others, however, we neglect to realize that their perspective is different based on their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Try to think of ways you can put yourself in your client’s position. If you go out of your way to understand their situation, you will often come up with some very innovative solutions to the problems they may have.
Recently, I started logging my food to experience the process that I have my clients perform. This has led me to come up with better strategies to make the process less painful and teach them more about food quality. This has led to a much higher compliance rate and, of course, better results in physique improvement.
3. Embrace The Positive
As a coach it becomes very easy to only focus on the habits that are inhibiting progress. This leads us to spend most of our time telling people what not to do instead of praising them for all the positive adjustments they have made. Unfortunately, this leads to frustration for our clients and can even have a demotivating effect.
The best fix to this is to make sure that you recognize or point out 2 positive markers of progress for every negative habit you address. If you are struggling to find changes that you can praise the client for then you are likely doing something wrong. Start by setting less challenging weekly goals that you and your client feel confident that they can achieve.
4. Go Beyond
The average client meets with their coach two times per week for an hour at best. Touching base for 2 hours out of 168 leaves little time to focus on anything but a couple exercises, a brief conversation, and the ability to tackle one major obstacle per week. It’s no wonder that despite our best efforts the margin of success is fairly low. However, you can do things differently.
The best coaches are the ones that go that extra mile. Simple things such as sending a text message to your client about how proud you are of them or emailing them an article with more information about a problem they are facing can go a long way. These are the kind of actions that make your client want to keep giving 100% and that show them that you are a team.