Wednesday Musings: The Value of a Coach
It is incumbent on those who are in the coaching profession not only to provide value and excellent service to their clients, but also to advocate for the profession and show the need for well qualified coaches! Here's where I make the argument for training under a professional coach.
Whether its early morning, on a lunch break, or right after work, admit it. You’ve had that moment where you thought to yourself, do I REALLY want to workout today? Often times if we’re being honest, the answer is no. And more often than we would like to admit we often give in to this urge and take the left to get home instead of the right to the gym. That’s when we come in. Whether it’s a quick text, a hand written letter, or my personal favorite public Facebook shaming (You know if you’ve been subject to this one), a good coach is going to keep you accountable.
Being accountable to oneself is difficult. It requires discipline and self motivation and the ability to sacrifice personal enjoyment for the sake of achieving a goal. And as someone who doesn’t want to just change your body but also change your life, I’d love for you to have that level of self proficiency. But like I’m also glad you don’t because it kinda helps pay my bills too…ANYWAYS! A coach is more than someone who cares about you and work you do in the gym, they notice when you’re gone and they want to get you back. They care about the decisions you make outside the gym and how it affects your life. A coach is that good little angel on your shoulder holding you to task. A coaches value is accountability.
2. A Discerning Eye
How many times have you walked through a big globo gym and had trouble deciding whether someone was doing an exercise or undergoing an exorcism. A quick search down the Youtube rabbit hole will show a million videos of people who are hopelessly lost in the gym and in need of...you guessed it, A COACH!
As quickly as inappropriate exercises or workout plans will derail a promising new clients progress in the gym, a well thought out exercise done with atrocious form will destroy them even faster. As much as I like to preach about the million and a half things I feel like are on my plate, my number one job is to make sure that clients are executing the tasks I set before them with proper form.
Building proper movement patterns is the base upon which all progress needs to be built on. Putting a house of increased strength and endurance on a foundation of shitty movement is a great way to put a lower cap on future progress, as well as ensure future injury to clients. Without this base, no other part of my job matters, therefore it must be my number one priority to provide a discerning eye and correct poor movement when I see it.
3. World's Cheapest Psychiatrist
This is a unique part of the job. You won’t find it in any job description, you won’t find it in any textbooks, and it’s rarely discussed amongst professionals, but a sneaky big part of this job is being a woefully underqualified therapist.
It’s bound to happen. You are spending several hours throughout the week with a person who is out of work mode and often away from family. For them, this is me time. And while the physical side of me time is obvious, often times words will begin to flow as well. It can be scary, particularly as younger coach, to have people of all ages open up to you about their life. Most people just want someone who will listen, a neutral party they can vent frustrations to or share happiness with. This is the easy thing to do. But occasionally some feedback is wanted as well. This is where a good coach can really separate themselves.
I have found that honesty (within reason) is almost always the best route. Sometimes honesty is easy, other times it is like the discerning eye and requires one to be critical. But in a world filled with rounded edges and fake social media personas, an honest assessment is often appreciated, even if is is not necessarily what the client WANTS to hear.
There are plenty of other reasons why you should consider training in a gym with a professional coach. Whether it is real time feedback on your training, the ability to ask questions and pick the brain of someone who is more knowledgeable, or simply someone to keep you company while you sweat your ass off, all of these are additional benefits you get when you train with a coach!
At the end of the day no one NEEDS a coach. Plenty of people workout their entire lives and are incredibly healthy, active individuals who do things the right way. But whether you are new to the world of exercise and looking for someone to guide you or are an experienced workout warrior looking to take their fitness to the next level, consider the value that a coach can bring to you!