This concept really only hit home in my first year of personal training. I remember the moment so vividly. My manager John asked me if I was off home. I responded with “Nope, still a few hours of coaching left”. He replied with “Coaching? Hmm, I like that. Never heard anyone call it coaching, only training“.
Then and there I said to myself I will never be a trainer. Anyone can be a trainer. Anyone can run someone into the ground. 5 sets of hack squat to failure supersetted with 3 minutes of weighted walking lunges, followed by incline sprints and assault bike intervals. Done.
Coaching is an art. Having all the ability to do it yourself is useless if you cannot coach it to someone else. Coaching someone to execute a perfect RDL, or decline cable fly with precision is something I love. Something that I pride myself in. Did that happen in my first 6 months coaching? God no. It takes time. Years in some cases.
So, what is my advice?
You want to be a good coach? Then coach. Coach, coach and coach some more. Spend time making mistakes. Learn from them. And never make them again. Keep price points low to allow a higher intake of coaching hours and take on every single person who asks. Be ready for a hard few years in the trenches. It isn’t easy, but once you come out the otherside, it is all worth it.
Educate yourself. For the first 2 years, put 20% of your early income right back into seminars, practicals, courses, online platforms plane tickets and cheap hotel rooms or you’ll fall behind. In my opinion – this is the biggest part of the puzzle coaches miss. How can you progress if your knowledge is stagnant? I have spent thousands and thousands of euro/ dollars travelling all over the place educating myself so that I can level up. And it has been worth every penny.
Keep an extremely high standard of yourself. You are your business. Don’t put up videos of you on a session with the lads or the last few hours of a hen party. Keep that to your personal accounts.
Keep a close circle of people who you aspire to be. Get yourself a very good coach and get so good at what you do, that they come knocking on your door looking for you to coach them.
Create a CV of results. Weather that be with transformations, mobility, strength or speed. Whatever your niche is, make sure you work tirelessly until you have an abundance of them.
Get in the best shape of your life and document it. Do a shoot or compete and show that you can walk the walk and talk the talk. Become relatable.
Make sure you are not going through the motions. Make sure you don’t breeze from client to client each day. “Coach” them. Transform them. Add value to them.
That is coaching.
Send this to a friend or a PT who is struggling. I know I would have loved to read this in my first few months coaching!