The Coaching Manifesto: 6 Rules for Achieving Excellence

As in any career, people become coaches and trainers for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are nobler, such as surviving cancer and wanting to help others. Some are more practical, like coaching as a career, because you’ve always been an athlete. Some more ambitious, like seeing yourself as an entrepreneur and a small gym as a path. Regardless of how you got into coaching, now you are and it’s time to make yourself a good one.

As in any career, people become coaches and trainers for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are nobler, such as surviving cancer and wanting to help others. Some are more practical, like coaching as a career, because you’ve always been an athlete. Some more ambitious, like seeing yourself as an entrepreneur and a small gym as a path. Regardless of how you got into coaching, now you are and it’s time to make yourself a good one.

As with your own training, there is no point in coaching half-heartedly. There are far too many bad and mediocre trainers and coaches in the world. The following six rules are not easy, but they are simple. If you accept them, you are ahead of the game.

You will become a better coach and, as a result, your clients will be happier. I call this the coaching manifesto. I’ve learned these rules in bits over the years. I’m introducing them to you here as a whole because when I put them together it made all the difference for me.

1. Find out more

This is the first rule for good reason. This rule takes effect the day you decide to become a coach and continues until the day you hang up.

There’s no day in between when you shouldn’t keep studying.

Attending courses, attending seminars, reading books, watching other trainers, watching videos – learn, learn, learn. New information emerges every day from magazines, from researchers and from working with your own customers. Learn something every day and never stop.

2. Know your customer

Your customers are a resource for your learning, but in order to learn from them you must know them.

How can you teach people until you understand them and their goals? You can’t tell them what to do until you know who they are and what they want.

What are your clients’ injuries, histories, and motivations? You know your stated goals, but do you also know your actual goals? Do you know what drives them? How great if you could see your customers so clearly that you could help them see themselves.

Do you know your customer – better than they know themselves – but without judgment. Know their body, know their mind and show them the mirror. Then share your knowledge and show them how you are going to help.

3. Know yourself

We can’t really ask others to look in the mirror and make changes unless we’re willing to look at ourselves in the cold, harsh light. To really know others, you have to know yourself.

Communication also becomes easier when we know ourselves. When we don’t see each other clearly, we take a lot personally. We think a customer’s anger is with us when it really comes down to their own frustrations.

When you know your customer and yourself, you know the real root of the problem and its solution is easy.

Knowing yourself also means knowing your weaknesses and solving your own problems. If we educate ourselves every day, we need to know what we don’t know. That means recognizing the gaps in our skills and steadily closing them.

4. Get over yourself

This is a consequence of “know yourself”. Once you know yourself, it is time to conquer yourself.

Yes, it’s great that you can do a one arm push up. Do you have to do them in front of your clients for no reason? No. Let go of your ego and need for attention as you coach.

It’s not about you The less it is about you, the better you will become as a coach. It’s not about you when your customer is upset. It’s not about you if your customer is happy. It’s just not about you.

You did it. Not you. You are just a channel. The ego adds impurities and makes you a poor guide in learning and progress.

5. Don’t be married to the method

Learning and progress are possible with almost any training method. In the fitness industry, it goes without saying that your system is better than others, but it usually isn’t. Coaching is good or coaching is bad.

You are a good teacher or a bad teacher whether your dumbbell is pink, you are wearing an undershirt, or you are using sandbags.

If someone says their system is the best, they are probably trying to sell you something. Don’t worry about the best system; Just be the best coach in everything you do. In general, people should work a little harder, pick up a little more, and move a little faster.

You should exercise strength, cardio, and flexibility. Call it what you will, but the body is the human body and there are only a limited number of useful things you can do with it and with it. Be committed to the results, not to a guru or method.

6. Do no harm

Everything you do with your customers should lead to something productive and positive. People don’t come to you to hurt themselves. They come to you for higher goals – sometimes these goals look like world championships, and sometimes they look like they’re going to run a mile without stopping. Regardless of their fitness level, it is your greatest responsibility to your customers to protect and train them.

When you know your customers, you know what they should and shouldn’t do. If you know yourself, if you are honest with them and they get upset, you won’t take it personally. When you let go of the method, you will find ways to customize the workout for you. Further education can help explain why this is the best path for them.

Not only can you follow one of these rules and be an excellent trainer or coach. If you follow them all, you will be excellent, your customers will be excellent, and you will be the health and fitness channel you want to be. Try to take number one to heart now and see how it works out for you.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.

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