help ME help YOU, and how to be a better client
“I am out here for you. You don’t know what it’s like to be ME out here for YOU. It is an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about, ok? Help me… help you. Help me, help you.”
I guarantee your coach feels that way sometimes. 😉 Help them out.
With the new year only two weeks away, this is prime time for coaches and trainers to recruit clients – bucket lists, goal setting, and grand resolutions are in full swing.
As a coach, I am exposed to a lot of information on “how to be a better coach”. I can tell you right now that your coach, your trainer, your fitness instructor – they want to get better. They want to help. They want to meet you where you are at. They are reading research articles and books.
There isn’t as much discussion about “how to be a better client”. But, coaching relationship is a two-way street. The client has to be ready, able and willing. The client has to be “coachable”.
This blog post is about how YOU can help your coach help you. 😃
I recently had a conversation with a woman I met at a dinner party. She was asking me if I had a recommendation for a strength coach in town.
“Of course”, I said. But first, I wanted to know what she was looking for. What was she doing already? Why did she feel she needed the change?
The woman is a competitive cyclist, who has been training with a cycling coach.
So far, so good.
Going forward, she would like to get stronger.
Ok! Still following.
Her cycling coach has developed a strength program for her.
Awesome. She is working with someone who knows her sport, and knows it well, and who has years of experience helping athletes just like her.
She does not feel like the workouts are what she needs.
Hold the presses. I sought more information here.
Were the workouts that her cycling coach put together for her hurting her?
Were they unreasonably long? Gruelling? Unrealistic, given her schedule?
Did they require equipment that she did not have?
Did she follow these workouts for months without getting results?
So… what was happening here? The woman shrugged, and told me that the workouts just did not include the movements that she thought she needed.
Now – I am all for taking ownership when it comes to decisions about your body. YOU know what it’s like to BE in your body, to LIVE in your body, and sometimes, things just feel off.
Yet it’s hard to imagine a similar scenario taking place with any other industry.
“My tooth was hurting, and my dentist told me that I needed a filling, but I didn’t feel like that’s what I needed”.
While no one would dispute your expertise as a dentist, things are different when it comes to nutrition, health and exercise. We are ALL experts.
Except… we are not.
Every single client I worked with who has been successful in achieving the goals they set out for themselves had to trust me as their coach, trust my expertise, and trust the process.
One client who’s undergone an incredible transformation says: “”Trusting in the process” was my mantra for this year. I must have said that to myself 100s of times. Every time I was unsure about something, frustrated, or impatient, I repeated those words to myself. They were powerful words and made all the difference for me”.
Many folks want to know exactly why they are doing what they are doing. Why this exercise, and not that one? Why am I doing this movement in each workout? Why this order? Why this sequence?
While I am always happy to provide some information on the why, I also ask the client whether they want to focus on getting the results, or on learning what brings the results. The two are different. They both take time. And, most clients do not have time for both.
And, while I would still be happy to recommend a strength coach for this woman, there are few questions that I would need her to answer first.
If you are considering hiring a professional in the new year, be it a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a running coach, or a website designer, answering the following would make your job and theirs much easier:
* What am I trying to do here?
* What is the goal I am trying to achieve?
* What qualifications am I looking for in my coach? Am I ready, able and willing to trust their expertise? What will it take for me to trust them?
* How will I know once I achieve my goal? What will be my indicators? Measured outcomes?
* What have I done already to try and accomplish this goal?
* What has worked? What has not worked? How do I know?
* How did I decide that something was working? How did I decide that something was NOT working? [It is not uncommon for me to hear from folks who give a training program a week before declaring that it does not work.]