Friend of a client reaching out to me: “So, what’s your coaching style?”
Me: “It depends.”
Everyone has their way, everyone has their method (or methods).
Whether it be from education or experience, scientific studies or anecdotal experience, we all have our way that we do things.
I do not think certain methods are superior to others without context, and I will not bash other coaches, trainers, gyms, or brands to show superiority to my coaching product. I know what I know, and I know what I can control, and that’s what I like to focus on.
That being said, the client leads the dance. It’s not about me, or my business. I’m not the real focus, the client is.
I am not here to brag and boast, or tout my knowledge, I am here to coach you from where you’re at, to where you want to go.
You are the Karate kid, I am Mr. Miyagi.
You are Luke Skywalker, I am Yoda. (I think; I may have slacked on my Star Wars viewing)
Makes sense, right?
I am a firm believer in this:
“Methods are many, principles are few. Methods often change, principles never do.”
Diets are methods.
Modalities of training, are methods.
I teach principles, but I employ methods. In fact, it’s actually education that is the foundation of what I do.
Think of all the things you’re most proficient in. Things that you know you’re good at, you’re confident in, what you’d call “your thing.”
Chances are, you’re quite educated in those areas. How can I expect people to make life-altering changes, and sustain them without being educated on the subject?
Learning your preferences, background, past successes and failures, what you can do without, what you can’t, your time availability, your social support – there’s a myriad of variables to consider. Those makeup the method selection.
You want to lose weight? Here’s a list of common fad diet “methods:”
- intermittent fasting
- south beach
- weight watchers
- clean eating
You might see these as viable options, but here’s the reality:
- you hate to feel “trapped” by a diet
- you don’t necessarily over-consume processed foods anyway
- you digest well, and enjoy some dairy, and gluten-containing foods
- you don’t love the idea of being limited to only a few food options
- you don’t enjoy eating the same foods day in and day out
- you tend to feel like dieting warrants a “binge” period at some point
- you want to feel healthy, but also not be a social outcast
Choosing a diet is limiting.
It pays to know how to plug-and-play the attributes of certain methods of eating, and how to mitigate the pitfalls of others.
Every person’s diet is different.
This is coaching.
This is the difference between just naming the potential benefits of a broad-viewed diet, and being able to effectively explain what may work, what might not, what may be best according to your work life, and lifestyle, and how we can tailor it more appropriately for your goals.
Exercise, is not just exercise.
Exercise can be thought of 1 of 2 ways, generally.
- A punishment for off-track eating, or an overly relaxing weekend. Solely a tool to “shed some weight.” Far from fun, enjoyable, or a beneficial, and enjoyable experience. Often not sustained in this category, more often just exercising in “seasons” when it’s time to train some weight off. Thought of as “I’ll just never love working out, it’s not me me.” (Or, it could be a consistent “chore,” but it may not working for you, because you’re just taking it day by day, with no plan or reverse engineering to your end goal.)
- The sport of adulthood. An outlet for expression, relaxation, concentration, and clarity. Skill-building, behavior-modifying, and physique-molding. Understood as a constant outlet for growth, learning, and understanding. Exciting to learn new things, checking mini-wins off the list, and continue evolving to the next. Bleeds into the “lifestyle” category, as this group often adopts more active hobbies and ways of living.
It’s all in how you think of things.
Being currently in grouping one doesn’t mean you’re going to live out your days in that unfulfilling-purgatory.
It’s about discovering what you enjoy doing, how it can improve your life, being clear on your goals, being self-aware, and honest with yourself on why you may have a negative relationship with training and nutrition. (No one has to truly enjoy it. Different strokes, for different folks. I’m not dogmatically trying to convert every single human I meet into grouping two; you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force him to drink. If it’s simply fulfilling a short term goal, then that’s what it is and that’s great, but I must help you understand that.)
What type of training excites you? What’re your physique goals for yourself? Do you want to add a significant amount of muscle? Or just enough to have a fit, and athletic appearance? Do you want to weigh less, or look better? Do you want to improve all of your health markers? Do you just want to move more unrestricted?
Does a conventional blend of barbell, dumbbell, and machine training elicit a yawn for you?
Does training like an MMA fighter sound fun, engaging, challenging and athletic?
Have you always been a little “unconventional” with your approach?
Or maybe you keep it simple?
Does the idea of getting strong, muscular, and fit with only your bodyweight entice you?
Maybe bodybuilding, and the art of complete physique construction and manipulation is fascinating to you.
Maybe it’s the idea of moving absolutely as much weight as humanly possible.
Maybe it’s being as “functional” or “physically prepared” for any task the worst of days could hurl at you.
Don’t limit, or pigeon-hole yourself; the methods are endless.
As a coach, I employ a “MOM” approach. (Always gets a couple chuckles because as you get to know me, you begin to learn I’m just a lame “dad.”)
That means I teach what will work for you.
- Listening to the individual trusting you with the ability to change their life – to understand them, their desires, hurdles, fears, and strengths
- Supporting that person through the toughest, yet integral elements of their process
- Managing their social life, their training, their intake, keeping the stressors limited so that they’re able to go about their normal life not completely robbed of quality and happiness
- Teaching them the principles they need to be aware of, to truly be healthy, and to achieve their goals, and sustain it this time without being swept up by fads, gimmicks, and schemes
- Caring about that person, because coaching is a relationship amongst two people. You’re not checking into your car dealership to receive a service; you’re using a guide who knows what you want, can teach you how to achieve it, and is there to be sure you do just that
- Adapting to the many fluctuating variables that make up an everyday individuals’ life. Coaching is in the modifications, and the tweaks; it’s not “set it and forget it”
- Mentoring in the sense that, you’re getting access to someone who knows what you want, has performed the necessary actions to get what you want, and has achieved, and sustained what it is that you want. You get firsthand experience of the positives, and the negatives, and the coach gets a mentor as well! See, coaches get better by experience. The client is an invaluable asset because your life, experiences, social influence, work, relationship with fitness – are all different than someone else’s. We’re in a constant state of mentorship, and most clients would never see it that way. I don’t think of you asking me how to get through a wedding, a work birthday party, and a girl’s night out in a single week as burdensome, it’s actually helping me.
That, in a large, thorough nutshell is my response to “what’s your coaching style?”
I hope this was helpful, and an insight into the mind of a coach.
If I can ever personally help you with anything, don’t hesitate to reach out (I’m super friendly).
Thanks for reading!