What is it that makes a coach a coach? In the fitness community, the title of "coach" gets tossed around A LOT. But what is it actually? What separates the good from the great? What differentiates a coach from an instructor? Is it strictly results? Or does it go deeper?
Running around a group of fitness-goers cheerleading and barking out and repeating phrases such as "Faster Bob!", or "Pick up the barbell!", or my personal favorite when I see an instructor "coaching" a client who is trying to execute a tough repetition with weight training yell "UP!" from across the room as though screaming the word at the individual will assist the client in executing said rep through some sort of radical form of fitness-osmosis coaching. Watching someone walk on the treadmill for 60 minutes while texting your girlfriend, throwing them a high-five and a towel isn't exactly a form of higher order coaching either. So how do we define it? What exactly makes a coach a coach? I think to answer this question we have to work backwards a bit. What is it that a coach is trying to achieve? What resources are available to that coach to have success? By what means must that coach structure the training plan for the individual client in order to meet the needs of that SPECIFIC individual? Success within coaching fitness must be measured by the relative dimensions presented within the scope of an individuals baseline starting point, across many trials and tribulations, and a correctly aligned timeline for the client. Not to mention, the rate of success often times must be determined by outlying factors within the life and lifestyle of the client including their level of commitment and dedication to the program. As you can see, it goes far beyond the complexities and theoretical implementation of structures, progressions, periodization, etc. It's much deeper than that. This is one reason why you MUST have a coach, and a coach MUST understand the great differences between what is coaching and what is everything else?
A coach, in our opinion at OPEX Upper Main Line is someone who cares, who shows great empathy for their clients, and who are leaders in passing along their education, methods, and best practices for helping their clients along their journey towards progress. A coach KNOWS their client. They know their strengths, weaknesses, imbalances, their WHY for showing up in the first place, occupations, lifestyles, names of their children, goals, fears, and most importantly, a coach knows what he or she doesn't know, and for this reason, a coach is constantly evaluating the program, the plan, and the journey of their clients to help challenge them each day, while also providing the supports and guidance they need each week to progress. This is what real impact looks like. This is what it means to coach another individual.
So before we continue handing out coaching badges by the millions, we must go deeper than loud music and barking out cues, running around like a chicken with your head cut off, wondering at the end of the day why their clients can't just "get it right." We re-define what it means to be a coach everyday with our clients at OPEX Upper Main Line. If you're ready for real coaching, and real results that come with it, contact us to set up an appointment with a professional coach and see for yourself the difference that having a coach makes.