What makes a good coach?
There’s a ton of article out there telling potential clients and coaches alike what makes the best coach.
The truth is most of this is a load of rubbish.
The reason for this is simple, there’s no such thing.
Every client is different and therefore what’s right for one won’t necessarily be right for someone else.
Sure, there’s definitely things coaches can do wrong.
There’s no excuse for any sort of dangerous practice but anything that comes down to preferences is up for debate.
There is one thing though that every coach should possess and that’s credibility.
That means being able to look their clients in the eye and know that the information they are giving them is correct.
Not thinking it, assuming it or believing it.
But knowing that everything you say is proven and can be backed up.
Theres a lot of miss information out there and twice as many coaches who are willing to abuse it and present it as fact.
Every coach had a responsibility to protect their clients from this bad information.
As I said above people may have different preferences on coaching and training styles, they may prefer different environments and all that is out of a coaches control to a certain extent.
It’s impossible to be everything to everyone.
However, one thing that every coach should be able to say with 100% honesty is that they have never told anyone anything that is a downright lie or something that has been proven to be untrue.
Opinions are opinions but that doesn’t mean they aren’t wrong.
If I tell you it’s my opinion that the sky is brown and water is dry it doesn’t make it fact and It certainly doesn’t give me the right to abuse a position of trust and start telling people this information least alone selling them it.
That’s beside the point because people wouldn’t believe me anyway.
They know these claims are ridiculous.
Well, guess what?
That’s exactly how ridiculous the majority of ‘opinions’ in the fitness industry sound to anyone who actually knows what they are taking about.
Integrity and ethics are essential in this industry and if you can say that you’ve always been honest with clients, gave them the best, most accurate information you could and done so without trying to deceive, manipulate or coax money out of them under false pretences then that; in my eyes makes you one of very few ‘good’ coaches.
I’ve seen too many so called professionals who flip flop from new idea to new idea changing their approach depending on which way the wind blows in the hope of gaining profit from the hype train surrounding it all whilst losing every ounce of credibility they once had.
This industry does an excellent job of showing itself up if we’re honest.
If people aren’t posting selfies and other self indulgent crap that only serves to inflate their already massive egos then they’re behaving like the brain dead gym monkeys everyone perceives us coaches to be.
They do this by not being credible or accountable in their thinking, education or research.
If the coaches themselves aren’t savvy enough to separate fact from fiction what differentiates them from their clients.
As coaches we are supposed to be knowledgeable experts who’s research and education stretches further than the latest article on that popped up on Facebook.
If you walked into a doctors surgery, presented them with a load of conspiracy theories and fairy tales backed up only by some big words they don’t understand and terribly performed studies.
What would they do?
Their highly unlikely to throw the medical dictionary out the window and change their approach.
The reason for this?
They’re highly educated professionals and they know and understand what they do and why they do it.
They have confidence enough in their own knowledge not to be so easily influenced.
However, when presented with the same situation the average ‘fit pro’ can’t change their tune quick enough.
Think about that!
It speaks volumes about the paper thin education and training the average ‘PT’ receives.
To return to the origins of this topic if you want to be a good coach or even just a positive addition to the industry as opposed to being part of the problem credibility has to be the number one factor.
I’ll leave you with a statement and that is this.
Although I can’t claim to be the perfect coach because as I mentioned earlier there’s no such thing I guarantee you that I will never waver from a well understood, honest, research backed approach to everything I do.
Education and a genuine passion for providing people with good information will always rank above profit and I would rather leave the industry completely than betray my own ethics and credibility.
That and that alone is why I consider myself a good coach.
As a side note… I would like to explain that I’m not saying my beliefs wouldn’t change if new information became available that disproves anything that I currently teach people. That in itself would be disreputable and anti-progressionist. However, it’s highly unlikely as it would require seismic changes to everything we know about human physiology and until I see that research and it’s peer reviewed, well orchestrated and damn near indisputable I’ll continue as I am.