How to hire a great coachNovember 6, 2017

I have been involved in the fitness industry for a long time. Over the years I have seen an explosion of personal trainers and coaches.

What concerns me is the fact that a good chunk of these newly certified coaches are not nearly as experienced as they sell themselves to be. It is unsettling to know that there are coaches and trainers that simply do this for the love of the money instead of passion and dedication to their clients. It is a big deal for a person to make the decision to change their life for the better when it comes to their health so finding the right coach to support them and understand their goals is vital to their success.

You want a coach that will listen to your goals, treat you as an individual. You don’t want a coach that provides a cookie cutter approach to your fitness journey.

So how do you find the right coach? A true definition of a coach is someone who is involved with the direction, teaching and training of an individual or athlete. A coach must be committed to helping and supporting their clients. This commitment means that they are willing to teach and communicate with their clients, they will know what they are coaching, they practice what they are coaching. A good coach will be motivating and understanding of an individual’s style and goals. A good coach will ask questions and be a great listener. A good coach will lead by example, be informative but not overwhelming. A good coach will focus on the task, deliver to the best of their ability and offer alternatives if they feel the process is not working. A good coach will not take all the credit, they will make a big deal out of any success and share the credit with the client. After all, you are a team! A good coach will take responsibility no matter what progress is made if any. All these points should be considered when hiring a coach however I believe that the best coaches are those that live with passion for what they are coaching. They share their vision and they believe they can make a difference. They don’t do it for money, they do it because they believe they can change your life, that they will mold a better version of you. They don’t promise anything, they just believe.

The steps you must take when hiring a coach are:

Research them! Try Google. Do they have a website, blog, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook account? Here you can check out their credentials, philosophies and articles. This can give you a sense of who they are, what they represent and if you have a connection with what they have posted. Invest some time and really do your research. See what others are saying about the coach. See how they respond to questions or comments. If hiring local, ask around. Are they QUALIFIED and CREDIBLE? Find out how long they have been involved in the industry, their experiences. Get referrals from clients that are not their friends. Previous client testimonials are great especially when you talk to that person one on one instead of just reading about success stories online. Don’t hire a coach based on how they look. You don’t know what kind of journey they have been on to “look” that way plus they may have a story behind that look and we know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. When you think you have found the coach for you, ask if you get a consult first. Before any money is exchanged a good coach will offer a consult of some sort. This is where you will be able to ask the questions, get a feel for the coach and see if you really like them. Don’t hire a coach just because they seem popular. It is not a good mix when you start to work with a coach just because a friend said they were good to find out you don’t like their personality or approach at all. For those looking for a contest/physique coach, don’t hire a coach who is actually just an athlete who did a show. I know so many athletes that believe that because they competed once, they are now an authority on contest prep. This is my biggest pet peeve and the most unsettling of all coaching. If you want to compete you need to do your research on that coach. I do believe that a contest prep coach should be experienced with being on stage, but they should be a certified trainer and a certified nutrition coach. Having a coach that basically provides you with their contest diet is NOT a coach. This is a red flag and you should walk away.

Think about this. You want a coach that will listen to your goals, treat you as an individual. You don’t want a coach that provides a cookie cutter approach to your fitness journey.

There are plenty of amazing coaches out there. Take the time and ask the questions. Don’t settle. You want to the best version of yourself so you need to hire the best supportive, motivating and knowledgeable coach you can find.