This blog may be the most important one I ever post up on this channel.
I have wanted to write about this topic for a long time: The value of a coach.
When people join my gym, it is rarely the first gym they have tried. Their first stop is normally a large commercial chain or 24 hour access gym. Sometimes their training includes one on one time with a PT.
Yet when they finally contact me to join my gym, this is what I hear.
“I go to the gym, but I don’t train.”
“I have a trainer, but I am still not getting results.”
Why is this the case?
Unfortunately many trainers in the fitness industry do not value themselves very highly. In fact, many of them steer away from using the term ‘coach.’ Coach implies more important work, like building relationships and connecting with people to create change.
‘Trainer’ normally means writing up one program and making every client follow the exact same thing. Or shouting and cheerleading a group of people through a random workout. They trade their time for money and just stick with it because they don’t know what else to do with their life.
This needs to change.
Coaching in the health and fitness industry is one of the most important jobs that exists and I will tell you why.
I think that we are just as important as the physiotherapists, dieticians and counsellors. This is because often when people have a health related issue their point of contact is not a GP or specialist. Whether that is a good or bad thing is not up to me to decide but I am just telling it how it is.
When someone wants to lose weight, they search online and look for a trainer who is in good shape and has helped some one else get the outcome they want. (weight loss). They do not go to the GP because they have tried it in the past and normally they are told walk for 30 minutes 3 times per week and eat less. They have tried this before and it didn’t work. They don’t want to hear that advice any more. They have walked past the local CrossFit gym for the past year and all they see inside are shredded lean bodies. They want to know how to get those results.
If they feel lonely or depressed they don’t go to the GP first because there is a lot of fear and hesitation around this. They are scared that they will be put on medications straight away and what they look for instead is a gym with a community of like minded individuals to train, get fit and connect with.
What this means is, PT’s, trainers and coaches in the fitness industry really need to understand the importance of their role in the community and the role they play in the lives of their clients.
Their clients come to them for help with health and fitness and there really is nothing more important in life then this.
Without your health and fitness, you cannot thrive at work, you cannot be there for your kids, you cannot get what you want out of life.
Trainers need to realise how important they are, constantly invest in themselves and value their work.
How can they do this?
Coaches need to identify who they are passionate about working with. Who do you truly want to help? Is it young male professionals, or women returning to training after having a baby? These two types of people are completely different. If you love helping young male professionals, you may not be able to connect with the young new mother. I believe that you should never ask for a time or financial commitment from a client unless you are truly passionate about helping them. Any new coach at CrossFit Volume goes through a thorough process of identifying who it is they want to help and why.
2. Coaches need to stand up and view themselves as more than a commodity. People are constantly spending money on shopping, beauty and things they do not need. Often when it comes to health and fitness they are looking for a cheap deal. Why is it that when it comes to the most important part of their lives, thats where they are looking to save money?
This is where coaches, trainers and business owners in the fitness industry need to take responsibility. The only reason people have this mentality is because these cheap deals are offered and marketed to them. If no one offers cheap, watered down, unpersonalised services- then people will slowly stop looking for it, step up and make a real investment in themselves.
Coaches need to stand up and view themselves as professionals in this industry, they need to have a strong belief that they can have a positive influence on peoples lives. People are constantly spending money on shopping, social outings, beauty etc.. But when it comes to their health and fitness they are always trying to get a cheap deal with a gym or PT.
3. Coaches should work in a gym where they are valued by the gym owner. They need to be provided a proper plan for career progression and be paid well. They should not be asked to coach a ridiculous amount of classes week to week with no plan for growth.
They should have the opportunity to turn their dream job of being a coach into a full time reality.
Coaches should work in a gym where they are valued by the owner, paid well and encouraged to achieve their career goals. They shouldn’t be asked to just coach some classes from week to week with no career progression.
At CrossFit Volume, we don’t just teach our coaches how to develop on the coaching floor, but also behind the scenes where they can become better mentors towards the clients. We teach them how to manage their time effectively so then they are not burning themselves out and end up hating their job.
If you’re a CrossFit coach struggling to build a career in the industry you love, I would love to hear from you. Drop your details below!