Are you thinking about working with a strength and conditioning coach? If so, make sure to read the full article through where I will cover some of the key questions you should be asking prior to beginning. Whilst in the article I am focusing on personal trainers and the fitness industry, this could easily apply to any form of coach - a business coach, boxing coach, tennis coach, or life coach. Sit back, sip on that coffee and take some notes.
Question #1: How Ready & Willing Are You To Change?
The first question is all about you. How ready, willing, and able are you to make the changes that you want in your life. Before you start working with a coach I think it's really important that you need to understand where you are at and how committed you are to achieving your goals. For example, you may say that you want to achieve X, Y, X but if the coach then says “we're going to be waking up at 6:00 AM to go and do this workout”, how ready and willing are you to go and do that. One important question is how meaningful is the goal you want to achieve. Are you willing to start changing your habits to achieve the goals that you want, even if it means getting outside your comfort zone? Also, what is your environment like right now? Are you in a supportive environment, with people around you who want you to succeed, or do you need to find a group of people who will support you on your mission (your coach should be one of them)? How much time are you able to commit, are you willing to change your lifestyle habits?
Question #2: What is the Problem You Want To Fix?
So if you are going to be working with a coach there is usually a problem that you need to be solved. Obviously, if you are looking for a personal trainer, then it's most likely that your goal is going to be something related to do with improving your health or your fitness performance. Maybe it's an injury that you keep getting and you want to fix, or you don't have any idea how to build an actual training program to get the body and results you desire.
Your goal is going to be different from everyone's goals, but knowing what problem you need to be fixed is critical for hiring the right individual to support you. If you are an athlete that wants to perform better in sport then you may want to focus on working with a Strength & Conditioning coach in comparison to a standard personal trainer. If your problem is weight and body composition you might want to focus on working with a nutrition coach. Having a clear idea of what the problem is you need to solve will help both you and the personal trainer.
Question #3: What are your obstacles?
Leading on well from the question above, if you know what the problem is that needs to be fixed, then you should also have an idea of what your challenges and obstacles are that prevent you from getting where you need to be. Interestingly, your perspective of what the obstacles are and the personal trainer or coach’s perspective might be different. For example, you might think it is that you don’t have enough time to exercise when the personal trainer makes you realise you only need 30minutes to do a full-body workout. If your goal is to lose weight, but you struggle with your diet, you know you have a sweet tooth and you're not very good at staying away from the foods that you know you shouldn't be eating. On the other end of the spectrum, you might want to become a professional athlete, your obstacles might be that you don't have any idea what drills that you need to be working on to get where you need.
Question #4: Do I trust this Person
Now we are beginning to think more about the actual personal trainer or coach and the person that you want to work with. If you're going to work with someone to try and better yourself you need to ask yourself the question: do I trust this person, do they seem genuine? A sign of a really good coach is that they care about you. They are not just there for your money, they are passionate about helping their clients and want to put that time in because they want you to be successful. Usually, with a coach, the reason that they are coaching is that they want to solve your problem and quite often possibly your problem was once upon a time their problem. Yes, they may be working with you to make a living, but try to get to know them a little before working with them. See if they will do a little trial so you can get to know them before you invest. If you don't get on together and you don't work well then it's not going to be a good relationship for either party.
Question #5: How Much Are You Willing To Invest
The final question relates to how much are you willing to invest in changing yourself and achieving your goals. Every coach is going to be different and the services being available will be different. I would suggest that you don't just think about the monetary investment but also think about your time. How much time are you willing to invest and how long are you willing to commit? A lot of people make up these short-term goals that aren't really that important to them and if the goals aren’t that important then you probably not going to invest that much.
I hope you enjoyed this article and it touched on some key points around questions that you need to consider both internally and externally. I do believe that having a coach in pretty much every aspect of life is very important and I think one of the biggest investments we can make is in ourselves. Too often as a society, we waste lots of money on materialistic objects and things that we don't really need but are apprehensive to invest in our own personal health and education. Remember that your health should always be your number one priority and investing your time and money into a good coach is going to help you provide a solution to your problem. A great coach will show educate you that change isn’t going to be a quick fix, they should be providing you with tools that will last for life.
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