I haven't posted in a while, have I?
I'm both annoyed at myself and also happy to be back writing on the blog.
Where have I been?
I've been fairly busy with clients, but I've always been busy with clients so that isn't an excuse.
I've been dieting, but back when I was bodybuilding I was dieting and putting out more blog posts than ever before so that's no excuse either.
Trying to write a book? Yeah, I kinda got distracted with that side of things but enough is enough. Time for regular content on the blog again.
Back in my early 20's when I first started PT'ing I would bang on (LIE) about hating people, "I HATE PEOPLE" I would proclaim. I don't know why, I guess I might have been trying to impress a girl, a fellow PT or anyone in the vicinity.
I don't even know why because I've always loved working with people. Every session (yes, some more than others) gives me joy. I am still utterly baffled that I'm able to make good money just by training people and making people stronger.
I'm pretty good at it and quite a few people have told me they couldn't do what I do, which again is a lovely compliment.
What's my point?
A lot of coaches talk about hating people. I don't know if they are doing what I was doing in my early 20's or whether they genuinely hate people and the clients they are working with.
I think as a coach that is unacceptable and is in no way the foundation of a long fulfilling career that will give you satisfaction, autonomy, and pride.
So here are a few little tips to get you hating people a little bit less:
Let's go through these one by one.
1) As long as I have been a coach I have used the mantra that "you can learn from every single interaction". And you can. Every time someone comes in a low mood, you can learn how to train around it, talk people out of it and get them leaving the gym feeling better.
Each time you have a negative experience with someone, every time you don't make a sale, every time you mess up a little bit, it's a new opportunity to learn and get better.
Try to go into each session trying to find that thing you can learn what makes you a better personal trainer, a better coach and ultimately and maybe, a better person.
Each session should still have n element of wonder. An element of "what can I learn today?"
Taken like this, a day's worth of coaching can be so much more rewarding. And when you recognise that you've improved as a coach because of helping someone. let that person know they've improved you as a coach.
That will nearly always make your client feel appreciated and a client who feels appreciated is going to be a lot more fun to coach.
2) When people are late or not following the program or are being a bit of a nightmare client at the time imagine their life. Imagine their struggles and imagine them having the worst day possible and know that even if occasionally they rock up 30 minutes late, they are still coming to see you. Don't get mad or frustrated.
Talk to them, use these interactions to learn, give each of your clients a chance to change and improve. Meet the challenge head on.
Try to help, be a problem solver.
Focus on small wins like getting them into a session on time rather than 10 minutes late.
See things as a challenge to overcome. And if you can't help someone, don't be afraid to refer to others in your circle for help.
3) Many coaches will just train everyone because they need the money regardless of their goals.
This just doesn't work because you are going to train people that aren't a good fit with either your personality or your areas of expertise. Yes, you can have clients who need help in an area you can research and help them with if it's fairly similar to what you already do. Lie if you are a rugby coach and a hockey player comes to you, fair enough, but let's say you are a powerlifting coach and someone comes to you for marathon training.
That's not going to be a good fit. Find someone that is a good fit for that person and they will respect you a hell of a lot more and probably tell people about what a great person you are if you find the right coach for them.
If you don't think you'll get on with someone, or that you aren't the person for them, that's fine, there is someone out there perfect for them.
You do need to make sure your requirements don't literally rule out everyone meaning you can't make a business. Having a good awareness of who to take on and who not to take on is a key skill to possess as a coach if you want to work with a group of people that make you excited to go to work every day.
I am lucky enough to be in that position.
Thanks, guys :)
4) Many of my clients are powerlifters and that is a wonderful thing full of issues and details for me to get my teeth into.
But I always make sure I have plenty of general population clients too.
With general pop clients your possibilities are endless, the risks of injury are slightly lower and there are normally no exercises you "need" to include in your programming so you can experiment a little bit, you can have a break from the usual training sessions you give to people (in my case involving lots of squat bench and deadlift) and by doing this you aren't ALWAYS just coaching the same thing day in day out which can become a huge chore.
Admittedly there might be loads of coaches out there who love just coaching the same thing day in, day out, however after 10 years as a coach having some variation to the sessions is always a wonderfully exciting thing to me.
5) To hate people less constantly try to improve your communication skills by reading, listening and learning. You'll be able to communicate more effectively with your current clients (making interactions less stressful.)
You'll be able to deal with a larger spectrum of people, you'll be able to help more people. People will understand you more, you'll be more confident and the whole training process will be far more enjoyable.
Good communication is the essence of coaching and personal training. By improving that you improve your entire business and that has to make people more appealing right?
And what if none of the above works?
Maybe coaching isn't for you. That's fine, or maybe a role in the fitness industry requiring less personal interaction will be the right step for you.
Whatever the case, I hope this article was useful to you :)
Thanks for reading.
The Heavy Metal Strength Coach
If you have any questions, please feel free to drop us a message.