The value of a coach

Historically I’ve never placed much faith or interest in a coach. When I lost all that weight, I did it alone. I didn’t need someone telling me how to work out or what to eat, I was capable of losing the weight on my own. There was a lot that I learnt that I maybe couldn’t have with a coach. I was capable of this alone, I had the strength to do it alone, I was resilient, resourceful, committed, and driven. I learnt that I didn’t need anyone else to achieve my goals, that I was strong enough from within to get where I wanted to be. But, I probably didn’t make the wisest choices getting there. As I mentioned in my weight post, I became paranoid about food, about taking a day off, about weighing myself twice a day. These are not healthy things to learn. This is where the guidance of a coach would have been valuable. Looking back, there was a lot I could have learnt that I didn’t.

A good coach can offer many things.

A good coach can offer a program that helps you attain your goals whilst managing your fatigue and allowing you to fit a life in there as well (unless you are top podium hitting, no time for life there!).

A good coach can offer you nutritional advice. Giving you tips to help you eat right, eat for strength, for recovery, for growth. A good coach can give you advice about food that can help you develop a normal relationship with your meals, a healthy relationship.

A good coach can offer you feedback. Taking the information you are giving them and altering the program to evolve with your abilities, whilst telling you what they are expecting from you if you follow the program, what milestones you could be hitting.

A great coach can offer you more.

A great coach will keep an eye on your motivation. They won’t just ask what your goal event is, but ask more, why are you doing it, how you’re going with keeping up with the program and what can they do to help with that. Does it mean changing a few things around to get things to work more smoothly? Is there something that isn’t enjoyable and that’s leeching your motivation from you? Is there something you really love doing that isn’t target essential but something that would make you happier about all those 5am starts? A great coach will remind you that we need to be enjoying our training, otherwise why do it? It needs to give us something back, and yes, there is pain and discomfort in the routine, but it still needs to be enjoyable.

A great coach will keep an eye on your mental health. Asking you probing questions and caring about the answers. They won’t just let it slide if you aren’t making quota and write you off as another “unmotivated, lost cause”. I see a lot of personal trainers that get annoyed with their clients because they don’t stick to a program, they don’t commit. Perhaps it’s something deeper? Anyone can write a program for an “average” person, but none of us are average. We all have things going on in our lives, we all have differing abilities, and a great coach will see the signs that maybe something isn’t so great and that’s why you’re having trouble with the program. A great coach will remind you that whilst the world feels like it’s turning on it’s head, we need to focus on what we can control. A great coach will work with you to help you become the athlete you want to be, and your mental health is part of that process. A great coach will remind you that they are there to help you reach your goals and that you are a worthwhile investment, even if you aren’t hitting the podium at the end of your race.

A great coach will connect with you on a personal basis and be in your corner no matter what obstacle you are facing ahead.

A great coach will let you know that you mean something, more than just a pay day.

A great coach will let you know they are human too.

I’m incredibly lucky. I have a great coach. IMG_20150719_150806

Find Coach Chops at the Athlete Lab in Sydney, or on Facebook.

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