Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I, Client, take you, Coach

The relationship that a client shares with a trainer is very special. It’s imperative for the two to mesh in a similar way that you would in any other relationship. You have to believe that your trainer has your best interests at heart. You have to trust them. You have to know that they will protect you from injury, the best they can. You depend on them for emotional support and lean on them to get you through physical adversity. They should build your self esteem and praise your accomplishments. Is this a lot to ask of someone? Yes. Is it too much to expect? No.

But as with any person you meet, you may or may not find this connection with your trainer. This is why you need to evaluate how you feel about that person, following your first session. We just admire some people more than others. Everyone has specific personality traits or physical characteristics that will either appeal to you -- or emphatically will not. I strongly believe that it is a requirement to like him or her as a person – as much as you value their knowledge of fitness. We want to please people that we like. We seek their approval. We will try just that much harder for someone who we value.

Under the guidance of a good trainer, you will reach your potential. How this is accomplished, depends entirely on how you respond to their coaching style. It’s my opinion that the best trainers find the balance between tough and kind. They are as motivating as demanding. Some days they need to be uncompromising to get the best performance out of you. They also know when to bend down, and put their hands on your shoulders, and give you the encouraging words you need to hear.

Finding true fitness is a journey that requires a skilled partner to lead you. There are a lot of amazing trainers and coaches. But there are an overwhelming number of unremarkable ones as well. You’re paying this person -- you better be getting what you need from them. Find someone who wants to not only work for you, but with you. At the same time, it needs to be said, that training is a two-way street. You will get out of it, exactly what you choose to put in. Don’t waste your time or money if you don’t want to make the effort.

The bottom line is. . . If you’re serious about training, then you need to find a relationship with a coach that seriously works. And if you’re relationship with your coach isn’t working, find a new one. This isn’t marriage – you don’t need to “work at it.”


  1. i'm tongue tied with how to comment on this post ~ great approach to this topic, your words are powerful, subtle, and they moved me...

  2. I have a love/hate relationship with my coach. I think most of us have that with someone who pushes you past the point of comfort. Sometimes you want it and sometimes you don't. But at the end of the day I know that he has my best needs/wants in mind. He knows my goals and is trying to get me there. Never doubt how much I appreciate you coach. I don't know where I would be without you.

  3. Creative and thought provoking topics Lori.