Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Your coach cannot fix you

Online coaching and consultations are a pretty big business in the fitness and training industry now.

And for good reason.  It gives people a chance to work with the coach of their choice regardless of geographical proximity.  Before online coaching became a real business people were at the mercy of finding a local trainer and could only hope and pray that he or she legitimately knew their shit.  

Now, people in search of an online coach can get a wider view of the credentials of said coach, who they have worked with, and what they have done.  This gives the consumer the ability to make a far more educated choice than just showing up to the gym and picking someone out at the front desk like a bag of popcorn at the movies.

"No no no, the big one there.  Yeah, the big one.  I like em big like that."  

The drawback to this is that if the coach is well known, and has a history of success then the client automatically assumes that success will be bestowed upon them.  Why shouldn't they?  They picked that coach for that very reason.  The history of success that gets posted up on social media or read about in magazines or heard through the fitness grapevine.  

The problem is, regardless of the reputation every coach has a list of failures too.  People that followed their program, had less than ideal results, or possibly even got worse.  

And that's the issue with expectations.  People assume that because the coach has a history of success that it means they will automatically be successful under the guidance of said coach.

It absolutely does not.  

A great example of this is college football.  Nick Saban will probably go down as one of the greatest college football coaches of all time.  And every year whatever program he's associated with puts lots of guys in the NFL.  And that's a huge HUGE draw for high school recruits because they most likely believe that a scholarship to Alabama means they will be looking at the NFL draft in about four years.  But the fact is, far more guys from his teams don't get drafted, and never play in the NFL than those that do.  In all reality, the disparity is pretty large if you were to break down the numbers.  

Basically 2% of all college football players go pro.  That's through all three division of college football too.  

That's a pretty shitty "winning" percentage don't you think?  

Yet it doesn't quell the notion that if you go play for a big time program that has a big time coach, that you're going to get a shot at going pro.  Does it increase your chances?  Sure.  But the fact is, the player has to be the one to show up and shine.  The coach can't "make" him do that.  He can only coach the player to the best of his abilities.    

And that's exactly how it is with online coaching or personal training too.  

The fact is, if a guy has a great reputation in his circles and has a high winning percentage, then you're probably good to go.  But the fact is, simply hiring that coach doesn't promise you any amount of success.  YOU as the client still have to show up, and you still have to shine.

And a lot of people don't get this.  

I knew a guy that used a well known diet guru that lost virtually no fat on his program.  Well, let's rephrase that...he had the program, he just didn't follow it.  

These things always boggle my mind.  If you pay a coach money to help you, then why aren't you following his or her explicit instructions?  

Even worse is when I hear people talk about how they worked with someone and made no progress when I know that coach, and know that more than likely the reason for their lack of success was their own inability to do what the coach told them.  

I can tell you that it drives me nuts when I have clients that don't do exactly what I prescribe for them.  And then challenge the program afterwards because of their lack of success.  It is fucking maddening.  

The fact is, if you're not willing to do exactly what your coach tells you to do, then he or she cannot "fix you".  They can't address what you hired them to remedy because YOU aren't helping yourself by adhering to their advice.

It all comes back to that old adage of "you can't help those who won't help themselves".  A whole team of coaches cannot motivate an individual that doesn't want to embrace change.  The most perfect diet and training plan from the wisest and most seasoned of trainers/coaches won't do shit without application by the trainee.  

All of these things seem obvious but the fact is, every coach deals with trainees they cannot fix.  There are lots of people who don't fully understand the process of work and unpleasantness that comes with changing their body.  It's never going to be easy, and it's not your coaches job to make it easy.  It's your job to put the work and effort in behind the plans they give you.  If you don't, can't, or won't, then the onus is on you.  Not them.  When you decide to "jump ship" and modify the program so that it's "fits me better" then you're no longer under the coach's guidance.

Your under the guidance of the same person that got you in this god awful shitty mess in the first place.  So where do you think that person is going to take you? 

And your coach can't fix that.    

1 comment:

  1. This is part of why one of the marks of a great coach is the willingness to fire clients.