As we come to the close of the year I wanted to share a few of the things I have learnt from coaching in 2017.
Keep It Simple Stupid
One of my biggest weaknesses as a coach is that I can get easily bored. With a program, a particular exercise, even the way I run a session.
I am a huge believer in personal development and that if you are not getting better you are getting worse. One of the downsides of this is that you can get restless and change things that don't need changing.
This year I developed my own a system to follow, from the knowledge I have acquired over the past 9 years. I eliminated everything that didn't fit into that system and stuck to it. If I wanted to make a change or add something to that system, then the "why" had to be good enough to justify it.
This philosophy/ system suited the demographic of client I look after perfectly. It allowed them to stay mobile, strong and fit all whilst keeping them injury free. They had fun very occasionally too, but only very occasionally.
New systems and ideas pop up all the time and it is easy to get pulled away by the distraction. By sticking to my guns and keeping it simple, clients have progressed far more smoothly than before.
The Reality Of Nutrition
Nutrition has a huge role to play in how much weight someone will lose and how much energy they will have. but not everyone is ready for it... and that's ok.
Last year Precision Nutrition made the best nutrition coaching softwareavailable for coaches like me to use with their clients. This is a big deal as they are sharing the system they have used to help 50,000+ people get into better shape. I had a go-to curriculum from the best in the industry and all I had to do was guide my clients through it. This was the missing part of my business for years!
Along with this, I invested a lot of money into the Precision Nutrition Level 2, which is a master class of coaching.
Honestly... less than 10% of the clients I introduced onto "Pro coach" (the online software), actually signed up, even though I added it as a complementary extension of my business. Even clients who claimed interest never followed through. I was gutted, to say the least.
Also, although my coaching skills are miles better than they were a year ago, only one or two of my clients were actually open to talking about nutrition at all. They also didn't want to book time outside of a session to sit down and go through it (proven to be the most effective way of doing it), just a quick chat at the beginning of sessions.
Was this all a colossal waste of time, money and effort? Am I or was I trying to force a round peg through a square hole?
In hindsight, I don't think so. I am quite confident that most of my clients know I do the best I can for them and genuinely want them to succeed.
Was it lack of trust in my expertise? I don't think so either.They know I practice what I preach, educate myself and upskill myself regularly.
The reality is, I think my clients have a lot going on in their lives, they are busy people with plenty of responsibility. They are happy to come in, train the best they can, with the energy they have that day, say thank you and come back in a couple of times a week.
Is it optimal? No. Is it ok? They are still here years later and enjoying themselves so it's a yes.
So What Is My Role Then?
After coming to terms with this, I feel that my role is to be what you might call a "patient guardian". I know what people may need, but they may not necessarily want that expertise at that time. So rather than forcing my agenda onto them, I meet them where they are and stay with them until they are ready to make the next step.
Will I have millions of before and after pictures on my website proclaiming my expertise? Definitely not, but what I do have is a wonderful group of people that trust me, see me regularly and are happy to introduce their close friends and family as clients.
Kill The Shoulds, Needs And Musts
We all have that nagging voice in our head that that gnaws away at us about things we ought to have done or should be doing. The never-ending to-do list.
I learnt this year that this can actually make us sick. (psychoneuroimmunology). I also attended a personal development style holiday in Greece that was based on burnout. So upon learning about these things, I decided to fight my guilt breeding instinct and do the opposite.
I stopped caring as much, took more time for myself and used Headspace to clear my mind for 5/10 minutes a day when I could.
As a result, I have been substantially less stressed, coped with what life has thrown at me personally and found a much better work/ life balance.
Taking this time for myself has allowed me to gain perspective on many things, get a better idea of the direction I would like to go and how to keep growing in a sustainable way.
Slow down, smell the roses and enjoy the journey.
Yours In Health
Founder of Leaner