TO BE A GOOD COACH YOU MUST START WITH WHY
If you were to think about your last client training session or group fitness class and analyze the lineup of exercises featured, would you be able to assign a purpose to each one? And if so, are you certain that this purpose aligns with that of your client or class participants?
It’s one thing to put together series of exercises that wipes people out, but it’s another thing to create a solid program that has purpose and intention. Even more than that, it’s a good idea to give your clients and class participants a peek behind the curtain so that they understand your intentions. More than ever, people want to connect to a purpose. And to become a successful coach with a loyal following, you need to make sure you have one.
WHY THE WHY?
In September of 2009, British-American author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant, Simon Sinek, gave a now-famous Ted Talk about the importance of starting with why. He explains that what separates great leaders from good ones is that the great ones are intimately familiar with their “why.”
He says, “By ‘why,’ I mean: What's your purpose? What's your cause? What's your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?”
Sinek explains that when you know your why, people are more likely to want to do business with you, vote for you, buy something from you and be more loyal to you. Most importantly, they trust you. And trust is a foundational component of any relationship—especially the coach-client relationship.
He must be on to something because his talk has almost 38 million views, he has more than a million Facebook followers and according to Money Inc., his net worth sits somewhere around $15 million.
Build Your Filter
Sinek says that an important reason to find your why is that it makes decision-making a whole lot easier. For example, if you’re a pro who tries to train all types of people, it can be difficult to get good at what you do because there are too many variables to choose from.
There’s a reason fast food chain In-N-Out Burger is successful despite having a simple menu. The company’s leaders decided that they wanted to hone in on a few things they can do well, which keeps them focused and eases the decision-making process.
Similarly, when you know your why, making choices about your training sessions is simplified. If you work with an athlete whose goal is to improve his speed, for example, you can rule out a bunch of exercises and movement patterns that may prevent him from getting faster and focus on exercises to not only increase speed, but maintain and gain mobility, while keeping him healthy and injury free.
Find the Right People
Anyone who’s been in the industry for long enough knows that not all coaches are right for all people. Personalities don’t always mesh and goals may not line up which can create an awkward and sometimes painful training relationship. Getting clear on your why makes you more attractive to people who have a similar viewpoint.
Industry leaders might call this finding your niche or your tribe. If you become crystal clear about your why, then the people who share a similar vision will find you and become your most loyal customers.
Have you ever worked with someone who didn’t know what they’d like to get out of a training program? It doesn’t always go well because the client’s decision-making filter is too broad which limits success potential. High quality coaches are able to connect people to their why so that they can become empowered to make the choices that are in line with their goals. And when they know why you’ve chosen to have them do a series of planks to pikes then they’ll be more invested in the process.
HOW TO FIND YOUR WHY
One of the best ways to hone in on why you do something is to become educated about the things you want to do. For example, TRX has developed a comprehensive and specific movement philosophy based on foundations and progressions that streamlines the training process. TRX Movement Based Training breaks things down so that there are few questions about where to place someone on the movement continuum.
Using the TRX Movement Based Training and participating in education courses can provide solid insight into why to include certain movements into a client training program or group exercise session.
The next time you design a program, give some thought to why you’ve chosen to include certain movement patterns. How will that TRX suspended lunge benefit your client? Did you choose the kettlebell snatch because it’s necessary for client progress or because it’s tough and will exhaust him? Does the movement lineup reflect your own why? A bit of analysis can help you build laser-focused programs that are supported by purpose and intention, which creates greater client success potential. This analysis is what TRX refers to as our Programming Lenses - a method used to efficiently and effectively assess and build balanced and purposeful workouts.
As Sinek suggests, great leaders have learned to imbue every decision they make with a why. What leaders inspire you? Observe how they do things and see if you can discern what their why is and why they make certain decisions. Take classes from other pros and ask questions about the process behind the program and the purpose behind the movement choices.
It’s Time to Start With Why
Sinek concludes his talk with this: “Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us. Whether they're individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it's those who start with ‘why’ that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.”