8 Ways to Become a Better Coach or Trainer

Keep it Super Simple

Always start with the basics and make sure you don’t overcomplicate the session with too many things the client has never done before. You don’t want them struggling or getting down on themselves or thinking that you’re training is too hard or that they are not good enough to be doing what you are trying to teach them. Make sure to that there is a progression that keeps them motivated and challenged. This takes patience and enthusiasm on your part as the coach. Try not to teach too many new skills or exercises in a single session. Rather add one to an existing set of drills or exercises that your client has already practiced.

If You Can’t Do it Don’t Teach it

Show them the right technique or form, then show them a common error people make before showing them the correct technique one more time. This is far better way of coaching than simply using language. With every exercise, movement or skill you teach you should have tried it out first and mastered the form. Otherwise how can you expect your client to be able to perform it the way you would like them to?

Close to Perfect Form is Usually Good Enough

When introducing a new movement you will almost never see your client execute it perfectly so always be encouraging and accept their form if they are close to what you would like to see. Try not over coach. Let them learn and figure the movement out themselves. If they are close to getting it right, a few encouragements here and there to cue something will most likely help them make small improvements over time. If you are a strength coach it is vital be careful not to overlook things that might result in injury. This can be applied to any sport you coach.

Say their Name at least 3 Times Every Session

Start your sessions off with a smile and greet your client by name or nickname. Whatever they feel most comfortable with. Make sure when communicating in a large group that you use people’s names. It really makes them feel important and will motivate them to do better in your sessions. If you’re like most people, you will forget someone’s name two seconds after you meet them. I am a bit like that too, but I have learnt a neat little trick that I find works great so give it a shot! Whenever someone tells you their name immediately associate it with someone that you know to be famous. Another trick is once they introduce themselves to you repeat their name back to them by saying for example “Hey Roger. My name’s Michael. It’s nice to meet you!” Remembering names is very important because the people you interact with are important and so is your business. It pays to remember!

Simple Language Spoken Well

Your client has not come to you for a textbook lesson, otherwise they would have bought one and read it before bed to help them fall asleep! Learn to speak in their language by communicating in a simple, easy to understand way. At the same time, be careful not to insult your client’s intelligence either. Speaking to a highly intelligent 13 year old kid like he is 5 years old can de-motivate them very quickly so getting to know your client is very important. A great way to have a feel for them is to spend a few minutes talking with them before your first session to find out a little bit more about what they are like.

Create a Competitive Environment

Men thrive on competition as they find competing against each other fun and motivating. Be careful when employing this strategy on a group of females as girls prefer to compete against themselves.

Keep Your Sessions or Workouts Short and Simple

You don’t want the session to go on for too long with overly complicated movements or skills that leave your client feeling mentally drained on top of being physically worn out. Everyone has enough stuff overwhelming them at work and in their personal lives so don’t add to the stress of what happens outside the gym or sports field. Be the best part of your client’s day. Make every session so good that the next time around they are dying to get to your session.

Smile and Have Fun

If you show signs of being tired, unhappy and not wanting to be there your business will suffer. Put a smile on your dial, lighten up a little and show some emotion and feeling when communicating with your clients. Remember you need to be the brightest part of their day. You are training them so be present in the moment and give it everything you’ve got. If you are training someone and they are showing signs that they may not want to be there, then speak to them about it straight away. It may be something you are doing. It may be your training that they are unhappy with. It may be that they are struggling with some personal issues. My point is that it is important that you try to help them without being too intrusive. Be someone they can talk to if they need. Mental strength and commitment is just as important as physical strength and commitment. The sessions should focus on both.

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