There are many facets that make an excellent coach, and within Australia you have access to a plethora of fantastic coaches who may not have the exposure they deserve. The main thing you need to ask yourself is this; What qualities do you look for in a coach?
We receive messages and questions daily from clients, trainers and enquiries that may not always be pertinent, asking us to help them lose fat, gain muscle mass and become stronger.
These clients having gone from keto, herbalife, german volume training and everything in between. Not that we are going to sit here and judge based on your past mistakes, because well.. they are still here asking for help. But you can't help but feel a little skeptical as to why has this person been through so many trainers and has tried so many different things, yet is still looking for results or the right fit?.
Perhaps it may be Zac and his charming smile and wittiness, Mikki and her talkative tangents, Max and his nerdy brain gains or Will and his skin in the coaching game. We can't help but wonder, what are you anticipating we will do differently? When they send through their previous regime we have found it is something they haven't been able to adhere to for longer than a week or two.
Firstly you need to find a coach with extensive understanding to your specific sport. This may be bodybuilding, powerlifting, strongman etc. Your coach needs to have the ability to analyse each athlete, the movement, strengths, weaknesses, training preferences and provide a clear understanding of who they are working with. Education on anatomy and diagnosis will make adjusting protocols far more accurate.
EDUCATION IS KEY, is your coach constantly expanding their knowledge and understanding of your sport, and specific requirements. Do they have a network of resources available to help you, if they personally cannot. Many times when coaching athletes, injuries or situations arise that may be out of the coach's control. Are they willing to learn more about this, outsource you to somebody who can help, or are you left to wander in the dark?
Every coach needs to have a system and a process in which they believe in and support, and can prove results. Changing from fad to fad with the times is not the best approach to ongoing guidance and results. They also need to effectively apply this system tailoring to each individual client.
Your coach needs to be able to provide you with ongoing plans as to how they aim take precedence on certain areas to work on, this may be weight gain/loss, injuries and weakness balancing along with competition planning. Your coach needs to be able to tell you NO when they see timings aren't in accordance to your plan. Allowing clients to repetitively compete to have their brand on a platform or stage isn't always the answer. Having your best interest at heart.
The ability to convey a message, particularly if your coaching is done online. This includes, technique cues, adjustments, warm up and cool down drills. Then your comprehension of these instructions, if you don't get it the first time. How does your coach modify the message and deliver it?
Your training must be a two way street, if you don't understand things or enjoy particular homework you need to feel comfortable to discuss this with your coach, and your coach needs to be willing to either explain WHY or modify things accordingly. Adapting to what you like as well as what you need. The client can't always get their way, but neither can the coach.
Training, nutrition, and health should always be enjoyable, having a community of people around you will make the preparation to your competition far more pleasant knowing not only do you have your coach and family for support but a team of fellow minded athletes to help provide motivation when it's needed.
Your coach needs to be willing to be wrong, accept responsibilities and come up with new systems to help improve, adjust and adapt when things don't always go according to plan. Because we all make mistakes, things can be forgotten or miscommunicated and with that, we need to have transparent communication on how each person is feeling to rectify any issues coach or client is facing.
And though ALL of these qualities should come stock standard in any high level coach. There is one thing you are missing, one thing that will make a client go from 3 months to 3 years, this is the ability to connect. Relationship between client and coach is paramount, and at the end of the day is the difference between a client really feeling part of your community and feeling meaningful.
Are you able to have regular conversations with your coach?
Do you know the name of their pets or partners?
Do you feel you can relate to your coach and discuss stressful situations?
Our point being, It’s not always about the defined programming details or the ability to use big words like gluconeogenesis. But your ability to form a connection and a friendship of sorts with your coach.