People come to us as an escape. This is an hour out of their day where they want to challenge themselves, empower themselves, and come out feeling good about themselves. Fitness is the tool we are using to do that. Everything we do from being the best coach we can be, to learning how to deal with people are in response to the “Think Bigger” mindset.
1. Never Get Comfortable
It was only natural for me to become a coach and personal trainer. All my life I loved to play sports. In high school, I learned about training and barbell lifting. Years later I became a certified personal trainer. Years later I took that certification and landed a Personal Training job at the University of Florida Recreational Center. Years later I become a certified CrossFit coach. Years later I got licensed in Massage Therapy. Years later I got certified is Olympic Lifting. You get the point. I’m constantly looking for the things that are going to challenge me and add value to my member experience. In two weeks I’m testing out for the CFL3. Less than 5% of CF trainers around the world have this certification.
2. Communicate Often
Communication, or the lack thereof, can make situations harder than they have to be. Coaching is the easiest part of my job. It’s dealing with people that makes my job hard. In fact, I just had to fire a client because after numerous attempts to communicate effectively about their uncoachability they continued to disrespect my coaches and athletes. If I lacked the communication skills that comes with emotional situations like this it could have gotten out of hand quickly. There’s no such thing as over communication. Communicate early and often. Emailing and texting work but are very lazy long term. Communication requires in-person conversation. It allows you to be in the moment, listen to body language, and helps build trust.
3. Lead by Example
In my industry this is obvious. Who wants to be coached by a fat person? Harsh but true. We lead by example by the way we look to the way we train. I do not ask my clients to do anything that I wouldn’t do. If they are doing bear crawls as a warmup, it’s because I just did them in my training session. If I cue a certain movement, it’s because I cue that the same way in my head. Not because I saw a cute YouTube. I’m also the best student in class when I’m not coaching. I want my athletes to do as I do; not do as I say.
4. Attention to Detail
I offer an experience. I use fitness to make them feel good about themselves. That experience comes from the attention to detail that I’ve created in my class. Everything I do has purpose and adds value. From the way I smile immediately when someone walks into the my gym to the praise I give them by using their name as a disclaimer for others to hear. I think of every single possibility I can to give them the “best hour of their day.”
This is something that isn’t taught enough in the coaching industry. So much emphasis is placed on the perfect warmup or coaching technique but so little is discussed about empathy. How does one expect to affect change when you can’t even relate to someone? For example, a member walks into your gym after a family member has just passed. Without empathy you see a difficult athlete that is unfocused and slacking today. To the emphatic it’s an individual that is using the group class as an escape from a difficult life situation. To me this is the difference between a good coach and a great coach.
It is our duty and obligation as coaches and business owners to leave no corner of improvement unturned. Calling yourself a personal trainer or coach isn’t enough. Our market is saturated with ‘good’. Legacy is built with great coaches, great leaders, great men and women who were never satisfied with the status quo.
About the author:
Mario Ashley is the owner of Naples Strength & Conditioning. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida. He has certifications in the following CrossFit Courses: Mobility, Gymnastics, Football, Kids, Goal Setting, Endurance and Level 2 Certificate. He is also the creator of WarehouseGymExpert.com where he helps gym owners professionalize the warehouse gym one lesson at a time.
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