Search
  • Jeremy Cooper

Finding the right coach

On Friday I was struggling under a barbell doing heavy squats, well heavy for me, and I started to think about the coaching I’d had for lifting weights.  I decided about 6 months ago to get a 1 to 1 strength coach to help me increase my strength (obviously) but also to hold me accountable to the process. There was a company that I followed on social media, podcast etc. and they had a thanksgiving sale, so I went all in for an initial 3-month block of training.  I was assigned a coach as there was only 1 in the UK and we had a call for about 40 minutes on the process and what I wanted to achieve, all good so far, we also discussed some of the limits that I had regarding equipment, time (time of day and duration).  The coach then set my workout plan with lifts types, weights, reps and sets and then I would video the heavy set of each lift I did and post it to the app for him to review and provide feedback All was going well but it just didn’t feel right for me.  Each time the video feedback came through there would be a list of things I was doing wrong and how to correct it, this meant every time I lifted there was a list of 5 or 6 things I needed to work on and I’d try to fix them all or get frustrated at every lift if one piece was wrong, at the same time the workouts were getting longer and now overshooting the time I could allocate We did have some discussions but often I’d focus on the negative and it felt a bit like he was just following the process from the company.  As we can into lockdown, I cancelled the service as I knew it would be even harder to commit to some of the process and I needed to get some enjoyment back What did I learn? I’ve had gym/fitness and work coaches and there are some consistent things to focus on: Before getting a coach:

  1. You need to want to be coached, it’s no good being told to get a coach unless you want to improve

  2. Decide and document what you want to get out of a coach

Finding the right coach:

  1. They need to have the personality traits that align with that you need.  I need structure and someone to hold me to account.  Therefore, a strict coach helps me

  2. You need to be able to try before you buy. This ensures you have a personality fit but also their methodology is something you can align to

  3. They need to have their own coach.  This shows their desire to develop but also see a much bigger picture

  4. They should have empathy but not sympathy for you.  Having someone agree that it’s hard for you won’t help you in the long run

Your relationship with the coach:

  1. You need the personal connection but not overly friendly as it’s a helps you stay focused on improvement

  2. You need to have an agreement on what you want to get out of coaching and how to measure the success.  This could be a work promotion or hitting a certain body weight

  3. Open up and be honest each session and between sessions.  This is so important as I feel I assumed the coach knows how I feel or what has been going on, but they only see you during your session and have no context to the wider world of ‘you’ unless you give it to them.  Also, you only get out what you put in so don’t hide a problem or change of circumstance

I hope they are some useful tips and I’m happy to discuss with anyone about finding the right coach or mentor Have a fantastic week