The legendary UCLA coach, John Wooden, who won 10 NCAA College National Basketball Championships in a 12 year span, is remembered as one of or if not the best college basketball coach in NCAA history.
With the resume that Coach Wooden has, you would think he knew what he was doing, right?
Do you think its fate that the New England Patriots coach, Bill Belichick, has won 4 super bowls in his coaching tenure?
How about Coach Greg Popovich, from the San Antonio Spurs, who has won 5 NBA championships and is a 3 time coach of the year…you think its luck?
Some would debate it’s a combination of luck, skills within coaching, special players, talented teams, etc. But when you look at what Wooden, Belichick, and Popovich all have in common is they put all of their players in a system that plays to their strengths, preferences, advantages, and evidently they thrive and win.
It’s no different when someone is seeking a coach in fitness. The client has personal preferences with foods and training styles and it’s the coach’s job to put them in a system where they are going to succeed, become educated, gain some skills, and most importantly get results.
It’s not easy to find a great coach that can put you in a system to thrive, but there are some things you need to take into consideration when seeking your next coach and we are here to talk about the importance of good coaching and leaving you with a practical checklist of what to look for in a great coach.
What Makes a Great Coach?
A great coach is someone that offers the following:
- Builds a solid relationship with the client or athlete
- Makes sure to educate the client or athlete and have them understand the WHY’s behind things
- Has a non-biased eye towards the client or athlete
- One who has expertise and education in the sport or activity
- Someone who has experience working with people and has gotten them results and has experience with themselves
- Someone who can put the client in a system that they will excel in
- A person who can serve guidance, sustainability, accountability, and structure
- A person that has a working background somewhat pertaining to coaching, training, nutrition, or leadership
A lot of consumers overlook the last bullet point when seeking a great coach, let us explain:
When we were slowly building Dynamic Duo Training, people don’t know that I (Chris) was working for college access programs for 2 years and it made me learn to be a leader of a cohort of students, manage them, make sure they were completing tasks, and passing their classes, etc. People don’t know I was a bus boy for 2 years prior to working with high school students…serving people and sharpening my customer service skills.
On the other hand, I (Eric), was working at a hospital doing medical records for 4 years. This taught me how to interact with people, provide great customer service with patients, I learned how to effectively communicate with doctors that would eventually translate to speaking well with others, it also taught me organizational skills, etc.
Don’t be fooled by the one hit wonder coaches that have genetically gifted physiques, have a million Instagram followers, got their personal training cert, have a full time job on the side, and have no education or experience related to the fitness field what so ever.
We don’t say this to discourage others from coaching people, but rather to shed some light on the purpose of a coach is to gain objectivity and to make decisions that will benefit them from a logical place and not let biased or emotional attachments overpower that and thus help clients get results and gain tools for the rest of their lives within training and nutrition.
The “Missing Links” to Getting Results
There are a couple of key “missing links” that a coach needs to have in order to get you results.
Once you reach a certain level of knowledge and experience, the missing link is no longer a new training program, the golden nutrition plan, or a new supplement stack fresh off the market to try.
The one thing you’re missing is accountability to someone or something for your training and nutrition and this comes from a good coach.
“Accountability is the acknowledgment of responsibility for your actions with the obligation to report, explain, and be responsible for the resulting consequences.”
In other words, accountability keeps you consistent because you have to check in with what you’re doing or not doing…in the gym and in the kitchen to someone else.
Once you have accountability, then you can add the two missing links together to get a synergistic outcome and get results.
Link #1- The Hierarchy of Nutrition
If you were to go off a hierarchy of nutrition like the picture below (and the credit to this hierarchy of nutrition goes to Eric Helms).
Adherence, lifestyle, and behavioral habits always come first for the simple fact that without consistency and adherence, no training or nutrition program will produce results.
In the middle of the pack, come calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients.
Once you have your behavioral habits down as the foundation along with a sound nutrition program that you can be consistent with and adhere to, you can then worry about your total daily calorie intake, your individualized macronutrient ratios for your goals, and your daily micronutrients.
At the bottom of the list comes nutrient timing (meal frequency, pre and post workout and before bed nutrition), and then of course, supplements. Supplements are just icing on the cake, without a sound nutrition program, supplements won’t do much.
Link #2- The Hierarchy of Training
Since training and nutrition go hand in hand and you neither cant “Out nutrition a bad training program” nor can you “Out train a bad nutrition program,” if you were to go off a hierarchy of training like the picture below.
Safety, health, and goals always should be paramount because if you are injured you can’t progress and without any set goals in place, you can’t get specific with your training and individualization.
Dead center we have adherence, consistency, and preferences. Adherence and consistency because you want a training program that’s individualized to your personal preferences, exercise selections that are conducive to your bodies, goals, schedules, training experience, and physical capabilities.
And in dead last but certainly not least, we have periodization and training variables. This is where you get to implement linear, nonlinear, block periodization, DUP, or autoregulation training concepts.
This is where you get to manipulate training variables such as frequency, volume, and intensity…all the technical goodies within training.
Hiring a Coach Can Only Help You
Now that you know the importance of having a great coach and know the 2 missing links just remember what Wooden, Belichick, and Popovich all have in common and that’s putting all of their players in a system that plays to their strengths, preferences, advantages, and evidently they thrive and win.
A great coach can take the guess work out of your hands, guide you on your journey to make it easier, provide the little details, educate you, and ultimately push you to do the little things to make big things happen.
Here is a checklist that you can use if you are looking to hire a great coach:
If you would like to learn more about our one to one coaching services and how we can design you an individualized training and nutrition program around your goals, schedule, preferences, and lifestyle, if you feel like you are a good fit, fill out the application HERE