Interview with Brad Gilbert - How to Be A Great Coach

If you're a Trainer or a Coach, you know your job is more than just prescribing exercises - Your job is to motivate, inspire, and get the best out of your clients and athletes. Check out my interview with Tennis star turned premier coach, Brad Gilbert, who clearly has the talent to draw the best out of his athletes!
Why do clients hire coaches?

Clients seek fitness trainers and athletic coaches for many reasons. Mainly, they are seeking guidance, knowledge and motivation. A surprising factor to many professional trainers and coaches is that it's not your physical body or athleticism (alone) that inspires them. It’s your ability as a professional.

In an Outdoor Fitness survey, clients were asked what qualities are most important in a fitness instructor. The results are listed below in order of importance:

1.    Providing a safe environment
2.    Having a broad base of health & fitness knowledge
3.    Teaching ability and communication skills
4.    Motivational skills
5.    Professionalism and leadership
6.    Personal attention
7.    Enthusiasm
8.    Creating a fun, non-competitive environment
9.    Fitness level

As the results clearly indicate, the finest fitness trainer is the one who truly cares about their client and the one who places client interest above their own.
It's all in the Coaching - "How to Lead" - Checklist

From initial contact to first workout, our clients observe us with a keen eye. From punctuality, to dress and posture, we must display leadership and confidence. The following is a list of leadership qualities to master:

•    Professionalism. Dress neatly and appropriately. Although we may be “in the dirt all day,” grooming and appearance is important. It says a lot about our values. Let clients know that you take your profession seriously.

•    Consistency breeds success. Be consistent with messaging. From policies to exercise principles—say what you mean, and mean what you say.

•    Punctuality. Always start and end the session on time. Let clients know that you respect their time as well as your own.

•    Confidentiality. Respect a client’s need for privacy. Never share personal issues or divulge information from client/coach discussions. Never engage in dishing about other client, trainers, or other training programs, etc.

•    Lead by example. You are a fitness professional and role model - even off the clock.  You want to represent the actions and behaviors that you desire for your clients. Be cognizant of actions and behaviors when not working.

•    Follow through. Do what you say you’ll do. This shows that you respect your clients as well as yourself.

•    Take responsibility! There’s nothing more pathetic than a laundry list of excuses. If you make a mistake or don’t follow through on something, own up to it, and take care of it.

•    Listen. Listen more than you speak. Active listening is critical in forming trust and good partnerships with your clients. If clients feel they are heard, they’ll feel valued, and sense their needs being met.

•    Become a lifelong student. Commit to constant and never ending improvement through continuous learning, self-discovery and growth.

•    Be enthusiastic. Genuine enthusiasm for what we do will shine through. Let what’s inside—out!

•    When in doubt, smile! A smile is the universal language!

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