Be Careful Who You Call “Coach”

by in Competition, Health & Fitness, Musings January 30, 2014


Think about the day you first started a job…whether it’s one you are currently working at, or your very first job as a teenager.  The day you walked in, did you know everything there was to know about working there?  Of course not!  Not only were there things you had to learn about where supplies were kept, how meetings were run, how expenses were reported, etc. etc….but you also had a learning curve with regard to the duties of your job, correct?

It is likely that your boss had assigned someone to be your “coach” — someone to walk you through some training to familiarize you with how things are done on a day-to-day basis.  This process is just good business practice.  It allows the new employee to get up to speed in the quickest way possible (on-the-job) and also have someone they can rely on for answering questions, addressing concerns, etc.

The UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel Management reports that 51% of companies (sample of 500) ‘consider coaching as a key part of learning development‘ and ‘crucial to their strategy‘, with 90% reporting that they use coaching.

Coaching is different from mentoring, by focusing upon competence specifics, as opposed to general overall development.  With coaching, we focus on the details — the what, why, when & how — to get the job done.  We break it down into manageable pieces, and coach you through the process one step at a time.  Once we have seen you master one skill, we add on a little bit more complexity…but not before then.    Coaching is a scaffolding process.  Build one piece on top of another piece.  Make sure your foundation is strong before adding in more bricks.  Coaching in this process, step-by-little-step, habit-by-habit, ensures your success.

Once you get relatively savvy in your job, you may seek out a mentor — someone you look up to who can help you with the big picture of growth within the company, strategies for moving up the payscale, and ways to increase your worth to your employer.

So, here is my question to you:  If your JOB is important enough for your employer to — at THEIR cost — assign you a coach, in order to ensure your success (and the company’s) with regard to your role and responsibilities, doesn’t it ALSO make sense to suggest that YOUR LIFE could also use a bit of coaching now and then?

After all, aren’t there areas of your life that need a little fine-tuning or assistance?  If you are a parent, haven’t you wished (maybe a few times) that there was a MANUAL titled, Parenting 101?  Of course you have!  We all have!

Sometimes we need to call in some help — a fresh set of eyes, perhaps.  We  just need someone to be our COACH, to be our sounding board, to be a source of information and insight that will benefit us and help us to reach our goals, whatever they may be!

This is what I do.  I am a COACH.  I am an educator.  I am a source of knowledge to help you achieve your goals by focusing on the competencies & strategies you need to develop to be successful.

When you are in that place where you KNOW you need to get your health, your diet, and your fitness under control…..THAT, my friends, is when you call in a COACH.

Of course, that coach does not have to be me.  🙂  Of course, I would love for that coach to be me.  🙂

But the bottom line is this:  You need to find a coach who is knowledgeable and has a proven track record.  You need to find a coach who ‘walks the talk’ in their life while teaching others to do the same.  You need someone who can help you: 1) define your goals, 2) determine the steps you need to take to achieve those goals, 3) provide you with the knowledge you need to make said goals happen, 4) work with you to outline the baby steps and small habit changes that need to occur in order to realize your goals, 5) help you to see the progress you are making, 6)  uses data to maintain the projectory toward your intended goals, adjusting as needed, and 7) provides you with unconditional support, motivation, and of course, accountability.


Please understand — there are a lot of people out there who call themselves “Coach” but do not fit the bill in one or several of the criterion I listed above.  Be careful who you choose and who you trust.  It IS your choice, and don’t ever feel bullied into choosing a coach you are not comfortable with!

If your coach tells you that you need to start using a specific brand of shake or supplement that he/she just happens to sell – run away.  Your lifestyle changes will not happen just by popping a certain pill, supplement, or downing a highly-touted brand of protein shake.  Many of the photos/transformations you see in marketing have been altered, and  frequently the weight lost is a direct result of cutting back on calories (example:  “replace two meals a day with one of our shakes” or “take this supplement in place of x number of meals, appetite suppressant included” or “no solid foods for 7 days while on our fill-in-the-blank cleanse”).

If your coach tells you that you need to be eating less than 1200 calories a day in order to lose weight or tone up – run away.  Not only is this ridiculous for anyone (even if you are a female of petite stature!!  I am 5’2″ and I eat significantly more than that daily!),while it may result in some initial weight loss, it will be just as likely to cause rebounding, additional weight gain in the future, and long-lasting metabolic damage.

If your coach tells you that you need to be spending hours a day in the gym, either weight training or doing cardio, or both – run away.  While there is certainly a need for physical movement to assist in fat loss and body shaping  & toning, you don‘t need to go to extremes to achieve it.  Even the most intensely trained physique athletes and bodybuilders rarely spend more than 1.5-2 hours a day in the gym.  The body does all of its work during REST, not during the actual work period.  Spending that much time working out will lead to physical exhaustion, muscle depletion, and mental drain.

If your coach has hundreds of “clients” – run away.  This person is generally not interested in doing the very best for YOU.  They often have a cookie-cutter approach to diet, training, or both, and they are happy to SELL you that plan or program with NO REGARD for your lifestyle, your personal goals, or your long-term plans.  They are more interested in quantity of clients, rather than quality of their work with YOU — and in that scenario, YOU will inevitably get the short end of the stick!

To many of you reading this, these may seem like “no-brainer” tips…but just go hop on Facebook for a few minutes and you will probably see plenty of people touting their miraculous shakes, pills, procedures, workouts, or programs…and many of them call themselves “Coach.”

I take my job very seriously –I live and breathe it each day for myself and my family — and I want YOU to understand that it’s a GREAT IDEA to seek out a Coach.  Using a Coach is a proven, effective strategy in helping you to conquer current obstacles, address old habits, and achieve new things.

The greatest coaches of all time have Coaches, themselves!   Why?  Because we ALSO need to be learning from someone who has knowledge we don’t have.  We are ALWAYS setting new goals and need some help achieving them.  And we VALUE what we can learn from others so that we can get better at being ourselves.

Just as you look to a Coach to hold you accountable for the tiny changes and new skills you are learning in order to accomplish a greater goal — SO TOO must you be able to hold your Coach accountable for their actions!!  The Coach you choose needs to have the education and knowledge to back up their coaching, the background and experience to know what works, and the integrity to guide you in learning new skills & strategies you can live with for a LIFETIME — maintaining good health, increasingly improved fitness, and long-term weight control.

If you’re ready to have someone in your corner as your Personal Coach, give me a call or send me your inquiry via my Contact page on this site.  I offer complimentary phone or Skype consultations, and will be happy to talk with you to see if we make a good Coaching match to meet your goals.  I offer 1:1 coaching in the Georgetown, Texas and surrounding areas, and online “virtual” coaching for folks who live outside my area.  It doesn’t matter where you live…I can  COACH you to meeting your goals!