Every good prep coach will explain his advice

Every good prep coach will take time to explain

Recently, I have noticed that a lot of people have been going to “coaches” for guidance to achieve their fitness goals, only to be provided with poor information, misleading guidance and to be let down when they need it the most. Whether you are just starting out in your chosen sport, or you are more experienced in it, how do you choose a good prep coach?

  1. Find them, don’t jump in if they “find” you

If you have decided that you want the help and guidance of a prep coach, make sure it is your decision to search for the right person to assist you, and not the other way around. Anyone who constantly pressures you to come on board as their “client” for a fee, is more than likely looking for your money and does not have your better interests at heart.

2. Know what you are getting

There are many different “types” of coaches that can assist you in achieving your goals. A life coach will assist you and work alongside you in setting your goals and ensure that they hold you accountable. They may be qualified to help you get to the root of WHY you eat, and how to reprogramme yourself to believe in what you are doing.

A nutritional coach should be qualified to give you sound nutritional advice. Some coaches don’t have paper qualifications but they have a lot of experience, but if they ever give you advice and they cannot explain WHY they are telling you to do something – don’t do it! Their knowledge of the human body, diet, sports nutrition and human physiology should be second to none.

I don’t believe in the concept of “look at who they helped before and the results speak for themselves”. You can never be certain that their previous clients have followed their advice 100%, and genetics may have a role to play in their accomplishments. A basic understanding of human physiology is essential. Of course, previous clients should be looked at for a loose guideline but just because someone else has won a trophy or a medal, doesn’t mean that you will too.

A training coach should have a deep understanding of bio mechanics, as the risk of injury or training incorrectly, over training or not training enough is too high. When you are standing on a stage, or at the start of a race, or taking on a mountain trek, do you want to be uncertain as to whether you are up to scratch?

Some people advocate themselves as a competition prep coach, but just because someone has competed before or trained for a long time; it does not mean that they are an expert in what they are telling you to do.  You must know what you are getting from that relationship with that coach, be clear as to whether they are officially qualified to provide you with that guidance, and if they aren’t, then ensure that you are happy with the knowledge they do have. Number one tip is to ask WHY, and if they cannot answer, DO NOT DO IT!

Make sure that you are clear on the boundaries and how often you can contact your coach, and similarly how often they can contact you.

3. Beware of the Google fiend

A lot of people get their information from the internet, and advocate themselves to be an “expert” in their self professed career. Information shared on the internet is largely opinion only, and when someone backs up an opinion, and someone else backs up their opinion, it can spiral into building the reputation of the person who provided the information in the first place. Having a lot of Facebook friends, followers on Twitter, or having provided guidance to a certain number of people does not mean that the person is an expert.

Be sure that you check their credibility, as bad advice will only affect you in the long run. Why not contact one of the people they claim to have helped and ask them how this person was as a prep coach>

4. Work WITH your prep coach, they are there to assist not command, question everything – it’s the only way you will learn!

Any relationship should not be one sided. If you are not happy or comfortable with what you are being told to do it, then do not do it. Ask the magical question: “WHY?” and if you are not happy with the answer or you do not feel this is the right route for you, take a step back and speak up.

If your prep coach has your best interests at heart, they will work WITH you to find another route to your goal. You should always be happy with what you are doing, as your coach also needs to know that you are following their advice to the letter, or they will not know where they are going wrong if something does not work out.

Always be honest, do not be afraid to speak up (especially where you are paying for the service), and do what feels right for you. You know yourself better than anybody else. Tell them if you’ve screwed up in some way – they need the whole story!

5. Do not be led to believe something is more difficult than it is.

A lot of the time, a person will pay for advice because they are told that it is not possible to have a go at doing something on their own. Whether it’s a bodybuilding competition, preparation for a fight, a marathon or simply being taught how to pose properly, it is not rocket science!

Some practices and procedures are more complicated than others, but remember, many people would not have managed to achieve great things on their own and learned a LOT in the process.

6. Read a contract before you sign it

If your prep coach asks you to sign into a contract, make sure that you read it first and fully understand what you are signing. Make sure that you are not being tied into making payments even if you choose not to continue to work with that coach. Talk to your prep coach before you make any decisions as to whether you would like to work with them.

If they are professional about their work and serious about helping you, with your interests at heart, they will no doubt be happy to talk to you first so that you get a feel for who you will be working with, and you can decide whether working with that person is the right decision for you.

7. Ensure that your plan is tailor made to suit you

The “one size fits all” approach does not work. We are all composed of different matter; hormonally, psychologically, intellectually, and physiologically. Ensure that your plan suits you and your needs. A good prep coach will be able to sit with you, question you, and identify what your personal requirements are. If you pay money for the service you receive, then you have every entitlement to receive a tailor made plan.

No one plan or coaching approach will work for everyone.

I hope that this information helps you in finding a prep coach that is right for you. All of the above is my opinion on the matter, but it is something I want to put out there to people, so that they are sure what they are getting into before they sign up for anything. Having some basic knowledge and doing a bit of research could be a blessing for you in the future.

~~Elle Mac~~