After 4 phases of Fall Faction, there’s no doubt your coaching chops have grown and matured into the post puberty, deepened voice bad-ass coach that you are, .
We’ve learned how to coach the shit out of the squat, hinge, push, and pull. Mike has inserted just the tip into us more times than I’ve ever had any tips in me in my 34 years as a vagina bearer.
We have a more solid foundation of teaching movements and putting programs together than most coaches ever will, thanks to the SF coaches’ incredible guidance and willingness to share their S&C knowledge abyss.
Now that we have this wealth of knowledge, how can we share it with our clients in a way they can understand, feel empowered, respond, and get results?
I Robinhooded the shit out of this information from MFF trainer extraordinaire, Mr. Wonderful, Geoff Hemmingway.
Geoff is the classroom experience manager at Mark Fisher Fitness and randomly happens to be the brother-in-law of Dan John. He presented this information on coaching at our most recent MMLAB, and I thought it was so valuable that I had to pass it along to the Faction. He has full knowledge that I jacked, to give it to you.
The 4 Hats of Coaching
We can have all the information in the world, but if we can’t relay it to our clients in an appropriate way, they might not reach their full fitness potential. It’s up to us to be able to figure out what kind of hat to wear for each client, and continuously show up in that way.
Here are the 4 hats you can wear as a coach:
The clients who need The Mentor are looking to learn. They want to get better at movement and want to understand why they are doing what they are doing. They are potentially afraid to try new things because they do not want to look stupid. They maybe haven’t liked going to the gym in the past but are interested.
Clients seeking the Mentor need to start slow and have small successes every session to build trust. They need to be nurtured and have a safe space to learn and practice.
These are the folks who maybe didn’t do so hot in gym class but were very smart in other subjects. They could be new mothers or people relatively new to working out.
Explaining the “whys” will get you far with this client. Small steps and successful progressions will help them plug along, keep showing up, and feel successful.
Clients who need The Babysitter usually don’t have a problem getting to the gym. They enjoy working out in general and will adhere to the program you have written.
Often times, the clients who need The Babysitter will be the group chatting in the corner during the workout or the stud boss man checking his email every 5 minutes.
Your job as The Babysitter will be to move your clients along. They need less of a buddy and more of a boss. These are the folks who need to slow down a little, stop talking, and put their phones away. They need constant, gentle pressure to adhere to goal.
Clients often in need of The Babysitter workout for the social experience, or they have a frillion dollars, are in charge of everything all day long, and need someone to tell them what to do and keep them on track.
Regularly reminding these clients that they deserve an hour for themselves is a good way to get them to tune in when they tune out.
The client that needs The Collaborator is looking for a wingman. They were potentially a former athlete or serious fitness buff looking to break a plateau. These are the folks seeking out a Lori Lindsey type coach because they trust her expertise and are willing to try new things to achieve a goal.
While they don’t specifically like being told what to do because they know a ton, they are open to new information and want guidance.
The clients we collaborate with can be our favorite clients, but we need to watch out for the “quicksand” of wearing this hat.
These are the people with whom we have deeper relationships and talk about outside, personal stuff during their sessions. We ask who they are hooking up with and talk about weekend plans. We become friends.
As a collaborator, we need to make sure we stay on track as the coach and not let the personal relationship get in the way of the training session.
Clients needing The Motivator are looking for you to be a huge part of their support system. The Motivator is often their last resort. They have tried everything to no avail.
It’s your encouragement and celebration that keeps them showing up. Every small victory should be high-fived and shared publicly.
These clients are looking for the Brian Patrick Murphy of belief in their abilities. They need to feel inspired and reminded to their goals and progresses constantly.
The Motivator is the biggest cheerleader and needs to check in regularly with clients — especially if they start missing sessions.
This client has started and quit in the past. They have potentially lost a ton of weight and gained it back or feel hopeless.
As The Motivator, you need to make sure that you meet this client where they are. You can’t want more for them than they want for themselves. You have to push just enough that they can stay successful and keep their goals at arm’s length. When it feels overwhelming is when they stop showing up.
So who are you to each client?
Take time and go through the people you train. What hat do you need to wear for each individual? Figuring out how to motivate your clients and wearing the appropriate hat will help your clients soar to their goals, and it will make you a much more effective coach.