I was watching an old movie, “Glengarry Glen Ross” when I heard Alec Baldwin say “always be closing.” This phrase is very popular and was targeted at salesmen in the movie, but it resonated with me in a different way.
So I decided to make my own little phrase “always be coaching.” This means when a training session is going on, every client should be coached up in everything they do. I am not saying be over the top, but there is always some type of coaching to be done.
Cue and Motivate.
There’s a reason your clients come to you: to be coached! It is our job to ensure they are performing every exercise correctly. One, to not hurt themselves. And two, to get the benefits from it. Time and time again I see coaches watch a client perform an exercise incorrectly and don’t fix it. Either they are lazy or should not be prescribing an exercise they don’t know how to cue.
When it comes to cueing, there of course is a balance, if you throw three cues at a 14 year old athlete while they are performing a single leg RDL, chances are it will confuse them. Just do your best to put that person in a safe position that will elicit the benefits you are striving for.
When it comes to motivating, this should be the easy part. I hope most coaches out there love what they do. Each athlete, in their own way, needs to be encouraged throughout the session. Not every day someone walks in feeling good and self-motivated, it is our job to get them enticed during their workout. This will not only help them feel good, but make the workout more enjoyable for yourself. Nobody likes coaching someone who is moving lethargically, it’s just not fun.
Put on some good music and motivate each athlete appropriately.
A while ago when I was creating a template for teaching a group fitness class for the general population, I wrote up a little document on how to run a good class. In it I made the “3 M’s.” Yes, it’s very corny, but it works.
3 M’s of Teaching a Class
Music: Have a good playlist. Boring music kills the vibe of a class.
Motivation: Continue to motivate and energize the class.
Movement: CUE! Go around to each client and tell them how they can perform the exercise better.
This really applies to coaching athletes, one-on-one sessions, and of course group fitness classes.
At the end of the day it’s all about putting in the effort. I am drained after coaching my athletes every day, but I love it. They sure know I love it because I do my best to bring the energy every day. It’s all because I care, I want them all to get the most out of their time with me so they can be the best athlete they can be.
If you have any other thoughts on this, please share!