What makes a great coach?

lombardi1

lombardi1

You know what separates my company from:

Lehman Brothers
Bear Sterns
Merrill Lynch
Circuit City
Radio Shack
American Apparel
Metro Goldwyn Meyer
LA Dodgers
Quiznos
General Motors
The democratic party

They all had to file for bankruptcy and restructure over the last 10 years. My company did not. So there!

One reason: I am really good at what. I am. Blame me of arrogance, but I had to say it.

Question is: what makes a good coach?

There a few components to that answer:

Have a stellar resume.

Personally, I think a great coach should bring academic, as well as athletic credentials. Being published while having been or being a good athlete would be an ideal combination. I understand this is not always doable, but we are talking about a great coach here so let’s have some standards. Someone who has walked the walk as a competitive athlete will have an easier time relating to the dietary struggles of the client, being able to write (i.e.., teaching shows that you have understood the matter well enough to pass the knowledge on to others).
Produce results in clients.

That is obviously a given. But there is more to that: How are the results achieved? By using drugs and overly restrictive diets? If so, this approach is not sustainable and I would label it as bad coaching. Results need to be achieved in a feasible, easy-to-maintain manner.
A great coach leads by example, provides knowledge without claiming to have found the magic bullet, and is able to read the client. On a day-to-day basis, a good coach should be like a great tank commander (being German, I could not help it). (S)he should be able to change tactics as (s)he sees fit by what is happening on the front line, without giving up on the strategic goal. Client had a day from hell? No need to cancel the leg workout, but maybe 10×10 squats would not the best of ideas. So one would not give up on training legs altogether, but tweak the workout with something that makes sense that day.
Educate the client. To be a great coach, one has to be able to pass on information to the client in a way that does not seem patronizing or top-down, but makes the client want to apply the information because (s)he feels it would beneficial, as opposed to wanting to please the coach.
Lift others up. A truly great coach puts others first. Nobody wants to hear how you build your physique or what you did back when you were great, unless there is something that will help the client. Coaching is about improving the client, not retelling war stories.
Share the knowledge generously. A great coach is not motivated by revenue dollars and Facebook likes but acts as a promoter of exercise and nutrition. One way is to be an active contributor on public forums by exposing free content to a broad base of mostly nonpaying clients.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *