Your Coach Approach

There are a lot of theories about coaching out there.  The ones who are successful have their eye on the outcome that is driven by the process. We can focus on the goal, but we should really pay attention to the WAY that we get there and the things we do day in and day out to achieve that goal.  This looks like daily practice in athletics or the workout plan in fitness.  In nutrition, it’s the eating plan.  Even more so, the character of the individual or team drives HOW the process will go.  This is where YOU as their coach have the biggest impact on their outcomes.

HOW you coach makes an impact on the success of your clients as well as the relationship developed between you and your client.  Coaching can be categorized into HOW you approach the client.  In essence, your COACH APPROACH.  Are you an expert coach or a Partner coach?  Wellcoaches has a great description of the difference between an Expert Coach and a Partner Coach. 

Now, look at these two lists.  Put a star next to anything that you experience when working with your clients.  Do you see a trend?

Why am I sharing this with you and how does this fit into being an FPOP (Fitness Professional On Point)?  Well, the research shows that successful outcomes  are driven by the Partner approach. 

The Partner Approach allows the client to choose their desired outcome with guidance and listen and learn to foster a possible plan. The coach becomes a partner in ultimately what is the client’s responsibility.  Energy is not spent trying to control every bit of activity or every drop of food the client puts in their mouth.  How many coaches do you see  coming off of the bench, grabbing the ball out of the player’s hands, shooting the ball, and scoring the points for the team?  If you did, you’d think they were crazy?  So, why do we as fitness professionals think that we need to be doing the work for our clients?  We give them the tools and resources, and allow them to make their own decisions about how they use them when they are on the court. Partner coaching implies that you do your “part”.  It’s a team effort, and isn’t that what a coach does…coaches a team?


Sforzo, GA et al. (2015) Delivering change that lasts:  health and wellness coaching competencies for exercise professionals.  American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Journal, Volume 19, pp 20-26.

Wellcoaches Research. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2020, from

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