by Kris Pitcher
Doing things yourself is admirable. My colleague at work is potty training her toddler. Each time the toddler potties in the big girl potty, she gets a sticker. Stickers are fantastic!. We learn to do things on our own, for ourselves early on. We're programmed that way.
When it comes to competing a little help, not with the potty, is a very good thing. Actually, I can't tell you how many questions are asked and answered about bathroom topics. So, I guess we still need a little guidance in that department too.
As a lover of the sport, an NPC judge and a national competitor...I want people to have a great experience competing. The way to do that is arming them with information. How do you do that? You do that by hiring someone smarter than you.
I don't cut and color my own hair. I have a professional for that. Taxes? Nope, hire a professional. Do I clean my own teeth? Perform my own medical exams? And waxing...a professional. You get the idea. There are certain things we just need the guidance of a professional with.We really should put competing in that realm.
There is just enough information, bad and good, available for you to be dangerous on your own. You can likely muddle through the process and you might just make it to the stage all on your own. But will your outcome be as good as it could have been with guidance? I doubt it.
It's not just the science behind nutrition and exercise, it's the details in your presentation. It's your posing, your suit, your make-up and hair, tanning, shoe selection, accessories. It's the whole package on stage.
I'm not picking on anyone, I've heard many first time competitors looking for information about very basic things REALLY close to their show. Things that they should have all lined up and all figured out. But without any guidance, you don't know what you don't know.
Having someone guide you through the process takes the stress of all those unknowns out of your hands and into the trusting hands of your coach. Ideally, your coach is a one stop shop and can lead you through nutrition, exercise, posing, and ALL of the fine details of competing.
Lots of competitors enlist a team of people to handle those things. One person does their diet, another teaches them to pose, another person makes sure their workouts are the right intensity. Having an actual expert in this niche field - who can teach you all of those important aspects - is a bonus.
Your coach should also be guiding you through the mental challenges of dieting and competing. Helping you through the dark moments when you think you're not going to make it. Coaching you through the week when you can't figure out why you're constipated, bloated, crabby...and he asks you, "Where are you in your cycle?" You need that kind of coach.
You need someone who has the knowledge and insight to anticipate what you will need before you need it. That's why you hire a professional. That's why you don't do this yourself.
Sure you can ask for advice and you'll get a zillion different answers. How will you weed through them all? How will you decide what applies to you? How will you adapt and apply the bro-science to yourself? How will you know what to modify? When to leave things the same and when to change? What are your credentials?
Embarking on a contest prep diet with a show date in mind is no small feat. As a beginner, finding out what you don't know by accident is setting yourself up to never want to do this again. Do it wrong a few times and you'll begin to see the value in professional guidance. Look to your peers who are competing at a level you'd like to see yourself at. They have coaches. A good coach, has a coach.
Think about who's styling your hair, doing your nails, your taxes...your waxing. Think about the list of professionals in your life and put a competition coach right up there with those most highly valued. This journey needs a guide, and you need a professional competition coach. See you on stage!