Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Best Prep Clients, Are You Coach-able?

by Kris Pitcher

I've experienced plenty of clients looking for a new coach. Sometimes people come to you from another coach, and sometimes people leave you for someone else.

Now, there is nothing wrong with experiencing different approaches, learning from a variety of people, and looking for the right fit with a coach. If however, you chronically find yourself on the hunt for the next best thing...ask yourself, are you coach-able?

What does it mean to be coach-able? Here are some key indicators you can be coached to a high level (aka. you are a GREAT client):

  1. You can take constructive criticism: Let's face it, we all have inadequacies, imbalances, and weak points. Being able to hear honest feedback about those, in a constructive way, is important to your success. It's also important to setting expectations.
  2. You can follow your plan: Your plan is not a guideline or suggestion. It is your plan. Following it ensures the input-output assessment by your coach. It is how we create "control" within the process. When you only kind of follow it, we only kind of have any clue what is going on with your changes...or lack of. 
  3. You can take direction: Your coach has a background in nutrition and exercise science. There is a reason for each directive you are given. Some clients want to know the reasons behind each, and it's my opinion that knowledge creates compliance. 
  4. You have trust in your adviser: You need to be able to trust your coach has the insight to guide you. If you don't hold that trust, it's not the right fit. Often, it's a matter of communication and knowledge sharing. 
  5. You can communicate: Being coach-able means you can engage in two-way communication with your coach. If they ask you for a check-in...provide it. The more "input" you are able to provide the greater your success in your relationship with your coach.
  6. You are accountable: This is critical to your success. You will be the only one on stage with your decisions. Your coach will guide and direct you providing the best plan possible, and it's up to you to do it. No coach can do the work for you. No coach can promise you a certain placing. You are accountable ultimately.  
Being open to creativity, to different ways of doing things, and to drilling down on a method all play into your success as a coach-able client. There are lots of coaches each with their own set of skills, ideas and methods.

A great coach listens to you, builds your plan around your needs, is able to apply a multitude of methods, and communicates why you are doing certain things. They are able to be positive, constructive, and honest with you. Your coach should be professional, objective, and detail oriented.

I've had the benefit of amazing mentors and coaches both personally and professionally. It makes all the difference in just how coach-able I am. They have shown me not only how coach-able I am, but also how to be a great coach and mentor to others.

Monday, February 6, 2017

When Panic Sets In, Will I Be Ready In Time?

by Kris Pitcher

Things in life aren't necessarily linear. At just ten weeks from our first regional spring is the time competitors begin to panic, "Will I be ready!"

Competitors begin to wonder if their coach has the skill set to get them to the stage. In some cases they do, and in other cases not so much. Competitors managing their own nutrition begin to question what they are doing, what they know, and how to filter the plethora of information coming at them from all angles.

Rightfully so. On all accounts. But here's the thing...none of this is linear. Change is cumulative and happens in small increments. Sometimes those changes are so small, we aren't able to see them in ourselves, or measure them.

Changes are still happening. Now is the time to trust the process. A phrase everyone cringes over. Trust your coach. Unless they are a complete and total fraud, your coach should be able to get you there.

I'm transparent in there are many ways to get someone ready for competition. There is no "one" way, or "right" way. So now is the time to trust how your coach is guiding you...or, if your gut tells you differently, seek out someone who is a better fit. I'm not a fan of jumping mid stream.

Usually, communication will clear up anything you feel you're not getting. That's up to you. Your role is to relax, do the work, eat the plan, communicate, and settle in. Ten weeks is 10 weeks. You won't look ready today. That's not how this works.

Will you be ready? Probably. If you aren't ready guess what, there is always another show on the calendar. If you thought you needed 16 weeks, and in reality you need 20...your timeline just got a little longer and you and your coach look for another show. Easy.

Don't panic. Settle in for the long haul and trust this process. You'll be ready when you're ready.