First and foremost, I believe the coach is the steward of the client’s dreams. Which means as a coach, it’s not about you. While I believe most coaches have good intentions it can be easy to get caught up in programming or coaching for an athlete based on what you like or want to coach. Instead, I challenge you to change the way you think and start asking yourself one question: What is best for my client?
When you start making every decision based on what is best for your client you will show up better, provide more value, get more results and have more consistent clients. While this is critical for coaching and programming, it is also very important when it comes to choosing continuing education. When choosing to level up as a coach with courses, certifications or programs, you should also be asking yourself: What is best for my client?
I bring this up because I often see coaches investing in more education that doesn’t actually help them or their clients. The first pitfall I see is taking courses or education that are irrelevant to the type of people coaches work with. If you are going to spend money to improve as a coach let’s make sure it’s applicable.
If the population you work with are mom’s and dad’s who have limited time and workout at home, investing in a weightlifting course just doesn’t make sense. Let’s make sure who we are training matches up with the education we are getting. Along the same lines, you wouldn’t train parents the way you would a college athlete, so you don’t need to study sprint mechanics or speed and agility drills.
While those examples may seem obvious, let’s also talk about what level of education will best serve you and your clients. Let’s say the population you train benefits a lot from kettlebell training. You have experience with kettlebells, but could always increase your knowledge and become a master kettlebell trainer. What is going to move the needle the most?
Remember that in order to help someone you only need to know more than they do. Which means if your clients have no experience using kettlebells before coming to you then you already are the expert and don’t necessarily need that Level 5 kettlebell certification. I’m not saying that continuing to learn more about your craft is a bad thing. What I am saying is that the money and time spent into another kettlebell certification may be better used on marketing or sales training so that you can actually reach more people.
Being world class is all about using your resources wisely. The example I like to use is studying in high school. For most grading scales an “A” is a 90-100. Which means you don’t need a perfect score on a test to still get an A in class. So the reality is that studying to get a 100 versus a 90 is actually a mis-allocation of time. I view continuing education the same way and want you to think about what’s going to help your client and your business the most.
Which leads me to my last point. When it comes to continuing education, I see most coaches stuck in a mindset that it has to do with training or coaching. However as I mentioned earlier maybe the best solution is sales or marketing. The longer you are a coach the more you realize you will take on more identities than just a coach. You often will also have the identity of entrepreneur, head of marketing, head of sales, accountant, etc.
What might be best for your client is to take a course on communication to better coach them with the knowledge you currently have. It could also mean hiring yourself a coach rather than attending a weekend certification, to better know what it feels like to be coached. At the end of the day, ask yourself if what you are considering is something you want to do or something that will benefit both your client and yourself.