Luke… I am NOT your father.

Posted on April 26, 2012. Filed under: Misc | Tags: , , , , , , |


Over this last week I have had a lot of conversations involving validation.


I have very strong feelings about this.  A coach should be a source of guidance, information, inspiration.  She should have a great grasp of both the collaborative nature of working with client as well as maintaining a professional autonomy because after all.  The end result is up to the client.


Much like the old saying, a parent should not take too much credit for their child’s successes, nor too much blame for their failures.


A coach ha many hats so to speak.  But my client should never look to me for validation.  I am not in the position of coach to judge, I am there to guide based on what their goals are.  This doesn’t meant throw the moral compass for whoever can pay.  There should have been some filtering there before we took them on as a client.


It means one the goal is agreed upon it’ my duty to guide them toward that goal as informed and as healthfully as possible.


Let’s try a real world example.  A client sends me a text.  Saying in these next few of weeks of their program they really want to work on their body and seeing results.  I am confused by this because I thought we were already working on this.  So I ask what this means.


And they clarify to state that is there something that “I see” they should be working on.


I know a lot of trainers may step in an tell the client what they should work on, but in my opinion that’s not my place.  No coach should dictate to their client how they should look.  I feel it’s to dangerous a game to play.  And I feel that it is to easy to fall in to a position of manipulation of the client.  Be it intentional or not.


In the end, it’s the client who will decide whether they look good or not.  That is the planned outcome.  As a coach my interest is in their behaviors.  Consistency of workout habits, protein intake, how many days a week they take their fish oil.  If I address these behaviors, the outcome will take care of itself.


The moment as coach I tell them that they look a certain way and they disagree or believe I’m being false in my statement, trust is lost.  However when a client asks for validation, ignoring it can limit communication a well.  This is not just a coach thing either.


If you are helping a friend or family member keep this in mind a well.


I thought I’d share a bit of what I told my client.  Hopefully this will help someone else who feels stuck as they are looking for validation externally as opposed to internally.


Why does it matter what I think about your progress?

I know that sounds odd but consider the things you have told me so far

  • You have lost 18 pounds so far
  • You’re getting compliments about your progress at the gym
  • You’re getting compliments from your partner about your progress
  • You’re are noticing the lines that separate your muscles starting to come in
  • You feel more confident about wearing less clothing as it warms up.


What does it matter what I say in relation to that, what does it matter what anyone else says?


This fat loss is your goal.  As your coach it is my duty to facilitate that in an environment that is beneficial to your health.  Health is not determined by how ripped you are, nor is it negated by that either.


Your feedback is much more important than what I think, I may notice, does that make sense?  I don’t need to make daily visual judgment; your feedback tells me if it’s working.


And it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says they see, it’s what can be measured and proven that counts.  I have had many clients who I see clear progress and they see nothing.  So I don’t get in to speculation discussions any more.  I stick to the feedback about the workout, the changes you say you see, and some form of monthly tracking via photos, tape measure, etc.  


Let’s look at it from the other side of the coin.  How much did you’re eating habits over this last weekend at the event you told me about contribute to your fat loss goals?  Did you ask my opinion on that?


Not saying you should, consider though you can’t pick and choose when you want to know my viewpoint.  You have the tools to make progress; you know how you need to eat to accelerate your progress.


Fat loss is a progression.  There are changing stages in your routine based on where you are, the progress you make, strengths, weaknesses, feedback.  But we are always working towards that goal. 


So if you want to accelerate these next 6 weeks, focus on you’re eating, getting enough rest when possible.  And follow the program.  Things will keep progressing, I assure you


Don’t look to others for validation.  In the end your goals are your own.  And besides, nobody is perfect, we all can be a bit of a jerk periodically


Keep Fitness Groovy,

Coach W


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