Crank up the Volume or Handle With Care? Knowing when to push a client.

By Mike Watson – Two Brain Coaching One-on-one Course Mentor

I get to chat with a lot of new coaches through the Two-Brain Coaching One-on-one course.  

One of the most frequent questions as new coaches develop their confidence is “How do I know when to push a client harder or when do I back off?”

Some clients respond really well to yelling, clapping, and loud music.  

Others do not, and may feel uncomfortable and pressured.  

Each client will respond differently and may need different types of encouragement based on a number of factors that preceded their session that day. 

The answer is relationship building. 

The answer is simple but the process takes some work and consistency to get it right. 

Baseball player Yogi Berra once said, “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.”  

When it comes to coaching, especially one-on-one coaching, it can be said that ninety percent of the game is rooted in solid  relationship building. 

How do you know when to push a client?  

Get to know them and pay attention to them!  

You can do this by: 

  1. Asking GOOD questions and tracking your clients’ responses.  The SEMM model is built for this!  Asking your client good questions each time you interact with them about their Sleep (quantity and quality), Eat (quality and quantity), Move (postures they assume outside the gym at work, play, etc. and what doesn’t feel good), and Manage are great ways to gain a global perspective of what your client is bringing to the table on each session. 
  1. Track workout performance and make note of performance cycles.  By taking good notes on performance over time we can start to recognize trends in performance influenced by outside factors.  These might be based on things that we can’t control such as weekly or monthly work/travel schedules, shift work or timing of an client’s menstrual cycle. 
  1. Ask what they need.  When in doubt it never hurts to ask the question you want the answer to.  Ask the client what they need from you as a motivator today instead of assuming! 

If we consistently ask good questions and track performance we can do a much better job of understanding our clients needs and know when to handle with care, or, when to crank up the Metallica and get loud!

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