Remember doing Parkour in your workouts?
How about boxing?
Pulling a sled?
Running through a tires course?
Climbing a net?
I was a coach for 12 years before I found CrossFit. What drew me to the program was its inclusiveness: it combined kettlebells, gymnastics, weightlifting, sprinting…and all of the above. I learned to use parallettes (and to make them); to add rings to my gym; to add powerlifting and sprinting in the same day.
Over time, many of these modalities disappeared. Some faded due to the technical skills required to teach them (it’s hard to teach parkour until you’re very, very good at parkour.) Some were just too boring to hold our interest. And some were replaced by better methods.
We teach an inclusive approach at Two-Brain Coaching. We think that a coach’s toolbox should include many methods; that your coaching practice should be a sum of systems.
For example, there’s a world of difference between knowing how the Zone Diet works and coaching someone on their nutrition. Good coaches can teach beyond their experience; great coaches marry their experience to their education.
Working backward from your client’s goal, ask yourself: what method will help them most right NOW?
If you knew that the answer might be different in three months, would that change your answer?
If your certifications or credentials didn’t matter, would that change your answer?
If you didn’t need their money, would that change your answer?
Too often, we limit “the solution” to the boundaries of our own experience, our own certifications or our own product offerings. We don’t prescribe a walking plan, or a Spin class, because that’s not what we sell. We confuse our beliefs with our education: we think that what we currently know is, by default, what our client needs most.
I think coaches should always seek to add to their tool kit. Somewhere, someone is getting better results for their clients than you are (or I am.) I hire business mentors for this reason in my business (over $250,000 spent in the last 8 months!). And I seek coaches to help with my fitness too. Currently, I’m learning from a mindset coach and a cycling coach; living the life of a serious student of cycling; and taking some hard-won lessons back to my clients to help with their mindset and their fitness. Previously, I spent five years training and competing as a powerlifter; then a decade training and competing (not well!) as a CrossFitter.
What’s the best training method?
It’s your own method, built from the other methods you’ve studied.
Maybe it’s a cross between cycling, swimming and gymnastics.
Maybe it’s weightlifting plus Pilates.
Maybe it’s a licensed brand name, like CrossFit, or maybe it’s YOUR name, coach.
New coaches should start by learning a method – weightlifting or CrossFit or Barre. That’s a good model on which to build. But it’s not the only method: you can call yourself a Pilates instructor for awhile, but not forever.
You are not a method. You are the sum of your methods. Grow!