Do Our Coaches Know What Business Are We In? Part 1 of 2

By Shawn McQueen, Two Brain Group Coaching Mentor

As Coaches in the health and fitness world, our first responsibility is to teach other human beings how to do something.

Second, how to do it consistently and third how to do things even more efficiently over time.

Ultimately bringing them towards better results, optimal experience and consistent achievement and progress that they can be proud of.

And what’s unique for all of us is we are not coaching or dealing with a robot.
Or the same people.
Or even the same person day to day.

Coaching a group of people, in a group environment, can come with many unforeseen challenges.

And because we are interacting with other human beings, we are guaranteed to encounter struggles, emotions and challenges along the way.

Because human beings are inherently unique.

As are our behaviors.

And we are emotional creatures.

And we as Coaches can struggle to understand certain people and why they do the things they do.

We can struggle to get people to rally behind our leadership and communication style.

Struggling to believe what we are saying and lacking in follow through.

Ultimately struggling to be an effective coach who can deliver a consistent and top notch, highly valuable yet fun, fluid and structured hour for a diverse group of individuals.

Class after class, day after day, for years on end.


If we believe we are in the business of teaching people how to move properly, we are limiting our thinking and our impact immensely. 

We are in the business of dramatically improving, upgrading and transforming the way people think, feel and move. 

To transform the way people think and feel we must first seek to understand. 

Their behaviors, their emotions, their beliefs and their reasons. 

Because It doesn’t matter how much we know (knowledge wise or experience level) if we are unable to genuinely understand and connect with other human beings. 

ALL different types. 

And part of connecting is UNDERSTANDING others. 

So today we’re going to cover the 8 most common undesirable emotional states and indicators that our members like clockwork will go through. 

Knowing that if we can identify and understand these, we can better meet people where they are at, understand what they could be going through, why they do what they do and ultimately recognize and show up for them better. Doing so allows us to meet their needs, developing trust and the capacity for long standing relationships. Which as Coaches, gives us the opportunity to serve, have a career and better create the fulfilling impact we want. Awareness is the first step to creating that change. 

Understanding and Identifying The 8 Undesirable Emotional States & Indicators

  1. Uncomfortable 

We know this as a feeling of unease, awkwardness, uncertainty, a feeling of out of place. Where are the places this shows up in coaching group fitness classes?

a. New members integrating into group classes after on ramp.  Everything is new, foreign and like another language. 

b. The feeling we all encounter during challenging workouts, out of our comfort zone.  We are faced with feelings of discomfort. 

c. The feelings members can have with movements they don’t quite comprehend or have a good amount of familiarity with. 

What to understand?

They want to feel comfortable, comforted, competent and/or certain.

What to acknowledge?

How can we make their transition smoother into group class? What can the coach do personally?

What can we teach them and prepare them before a workout (mentality wise)? What can we honor and appreciate about them afterwards?

What needs to be communicated to them with movements that they (can) feel uncomfortable with? (ie: my #1 priority is your safety…)

2. Fear

We know this as the emotion caused by the belief that something dangerous is likely to cause pain or a threat to my safety. To prepare to deal with or avoid negative consequences. Where are the places this shows up in Coaching Group Fitness Classes?

a. Someone not performing full ROM because they are afraid of the worst case scenario they create in their minds: getting hurt. You see them squat all the way down and as the weight gets heavier they begin cutting range. Or they always go with light weights, never challenging themselves beyond what you know they are capable of.

b. They check out during a lift before fully committing due to the fear they create in their mind.

c. They feel something new, foreign or not normal within their body and either stop their workout to prepare to avoid negative consequences.

(Ie: think of a person who’s relatively new or developing muscular strength balance and an understanding within their body.And within a workout that has higher rep hinging (ie: deadlifts or KB Swings) they are moving well but feel a sensation in their back and it feels new to them, that can create fear)

What to understand:

They want to feel safe. They want the security that they can avoid pain or getting themselves hurt, that they are doing something correctly.

What to acknowledge:

They need body awareness and confidence. What questions do I need to ask to understand and then what education do they need?

They are building their self trust. How can I help this process? 

They need education.  How can I educate them better?  

Stay tuned for the rest in Part 2!

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