Movement Matters, But It’s Not the Only Thing

In the past several weeks, gyms all over the world were forced to shut their doors following shelter in place guidelines. Overnight, the best gyms moved their service delivery online. However, we discovered something very important early on – being a great coach in person did not necessarily guarantee you’d be a great coach online.

Coaches quickly ran into difficulty when clients became non-compliant in terms of getting in their normal workouts. Even when following best practices of 1:1 delivery as recommended by our partners at Two-Brain Business, the reality was still that coaches all across the world were running into the same problem.

What happens when a client, now flush with time, can’t seem to get their workouts in? Whether its because they miss the barbell, the community, or are having trouble finding motivation to workout at home, the result is the same – they are not exercising.

A founding principle here at Two-Brain Coaching is: Sleep, Eat, Move, and Manage. If the only tool a coach has is to write workouts and try to motivate his or her clients to workout, this is a trying time. But remember, the job of a coach is very simple and straightforward:

Get your client to their goal.

Movement is just one tool. If your clients simply aren’t getting their workouts in, for whatever reason, you need to take a different route. And I don’t mean a different route to get them to workout. I mean a different route to get them one step closer to their goal. Assess their sleeping habits, their nutrition, and how they’re managing their stress. Yes, we all know that moving each day can help all these things, but right now your client is paralyzed. Time to use a new tool.

Do this:

  1. Look back at what their goal is. (Spoiler alert: it’s not coming into your gym, using barbells, and hanging out with the community. Nobody says that to you in your initial consultation or no-sweat intro.)
  2. Imagine that you could never again prescribe, coach, or correct movement.
  3. Decide what other dial you can turn, even 1 degree, to move that client just one step closer to that goal. You choices are: sleep, eat, or managing stress. Check out this article for more info on doing this well:
  4. The next time you talk to them on the phone or through zoom, tell them precisely what to do and why you are having them focus on that. (No, you don’t do this through email or text – keep communication operating on a two-way street.)
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 indefinitely.

Yes, movement matters. Each of you coaches reading this right now know the underlying benefits of structured exercise. But the reality is that an overwhelming percentage of the population struggle to do it. Lets instead focus on meeting our clients where they are. And where they are looks NOTHING like where we all were 5 weeks ago.

If a coach stops hearing back from a client in response to prompts about exercise and can’t, or won’t, dig deeper to keep two-way communication open, then the next thing they hear from the client will undoubtedly be: “Please process my cancellation.”

Pick a different tool and continue being their coach.

Curious about being a world-class online coach? Check out our brand new course for more!

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