You’ve Hired a New Coach – Now What?

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

In the early days of our gym (pre-CrossFit) we took pride in hiring based on education, and our hiring process reflected this. We wanted to show our audience our college degrees and hard to get certifications as a way of establishing our authority in our industry.  

This approach worked well to build our initial personal training client base but we experienced a major shift in client demographics when we started CrossFit.  Instead of working primarily with young, hungry, motivated athletes we started to see more clientele in the 30-60 year old range.  These people had lives outside of the gym including real jobs and responsibilities!  

We quickly found out that relationships were more important with our new client base than our ability to break down energy systems and joint angles.  

In response to our evolving client base we started to recruit for much different skills – people skills and personality! 

Below, I’ll take you step by step through the steps you NEED to take to hire a new coach and get them integrated into your gym culture and taking leadership as smoothly as possible! 


You can teach anyone how to coach a deadlift or air squat.  It’s not as easy to teach personality!   

Seek out people that you, your staff, and your members like being around.   

Many of the great new coaches who come through the Two Brain Coaching course have been hand picked from a gym’s membership base.  This allows an owner to bring someone on board with whom they have an established level of trust, and someone who already knows and loves your gym community. 

They have regularly demonstrated the ability to connect with every social circle in your gym and they’ve expressed an interest in sharing their love of fitness with others!  Malcolm Gladwell calls these people Connectors, they are great at building relationships and bringing people together!


It can be tough for a new employee to know what is expected of them if we don’t clearly define job roles.  If you don’t already have a clear SOP (standard operating procedure) for each role in your gym, do this now!  

A well written SOP will define all the roles and responsibilities of the job and will set expectations for success.  Review and update this document every few months to ensure that the expectations match the reality.   

Set clear deadlines for task completion and follow up to ensure accountability. 


Gym owners/GMs should be actively involved in the education process.  There are many options for education in our community however the education process often ends abruptly when the coach completes the final quiz and receives that certificate! 

How can we ensure that your coaches learning doesn’t stop with the final quiz of their course?

a. Be involved in the education process.  Follow up with the mentor who worked with your coach and look for the best ways to put their newfound knowledge into practice.  

b. Encourage your coach to share what they learned.  Being able to teach new concepts to others is a great way to reinforce retention.  Ask your coach to share some knowledge (or debate) with your coaching staff. Better yet, ask them to start producing content to share their knowledge with your clients!  

c. Set expectations for ongoing learning and growth.  This doesn’t have to always be movement related.  Encourage your coaches to seek out education in areas that they are passionate about – this could be nutrition, mindset, sales or public speaking!


At Two Brain Coaching we believe that the best all around coaches are the ones who have started by developing one-on-one relationships with clients.  This can be through personal training or guiding your clients through an On-ramp/Foundations program.  One-on-one coaching allows a new coach to develop crucial coaching and relationship building skills that will make them a rock-star coach in your group and specialty classes! 

These skills include: 

– developing close relationships with clients and understanding their intrinsic motivations

– providing value added services like SEMM programming and individualized skill work/homework

– building programming and pivoting based on results 

– being accountable and holding clients accountable


Setting a  framework and expectations as discussed above provides a solid platform from which your new coach should be able to flourish by using their drive, personality and relationship building skills!  Let them know when you see them doing something you love and share client feedback with them! 

Encourage your coaches to find their own voice and to actively promote themselves through regular content creation (written or video) to establish authority and trust with current and potential clients! 

At Two Brain Coaching our goal is to help you hire and develop World Class Coaches!  

Need help?  Contact Mike at with any questions or book a free intro call to see how we can help your new or established coaches refine their coaching and relationship building skills!

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