By Chris Wilson, SA
Fitness and Massage Coach
Recognition for the mental side of performance is growing rapidly. There is a real purpose to educating personal trainers, coaches and athletes about the physical, physiological and mental side to competition and training. This is relevant in all levels of physical activity. Unfortunately, the main athletes and coaches that get access to these resources about performance and mental states are at the elite level.
But don’t despair, there is hope for us who work with mixed abilities from the semi-professional to the general fitness and special populations. That is – to focus on the individual’s confidence. We all talk about it and we are aware of its significance but how do we coach it amongst our clients?
Let’s start with the basics.
You are not born with confidence, you must earn it. Confidence comes from mastery and mastery comes from practice, practice, practice.
You see, newbies, or those just starting out, tend to miss the hours spent learning a technique or the repetition of going through the same drill over and over. Most don’t have the patience for it as the road seems too long. This is what their idols had to do, make no mistake. Do you think bodybuilders took some protein powder and started squatting heavy on day one?
If you can help your clients identify some specific drills, techniques and goals that will improve their performance they should be able to spend hours practising. Practicing with you as a trainer, on their own or even in their heads. Yep, imagining completing the action perfectly and what it feels like when that lift, jump or pull is successful can be very powerful to their development and confidence.
Next time they walk into the gym and that skill is required they have the confidence to know what to do and how to do it. Of course, it will never be perfect. Nothing ever is. But they will start to show you they have the confident mindset to apply the new skill on their own. Isn’t that what personal training is about?
Confidence can only grow in an environment where the clients are ‘allowed’ to try their new skill and not be fearful of making a mistake. Too often personal trainers shout, mock or even ridicule the gym users for trying something and it not going right, this is not the Australian Institute of Fitness way. Be confident as a personal trainer that your work is effective, and clients can try their new skills if given enough time, freedom and guidance.
Enjoy your coaching!