Remember your first job ever, back when you made something sketchily close to minimum wage?
If you’re like most teenagers, your first job came at around 16 years old, probably in the service industry, and you were likely just happy to get through the days until that check cleared every other Friday.
More likely than not, you weren’t thrilled with the environment. Plenty of things needed improvement. Cleaner. More efficient or productive. Safer. More open.
There was a gap in the system somewhere that inhibited a better workplace and a better service.
Maybe, if you were brave (or loud, like me), you spoke to a manager about it. Maybe your manager’s manager. Maybe they listened, maybe they didn’t.
Now imagine this.
You’re more advanced in your career, dedicated to the quality of your work. And somehow, even though the situation is entirely different - you’re more educated, qualified, and experienced, there’s mandated safety rules, you get paid above minimum, etc. - it’s somehow still the same.
You’re only partially in control of your hours. You’re only partially in control of the work environment.
People don’t want to pay for services.
I know what you’re asking…
“WHAT is happening, and WHY are people so interested in my work until they have to pay?”
“Knowledge Is Free!”
One of the most common arguments I hear against paying a coach or trainer for help is the “Knowledge Is Free” Line.
“I can google it.”
“I could learn this too.”
“I can write/do my own program.”
Wow, that’s so true. Knowledge really is free, and we have this beautiful thing called Google to answer all our questions in .00234 seconds.
However, even if it’s free, people won’t do it.
In 9.5 out of 10 cases, whether a head sports coach, an athlete, or a GenPop training client, people won’t invest the time and energy into actually gaining a full understanding of sport science, nutrition, strength, conditioning, injury prehab and rehab, biomechanics, weight control, and sport-specific training to even begin to be capable of achieving the progress they want alone.
When people say “Knowledge Is Free”, they’re discounting (usually)…
the 4-year Bachelor + potential graduate education
knowledge gained through mentorship with top-tier coaches and internships in high performance environments
years of hands-on experience
numerous rigorous exams, certifications, and further education courses
upkeep with weekly-changing methods and research in the field
I don’t know what that sounds like to you, but most coaches I know (post-Bachelor = $90k in the US) spend about $5k/year on continuing education courses, mentorship programs, conferences, educational products, and more.
That doesn’t sound free to me. It sounds like more than the average American’s annual income shoved into our education, and years worth of time collecting knowledge and experience.
So, actually, it’s a bit insulting to think that you can gain that same knowledge with a simple 5-minute Google keyword search, when it cost us $130k, 10 years of coaching, and one weekend a month of travel and conferences.
Here’s what it comes down to:
Knowledge is freely available. It’s not free - if you want the knowledge required to get you where you want to go, you will have to invest significant time and probably money into gaining it.
Because - and I hate to break this to you - the first 6 Google search results for “how to lose 20lbs” or “soccer fitness workout” are all unscientific waste.
However, they’re great at digital marketing and SEO. I hope you invest the time to know the difference before you waste your time on people who are great at setting trends instead of achieving goals.
If you’re looking for sound, research-based, experience-driven, expert answers, you need to hire a coach.
“I Will Use Someone Else’s.”
Here’s the next one - and it has many variants.
Have you heard this one? Have you said this one? Have you DONE this one??
“My coach wrote me a program in high school. I’ll just reuse it.”
“_____ posts workouts for free on his/her on Instagram”
“A friend of mine is/has a trainer, I’ll just use their workouts.”
Take a wild guess… why won’t this one work?
If you guessed any of the following…
Training is extremely individual - it must be customised to the needs of the athlete/team in order to help them psychophysioloically meet the demands of their sport in order to render the most benefit
All bodies are different - structurally/biomechanically, as well as having different needs
Every athlete’s needs to meet the demands of sport change over time - training programs have to adapt appropriately as well
…it depends on so many things, I can’t even list them all coherently right now!
… you’d be right!
Every singular body is anatomically a bit different, from how your running/walking gait is to how your hips require a change in squat stance or style to how long your tibia is to how mobile your shoulders are.
Nutritional needs change. Seasons cycle in and out. Sports become faster or more aggressive.
And your individual needs change. How stressed are you? How much sleep are you getting? How many hours a week can you train, and how do you recover? When are your games?
These are all things that a coach considers heavily when working with an athlete or team individually. The needs, the structure, the mechanics…
Coaches are only there to answer “what is the very best, most efficient solution for this client’s needs?” and to help you consistently implement and adjust that answer.
If you snag someone else’s program or take a generic one from the interwebs, don’t expect to get your results - it wasn’t built for your needs or goals. You’ll be getting someone else’s results… but only partly, because only parts of it will fit what you’re working with anyway!
If you are looking for a plan or program that helps you see progress toward your own goals effectively, efficiently, and in a healthy way, you need to hire a coach.
“I’ll Write My Own.”
This is one I hear mostly from coaches, athletes, or people who have already acquired some level of fitness or sports knowledge (PhysEd teachers, sport coaches, strength coaches, CrossFit coaches, sport scientists, etc.).
Do we have the knowledge? Yes.
Do we have the expertise? Yes.
Can we write one that fits our needs and goals? Yes.
So… why shouldn’t we do it?
Firstly, you see yourself differently than someone else does. Not only because you can’t see yourself do many movement physically (even if you can video a squat or sprint), but because you’re used to seeing yourself move a certain way.
Having someone else look at how you move, correct it, and plan it appropriately will help you catch and change the things you never even noticed, because you were so used to it.
Secondly, unless you are a master of discipline, we humans love to talk ourselves out of things. If you are paying a coach to write a program for you and/or you know they will keep you accountable, you’ll do the program.
If you don’t do it, you won’t get the results, and then you’ll have to answer your coach as to why those results didn’t occur.
And, guess what… it won’t be your coach’s fault!
Thirdly, if you’re a perfectionist like me, you’ll always worry that the program could be better, that you should change something, or that you aren’t doing it enough/right. Having a coach takes the thought out of it, and it’s one less thing in your brain when your mind needs to be off - when you need to TRAIN and not think.
Fourth and Final: I don’t know any coach personally who wants you to pay them forever.
As a strength coach myself, I want you to learn these methods and be able to take them with you. I want you to move on to college or to the pros. I want you to graduate from personal training, having achieved your strength and weight loss goals. I would love for you to learn from me and on your own, so that you are equipped to handle your own health and progress.
Take the advantage of learning from an expert and, if and when the time comes, you can go out on your own and continue learning and training, confidently knowing that you’ve got a grip on the basics moving forward.
For me, if I’ve had a client for more than six months, we sit down (more than our weekly check-ins) and talk about where they are, how they feel, and if they truly want to continue training. If they don’t need me, I can confidently let them go. If they do, we set the criteria and goals for them staying onboard.
If you overthink things, have limited time, aren’t confident, don’t follow through on things, and/or need accountability and motivation, then you need to hire a coach.
Let’s go back to you as a teenager in your first job.
You weren’t paid much money. You probably didn’t get paid attention to either. And, when you raised concerns, nothing changed. Right?
This is why you should hire a coach.
Most people are motivated to some extent by money and time.
If you’re paying us in money for our time to make sure that you change in the way that’s best for you, your body, your sport, and your goals, things will change. You will, more likely than not, execute the changes. You will adhere to the plan. You will see progress.
You won’t wave us off like a minimum-wage employee or the guy in his first entry-level job.
If you don’t pay us (or pay us very little), why do you care what we have to say about how many calories you take in? How you squat? Why you don’t need supplements?
Think I’m lying?
How many times a day are you scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, see something really interesting and useful, try to save or mark it in your brain to use later, and never implement it? You forgot about it? Or you waved it off later?
If you’re paying someone for their expertise in helping you achieve your goals, you’re not going to scroll past us or forget our emails. You won’t forget to look at your program. Every time you’re tempted to skip those last two sets, you’ll think of the debit sign currently in your bank account and finish the workout.
Here’s what I can honestly say:
Everyone needs a coach.
Every coach needs a coach.
Every doctor needs a coach.
Every physio needs a coach.
Every athlete needs a coach.
Everyone who has a fitness/sport goal needs a coach.
And a good coach wants your success, not your money, and they don’t want you forever.
Our only job is to help you get “there”.
There are a ton of facets and fine-tunings required to get you there. It’s our job to figure those details out and to make it as easy, direct, and painless as possible for you to arrive where you want to be.
That’s what you pay us for.
Do you have a coach?
Why do you pay him/her, or why not?